MONROEVILLE, Ala. (WKRG) — Inside a hangar at the Monroe County Airport a group of volunteers’ mission remains the same, despite a noticeable void over the last few weeks.

“We have no doubt that this plane will be back flying in short order,” said Tommy Lee with Pilots for Christ.

For 28 years Pilots for Christ has helped others in their time of need, offering free flights to those who need medical care outside of our area. This year they’ve already completed 260 flights and that number continues to climb.

“The chemo, the cancer, the kids to St. Jude that we fly, they have a real need. They cannot make these long 10-hour or 12-hour drives,” said Lee.

The unexpected happened in April when their only plane went in for routine maintenance and that’s when they discovered it needs new engines. Those engines will cost over $800,000, which is a hefty price tag for a non-profit organization. They’re ready to get back in the air and bring their plane back home.

“Just this week we have received over 60 donations and we can’t say thank you enough,” said Ashley Pharr with Pilots for Christ.

More donations are needed to get the plane back in service, but right now they’re relying on other pilots and commercial flights to keep their mission going hoping to reach their goal in the coming weeks.

“We’ll be back flying full time as soon as we get these engines on,” said Lee.

We’re told the current engines are 40 years old and repairs would exceed $600,000. To learn more about Pilots for Christ and to donate click here.