About us

On 7th December 1994, a group of pilots got together in Frankfurt am Main to set up the “Mayday Foundation”. The purpose of this charitable organization was to support aviators and their families through times of crisis. This support is both material and ideally in nature and is forthcoming regardless of cause, blame or judicial outcome. The Foundation has deliberately selected as its name the emergency call used in aviation: Mayday. Anyone transmitting this call is entitled to expect immediate assistance.

Our aim is to help our clients help themselves.

Pilots attending a briefing at the 1994 ILA who then went on to set up the Mayday Foundation.

Pilots attending a briefing at the 1994 ILA who then went on to set up the Mayday Foundation.

The actual occasion for the founding of the charity was a fatal accident at Berlin-Schönefeld airport in 1994 involving the Russian test pilot Alexander S. Vyatkin who died without leaving any provision for his family. The Foundation enjoys the support of many organizations and companies working within the German and international aviation industry.

The Mayday Foundation maintains a network of carers – pilots, flight attendants as well as professional psychologists who are trained in providing support after critical or highly stressful incidents and/or accidents (see CISM  -Critical Incident Stress Management).

The funds available to the Foundation essentially consisted of the 35,000 DM raised during the 1994 ILA. This sum was invested according to very strict legal criteria and the original capital remains intact. Aid is provided from the revenue it generates. Over and above these funds, every donation we receive goes directly towards providing help. All donations qualify for tax exemption, as we are a registered charity.

Any donations made as endowments come under a special category. These are also classed as donations for tax purposes but they increase the basic capital and must be invested long term. Only the revenue from these endowments may be used for the Foundation’s charitable work, so this makes it possible for us to make long-term reliable plans for our projects and commitments.

The Honorary Board consists of the pilots Rena Achten, Alice Deininger, Dr. Karl-Heinz Richstein, Dr. Gerhard Fahnenbruck, Hans Rahmann, Alexander Scheller and the lawyer Ralf A. Schäfer.

Patron is the former Airbus CEO Dr. Thomas Ender.

The Mayday Foundation is a member of the German Association of Foundations (Bundesverband der Deutschen Stiftungen).