The National Aeronautic Association (NAA), in partnership with the Air Care Alliance (ACA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Public Benefit Flying Awards. These awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and organizations engaged in flying to help others, as well as those supporting such work.
“Each year, hundreds, even thousands, of pilots and volunteers use their aviation skill to assist others in time of need,” said NAA President, Greg Principato. “From responding to disasters, to bringing lifesaving treatments to patients, to bringing others to receive the care they need, these pilots and organizations serve their communities well and often without notice. It is our privilege to join with the Air Care Alliance each year to recognize many of these people and organizations for what they do, and to bring awareness to how aviation can serve our communities. Congratulations to each of this year’s recipients and thank you for all you do.”
This year’s recipients are:
Distinguished Volunteer Pilot:
John Lunseth is an outstanding and compassionate volunteer pilot who goes above and beyond to provide free flights for people in need. Since joining Angel Flight Central in 2011, he has flown 93 missions and donated in-kind aircraft and fuel costs totaling over $61,000. In 2022 alone, John has transported passengers to their life saving medical treatments and procedures, breast milk to medically fragile babies, and chronically ill children to their specialized summer camps. John’s service and commitment to help those in need is unmatched and has had an immense impact on his community.
Wayne Maynard epitomizes selflessness in his unwavering commitment to charitable flying and helping others. Serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Angel Flight South Central, his visionary leadership and willingness to serve have been both influential and contagious. As a volunteer pilot, his devotion to taking on as many missions as possible, even during the most challenging of times, while offering compassionate care to his passengers, is inspirational. Wayne has committed his time, aircraft and financial resources to public benefit flying without hesitation and his generosity has made a profound impact on the families he serves.
MSgt Michael Fontaine is an active duty military liaison for Honor Flight San Antonio, where he coordinated complete logistical support for two complimentary flights that provided war veterans all expenses-paid trips to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. His efforts directly supported Honor Flight San Antonio’s mission to honor veterans who served during World War II, the Cold War, Korean War, and Vietnam War. Beyond being an ambassador and military liaison to the Honor Flight organization, MSgt Fontaine also worked to secure funding for special events and honoree travel, planned and executed fundraising events, briefed personnel from various airlines and security agencies to promote and garner support for Honor Flight San Antonio’s mission, and established a recognition program for active duty military volunteers who dedicated time to honor our nation’s heroes.
Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying:
David Knies has dedicated over half of his life to his humble involvement in public benefit flying, serving as a volunteer for Angel Flight Southeast, Angel Flight Soars, Vital Flight, FlyQuest, and the Air Care Alliance. Whether it be in the cockpit during 500+ flights, on the ground at the airport, or in the office for over 10,000 hours, he has tirelessly given of himself to make the lives of those he serves brighter.
Champion of Public Benefit Flying:
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has long supported charitable aviation’s work by helping individuals and communities in need through business aviation and by telling the stories of volunteer pilots and other charitable aviation organizations. NBAA’s people have contributed time, effort, and personal involvement to engage in public benefit flying, and have provided their facilities, publications, and other resources to substantially further all groups’ missions.
Members of the 2022 Public Benefit Flying Selection Committee: Michael Burks, 2021 Distinguished
Volunteer Pilot recipient; Linda Daschle, LHD & Associates, Inc; Scott Gloyna, 2020 Distinguished
Volunteer Pilot recipient; Kristinia Luke, Air Care Alliance; Rol Murrow, Air Care Alliance; James
Stratton, Air Care Alliance; and Troy Whistman, 2021 Distinguished Volunteer recipient.
The Public Benefit Flying Awards will be presented on a date and location to be determined.
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 national aviation records set in the United States. For information, visit www.naa.aero.
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.