It is easy to imagine how aviation support benefits aid agencies.

Aviation support significantly enhances the efficiency, reach, and impact of a wide range of aid agency operations.

Aviation support also enables entirely new areas of work.

In most cases, aviation support doesn’t merely add to the impact of the remarkable work done by aid agencies, it multiplies those impacts. Here are some examples:

  • Humanitarian aid

    Reliable and accurate clinical diagnosis is the first and most critical stage in the life-saving treatment of morbid diseases. Collecting and delivering blood samples for the diagnosis of diseases such as HIV/tuberculosis/malaria/STIs presents huge challenges overland, especially where locations are hard to reach. Transportation often takes so long overland that by the time the samples reach testing centres they are not viable for testing.

    Using gyroplanes, samples can be collected from as far away as 600km and delivered to testing centres within 24 hours; the critical time period for sample viability.

  • Wildlife conservation

    On foot, an anti-poaching unit or research team might in a day search a maximum land area of 10 km2 ; 40km2 might be possible using off-road vehicles, but these are rarely available.

    In the same time, a gyroplane can search an area greater than 1000 km2 . Moreover, a gyroplane can reach areas entirely inaccessible overland, and its elevated view and use of photographic and infrared technology enables a more penetrating, detailed search of the terrain. This is especially important in anti-poaching operations where poachers are often highly skilled in escape, evasion, and concealment tactics (EEC).

  • Aerial inspection and observation

    Inspecting a 16km section of a vital water supply pipeline can take a whole day overland.

    Using aerial filming, infrared, and other surveillance technology on board a gyroplane, the same 16km section can be inspected in 12 minutes. Again, this technology enables a more precise and prognostic survey: for example, a potential leak can be detected before it has developed far enough to be seen by the naked eye.

    This can prevent a significant waste of water, lengthy disruption to water supplies, and costly repairs.

A gyroplane can achieve all of the above more reliably, more safely, and at a lower cost than overland operations.

Using gyroplanes, Aid By Air places the benefits of aviation support within the reach of many more aid agencies.


Aid agencies do phenomenal work in the most challenging circumstances.

Conscientious aid agencies continually seek ways to do what they do better.

This means overcoming the challenges they face to work with greater efficiency, impact, reach, and cost effectiveness.

Aid agencies tell us that the most significant challenges they face relate to information, speed, reach and cost.

  • Information

    So we know what needs to be done.

    Timely and accurate information is crucial for effective response planning.

    In February/March 2015, Malawi was paralyzed in the grip of flooding that covered vast tracts of the country. Representatives of aid agencies and NGOs from around the globe entered Malawi to respond to the humanitarian and ecological crisis that was unfolding.

    Dr Steve Barker of Shelter Cluster Malawi:

    “We’re just groping around in the dark… we don’t know anything. It’s very frustrating… we have no idea which areas are affected, where people are at risk, where it is safe to set up temporary shelters and encampments….”

    Had aviation resources been available, Dr. Barker and other agencies would have had the critical information needed to plan their relief operations. Because no aviation resources were available, hundreds of thousands of Malawians were exposed to conditions that for many resulted in great hardship, injury, illness and death.

    Resources in the air save lives on the ground.

  • Speed

    So what needs to be done is done quickly.

    The readiness to respond as soon as help is needed is critical.

    Kulimba was an adolescent cow elephant, one of only an estimated 56 remaining elephants in Kasungu National Park. She was shot by poachers early in 2015 and suffered a slow, agonizing death over two weeks.

    Remke Lasance of the Kasungu Elephants Foundation courageously did all she could to save Kulimba. With the limited resources available to Remke, this proved sadly to be an impossible task. Tracking Kulimba on foot was arduous and time-consuming, and potentially life-saving veterinary help was too late.

    Aid By Air wasn’t there for Kulimba. But in future Aid By Air will be ready to respond to such incidents immediately, locating and tracking injured animals much more effectively, and then air taxiing a vet to treat the injured animals.

    When the full capabilities of gyroplanes were explained to Remke her enthusiasm could barely be contained. Remke:

    “If we can have the help of this machine, for the first time I feel optimistic about the survival of our elephants”.

    Aid By Air is naming its first gyroplane ‘Kulimba’.

  • Reach

    So what needs to be done can be done everywhere.

    The capability to respond, wherever need arises, is vital.

    The most significant challenges in the treatment of diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and malaria concern efficient blood testing and other diagnostics. Because of delays in delivering blood samples, and the conditions under which they are transported, accurate diagnosis is often impossible: blood samples can often be too old to be viable once they arrive at the testing center, producing false or unreliable results. Returning results to the patient can then take so long that the patient’s condition is so advanced that treatment becomes futile. This is a particular challenge for remote and hard-to-reach communities that suffer from poor infrastructure, transportation, and communication links.

    Some organizations have responded to this challenge by using specialist vehicles such as off-road motorcycles to transport samples. It is estimated that this approach has increased the proportion of the population who now benefit from reliable blood testing from less than 30% to 50-60%. Even so, many communities remain beyond their reach.

