The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the Air Care Alliance (ACA) have created a set of national awards designed to recognize the contributions of those individuals in aviation who fly and volunteer for the benefit of others, public benefit flying organizations, and those who support them.

The 2016 National Public Benefit Flying Awards will be presented at the Fall Awards Banquet Program of the National Aeronautic Association on December 8, 2016.

We strongly encourage you to consider attending this prestigious event in the Washington D.C. area!  You can read about NAA events on this page:

See the news release about the award recipients and the upcoming event below!  More information will be posted afterwards.

Photo: recipients of 2016 National Public Benefit Flying Awards at NAA Fall Awards Dinner

Contact: Stephanie Berry
703-416-4888 Ext 104

Aviation Volunteers Honored for Public Benefit Flying

Washington, DC, September 28, 2016 – The National Aeronautic Association (NAA), in partnership with the Air Care Alliance (ACA), a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Public Benefit Flying Awards. These awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and their organizations engaged in flying to help others, as well as those supporting such work.

This year’s recipients are:

Distinguished Volunteer Pilot:

Over the past eight years, Jeff Bennett has flown 4,938 service and therapy animals, search and rescue dogs, military working dogs, homeless and abandoned pets, and endangered wildlife for Pilots N Paws. He has generously donated thousands of hours of his time, all fuel costs, and the use of his plane to the organization. Bennett has helped to coordinate the Pilots N Paws Annual Fall and Spring Flyaway events, where dozens of pilots work together on a single day to move hundreds of animals. He is a team player, incredible mentor, seasoned coach, and a fan favorite among volunteers and adoptive families of animals he has flown.

Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying:

Rol Murrow is the cofounder and Chairman of the Air Care Alliance (ACA), a support group for more than sixty volunteer pilot aviation groups engaged in public benefit flying work nationwide and internationally. With Murrow’s expertise and guidance, ACA is able to match individuals with organizations whose volunteers fly patients for care, provide disaster relief services, support the transportation needs of veterans, perform environmental support flights, relocate animals, and provide many other services on a charitable basis. Murrow also served on the founding board of the Alliance for Aviation Across America in order to emphasize the value of charitable aviation.

Public Benefit Flying Teamwork Award:

In 2012, Angel Flight West developed a new version of their web-based application used to support the coordination of its charity flights and released this software under an open source license for the charitable aviation community. An organization called VPOIDS was formed to manage the software and the user community, facilitate communication between consumers, help determine priorities, identify opportunities for solving common problems, and coordinate design and development efforts.

VPOIDS has enabled its member Volunteer Pilot Organization’s (VPO’s) to save money in a number of significant ways and allowed the organizations to focus on their core missions. Due to the generosity of Angel flight West and its partnership with VPOIDS, many organizations have gained access to a technology platform that they would otherwise not have been able to afford, resulting in a greater impact and strengthening of charitable aviation as a whole.
Members of the 2016 Public Benefit Flying Selection Committee were NAA Board Members Bob Stangarone (Stangarone & Associates), Dave Franson (Wichita Aero Club), and Dick Koenig; Peter Bunce, President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association; Rick Durden, Air Care Alliance Board Member; Lindy Kirkland, Executive Vice President of the Air Care Alliance; Linda Daschle, President of LHD & Associates, Inc., and Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA who served as the Chairman of the Selection Committee.

The Public Benefit Flying Awards will be presented at NAA’s Fall Awards Ceremony on December 8, 2016 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. For more information, please visit


The National Aeronautic Association is a non-profit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of some of the most important aviation awards in the world, and certifies all world and national aviation records set in the United States. For information, visit

The Air Care Alliance is a nonprofit public service organization supporting the work of dozens of volunteer-based charitable organizations whose members fly to help others. ACA is devoted to fostering, enhancing, and promoting public benefit flying in the United States and other countries. For information, visit .

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The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the Air Care Alliance (ACA) have created a set of national awards designed to recognize the contributions of those individuals in aviation who fly and volunteer for the benefit of others, public benefit flying organizations, and those who support them.

Nominations Are Due Now for the National Public Benefit Flying Awards in our Nation’s Capitol!  Send Yours by August 31.

After the awards ceremony in Fall of 2016 this page will show the recipients of the awards and other information about the event!

