Robert Zemeckis Commits Aircraft and Pilot to Public Benefit Aviation

Robert Zemeckis

Robert Zemeckis
Oscar-Winning Director

Robert Zemeckis, who is a licensed pilot, has a fleet that includes a jet and two smaller aircraft. Zemeckis’ personal pilot, Jim typically flies the aircraft and is also able to use the planes for Public Benefit Aviation. This is how Zemeckis got involved on the Endeavor Awards Gala Host Committee, which has invited hundreds of honored guests to celebrate Public Benefit Aviation on May 4, 2014.

Jim talked about one stormy night when a planned ‘compassion flight’ on behalf of Angel Flight West was in jeopardy. A shelter in North Las Vegas was protecting a battered spouse with a child, who both needed to be flown right away to the Bay Area, where a safe house was waiting. The weather had turned threatening, and the forecast predicted a bumpy ride and worse, probable icing. Jim called the shelter, and told them he had concluded that the weather conditions rendered it unsafe for even him, an experienced aviator, to fly a small prop-driven plane. The shelter emphasized the urgency of moving the abuse victims immediately. So, Jim called Zemeckis and asked to use the jet.

“Mr. Zemeckis not only gave full permission to use the jet, he also paid for all the fuel,” said Jim. “He allows and even encourages the people around him to do good things.”

About Public Benefit Aviation:
Compassionate volunteer pilots donate all expenses for their general aviation aircraft and commercial airlines provide free seats as a public and humanitarian service in communities across the country. They transport adults and children who need assistance in reaching medical care and other services. They transport wounded warriors, give honor flights to veterans and reunite military families. They rescue and relocate animals to new families or better habitats. They provide environmental oversight and data collection. They assist in disaster relief and international airlifts for sudden disasters or long-term assistance.

The number of charitable flights is estimated to be 25,000 a year across the U.S.A. The Endeavor Awards are presented as the centerpiece of a campaign to raise general awareness of public benefit aviation and to spur the collection of data to quantify the importance of charitable flights so generously donated by pilots and airlines.

About Volunteer Pilot Organizations (VPOs):
There are over 100 organizations nationwide that arrange free transportation donated by volunteer pilots for humanitarian or public services. Some provide emergency flights; some give educational flights to children; and some fly doctors and equipment to international locations or focus on disaster relief. The Endeavor Awards 2014 are highlighting the over 40 VPOs that offer non-emergency flights with volunteer pilots covering all their own flying expenses for flights within the United States.

About The Endeavor Awards:
The Endeavor Awards Gala ( is an annual event honoring the pilots, individuals and support organizations, corporations and government agencies most responsible for providing Public Benefit Aviation. Sponsoring organizations (listed below) will hold the inaugural Endeavor Awards event on May 4, 2014 in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion at the California Science Center.

Endeavor Awards Gala Sponsors:
Warner Bros., Alaska Airlines, UCLA Health, AOPA, Angel Flight West, Tom & Mary Gallagher Foundation, Jeff & Linda Hendricks Family Foundation, James Slattery, Kauffman Family Foundation, JetAVIVA, Tempus Aircraft Sales & Service, King Schools, Jim & Glenys Slavik, Angel Flight West, Pacific Post, Stater Bros. Markets, NBAA, Jet Center Los Angeles, ACA, Aviation American Gin and Hangar 24 Craft Brewery.

Biography of Robert Zemeckis, Award Winning Film Producer and Director
Robert Zemeckis has won numerous awards for films he has directed and produced. He won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Director’s Guild of American Award for Best Director for Forrest Gump. He shared Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Screen play for Back to the Future, the top-grossing release of 1985.
He directed and produced Contact and Death Becomes Her, wrote and directed the box office smash Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and directed Romancing the Stone. For the small screen, Zemeckis directed the Showtime feature-length documentary The Pursuit of Happiness. Additional television credits include episodes of Spielberg’s Amazing Stores and HBO’s Tales From the Crypt.

In March 2001, the USC School of Cinema-Television opened the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts. Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke partnered to form the film and television production company ImageMovers. What Lies Beneath was the first film to be released under the ImageMovers banner, followed by Cast Away and Matchstick Men. The second motion capture film produced and directed by Robert Zemeckis was Beowulf. In November of 2009, Zemeckis released his most advanced motion-capture film to date: A Christmas Carol.

On 31 January 2014, it was announced that a stage musical adaptation of Zemeckis’s first Back to the Future film was in production. The show, which will be co-written by original writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, is expected to be performed in 2015, on the 30th anniversary year of the film. According to Gale, the musical will be “true to the spirit of the film without being a slavish remake.”

Scroll to Top