    Using gyroplanes, the proportion of the population that could benefit from an effective diagnostic service could be increased to more than 85%.

  • Cost

    So what needs to be done is done.

    Access to aviation support should not be determined by ability to pay.

    None of the aid agencies described above would ever have dreamed of aviation resources to support their operations.

    Aid By Air changes all this.


Aircraft operations are independent of conditions on the ground.

With aviation support, aid agencies can continue their critical, life-saving activities, regardless of ground conditions.

Aid By Air uses gyroplanes so that critical aviation support is accessible to a wider range of aid agencies.

The most significant challenges facing aid agencies include:

  • under-developed infrastructure
  • poor communications networks
  • extreme weather/environmental conditions
  • difficult terrain
  • enforced restrictions to travel
  • social unrest/mass population movements

These challenges have one important feature in common: they relate to conditions that prevent or inhibit activities on the ground.

Because aircraft operations are largely unaffected by ground conditions, aviation support is a critical resource, enabling aid agencies to continue their work when conditions on the ground would otherwise inhibit their activities.

But as we know, aviation resources are rarely available, primarily due to the cost of the purchase, operation, and maintenance of conventional aircraft.

To achieve the highest level of mission capability relative to cost, Aid By Air is pioneering the use of a novel type of aircraft in this role: gyroplanes.


Gyroplanes are neither rotary wing (helicopter) nor fixed wing aircraft.

They rely on principles and technology that are in many important respects quite different from either.

The result of the particular attributes of gyroplanes is a high mission capability and low cost.

Notable advances in gyroplane capability and safety made in recent years make them ideal for use in support of a wide range of aid agencies all over the world:

  • Short-field take off and landing (STOL)
  • Operation from unmade surfaces
  • Excellent endurance – in excess of 5 hours’ flight time
  • High cruising speed – 90-110 mph
  • Low/zero ground speed capability
  • High agility and manoeuvrability
  • Useable payload – passenger and equipment, more than 160kg
  • Exceptional visibility
  • Uses automotive fuel – low cost and widely available
  • Stable in adverse atmospheric conditions
  • Air-drop capability
  • Extremely safe at all altitudes – permanently in auto-gyration
  • Exceedingly low environmental impact – low emissions, low noise, unobtrusive and stealthy
  • Reliable and rugged
  • Low maintenance, low cost, easy to repair

Using gyroplanes, Aid By Air can support aid agencies in significantly improving their effectiveness, efficiency and reach, helping them do what they do better.

Learn more about the science and technical know-how behind gyroplanes:

Gyro history and theory

Gyrocopter Experience
Flying the Gyroplane


The high mission capability of gyroplanes allows extensive operational utility, flexibility, and versatility.

The low cost of gyroplanes allows unrivalled accessibility to aviation resources for a wide range of aid agencies.

Using gyroplanes, Aid By Air can benefit a wide range of aid agencies.

Aid By Air has the capability to assist and support any organization whose operations might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Humanitarian

    Air ambulance
    Health worker taxi
    Human migration and displacement monitoring
    Medical diagnostics logistics
    Malaria prevention (new vaccine administration) and education
    Disaster response planning, monitoring and control
    Critical equipment and personnel transportation
    Search and rescue
    Incident situational evaluation
    Remote clinic outreach

  • Wildlife Conservation

    Wildlife research and monitoring
    Veterinary taxi
    Anti-poaching surveillance and enforcement
    Animal tracking
    Critical equipment and personnel transportation
    Search and rescue
    Incident situational evaluation

  • Aerial inspection and observation

    Aerial photography and video
    Mapping and GIS
    Critical equipment and personnel transportation
    Water and resource management
    Agricultural survey
    Infrastructure survey, planning and monitoring
    Incident situational evaluation

Aid By Air acts to multiply the impact of an aid agency’s existing operations, as well as enabling capabilities they otherwise didn’t have.

So your help goes further.


Aid By Air will launch its operations in Malawi.

Why Malawi? There are many reasons, but the most important relate to need, to geography, and to opportunity.

Malawi is the world’s poorest country, but it shouldn’t be. Malawi has everything it needs to raise itself out of poverty and be completely self-sufficient. Poverty in Malawi is entrenched and pervasive: the average daily income is less than $1.50 a day but felt far more traumatic is the chronic poverty of water, food, health care, and education.


Malawi is a small country by African standards: even with a single aircraft, Aid By Air’s impact will be massive. With plans to commission its second aircraft as soon as practicable, Aid By Air aims to have the capacity to cover the whole of Malawi before the end of 2016. There is also the potential to extend operations to neighbouring countries: Malawi sits at the confluence of borders with Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia, from where we are already receiving significant numbers of requests for help and support. But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

The government of Malawi has received Aid By Air’s proposals extremely enthusiastically and has worked quickly and tirelessly to facilitate its establishment. If it weren’t for the courageous and forward-thinking approach of government officials in a number of departments, this opportunity would never have arisen. Brighton Kumchedwa, Director of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and Eddie Ghompo, Director of the Department of Civil Aviation, have shown a particular forward vision.