To see stories and photos from last year’s 2015 Public Benefit Flying Awards see that page.


This wonderful opportunity will take only a small amount of your time –

Your nominations for the National Public Benefit Flying Awards are due by August 31 – please honor a worthy candidate!


Presented at the NAA Fall Awards Dinner, Washington DC

Call for Nominations
2016 Public Benefit Flying Awards
Presented by the National Aeronautic Association
In Association with the Air Care Alliance
Nominations Accepted through August 31

You probably know of a very worthy individual or organization deserving of special recognition for their volunteering beyond normal expectations or for significant achievements benefiting the world of public benefit flying and all those who fly to help others!

Remember this is not just about an individual award.  It is about recognizing and promoting the work of all the volunteer pilots and others who engage in this wonderful work.  “When we honor one we honor all!”

These awards are presented at the prestigious Fall Awards Program of the National Aeronautic Association, held each year in Washington DC.  In 2015 more than 250 attendees representing the national aviation associations, governmental agencies, and major aviation companies, plus prominent elected officials, gathered to celebrate the award recipients at a gala dinner.

This is your opportunity to have your volunteer and group recognized in a national venue!

Audience at Awards
The Audience at the NAA Public Benefit Flying Awards

Here below is basic information about the awards process.  Please visit the website link at the end for full information.  We hope that you take a little bit of your time to put together a nomination or two for those you think are especially deserving!

Nomination Information 

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the Air Care Alliance (ACA) have created a set of national awards designed to recognize the contributions of those individuals who fly for the benefit of others, and their public benefit flying organizations.  We are asking for your help in identifying those who have been doing outstanding work which should be recognized.

To ensure that your nomination receives full consideration, please adhere to the following guidelines.  Nominations that do not fall within the specifications listed below might not be considered during the selection process.  The Selection Committee also reserves the right to change a recipient’s category when deemed appropriate.


Award Categories
   Distinguished Volunteer Pilot – awarded to an individual or individuals for outstanding public benefit flying service as a volunteer pilot.
   Distinguished Volunteer – awarded to an individual or individuals for outstanding service as a non-flying volunteer working in public benefit flying.
   Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying – for outstanding achievement by an individual or organization that helped raise the standard of service of or contributed significantly to the overall advancement of Public Benefit Flying.
   Public Benefit Flying Teamwork Award – for outstanding cooperation and coordination involving two or more unaffiliated Public Benefit Flying organizations or their parters in the accomplishment of a significant common mission, task, or objective.
   Champion of Public Benefit Flying – awarded to an individual, organization, or company who, while not operationally directly involved in Public Benefit Flying, has provided extraordinary support for such efforts and thus advanced the cause of Public Benefit Flying.


General Criteria
Nominees must be either U.S. citizens or U.S. organizations.
Public Benefit Flying is defined as those activities, conducted largely by volunteers, in which one or more general aviation aircraft were used to support the health and well being of anyone needing charitable assistance or for the benefit of the general public, and for which no fee was charged for the aircraft or for pilot services.
Awards are intended to honor the efforts of volunteers working in the field of public benefit flying, or those who support them.  Awards may be granted to individuals, teams, groups, or organizations, as appropriate.
Awards may be based on just one or on several extraordinary events or accomplishments or may be based on long term or lifetime achievement.  This must be clearly expressed in the nominating material.
Nominators and nominees must understand that the award recipient or a representative is expected to attend the ceremony in Washington D.C. to personally accept the award.


Deadline and Submission Process
The nomination, signed by the nominator, or by an officer of the administering office of an organization submitting it, must be received by NAA at its offices by August 31 . Please email your Word document to:
Selection Committee
The selection committee will be comprised of prominent individuals and representatives of aviation organizations nominated by both NAA and ACA.  Awardees will be honored at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet in Arlington, Virginia in November or December, date to be announced.
For important information on the nominations criteria and procedures and a list of prior recipients please visit and be sure to follow the guidelines link at the top or bottom of the page.  You may also email your questions to
To see stories and photos from last year’s 2015 Public Benefit Flying Awards see that page.

Thank You!

     … for thinking of how you can honor those who contribute so much to volunteer-based Public Benefit Flying!