the official newsletter of the Air
Welcome to Flight
Following! In the past all copies were
mailed directly to recipients. More recently we have sent bulletins and
announcements by email. We will periodically publish
Flight Following on our website and also send it directly via email in
order to make sending and receiving it as convenient as possible for everyone.
This journal is intended for volunteer pilots, group leaders,
other volunteers, professional staff, and all those interested in the incredible
world of public benefit flying! Feel free to pass it along to others. We hope it
provides useful information making it easier for those
who use aviation in public service do a better and more enjoyable job of
flying to help others!
‘The Air Care Alliance
promotes, supports, and represents public benefit
flying through communication and cooperation among
organizations facilitating flights for health, compassion,
and community service."
CAST YOUR VOTES!
Air Care Alliance
and the National Aeronautic Association open nominations
for National Public Benefit Flying Awards.
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 National
Public Benefit Flying Awards. The five categories
are:Distinguished Volunteer Pilot; Distinguished (non-flying)Volunteer;
Outstanding Achievement; Teamwork; and Champion
Awards will be presented at the U.S. Capitol Building in
Washington, DC in September. The deadline for
submissions is June
24. Don’t miss this
opportunity to shine the spotlight on your group’s
outstanding volunteers, supporters and achievements!
JOIN OUR LIST
If you missed it, you really missed it. Air Care 2009 was
simply a fantastic event!
We were thrilled to have Bruce Landsberg, President of
the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, lead a discussion on
ways to reduce accidents in public benefit flying.
Panel members Christel Gollnick of Angel Flight
Central; Larry Camerlin, Angel Flight Northeast and Rudy
Engholm of LightHawk described chilling accounts of
recent mishaps that occurred in their organizations and
how important media interactions are in times of
crisis. They stressed the absolute need to have a
written Emergency Action Plan/Mishap Plan to keep your
public support and be prepared.
Other topics included recent legislation and
SAVE THE DATE
April 16 – 17, 2010
Limiting Liability of Volunteer Pilots
ACA is currently assisting in efforts to introduce
federal legislation to limit the liability of
Volunteer Pilot Organizations and Pilots.
Similar legislation has been introduced in several
prior sessions of Congress and has passed the
House of Representatives on two occasions.
Additional protection is needed because the
existing federal Volunteer Protection Act does not
protect volunteers engaged in providing
transportation. In addition, adequate
insurance is not generally available for pilots
Jeffrey S. Kahn
Attorney at Law
Plymouth Meeting, PA
2009 – 2010
Emergency Volunteer Air Corps
Angel Flight East
Angel Flight of Georgia
Angel Flight West
Angel Flight East
Angel Flight of Georgia
Angel Flight of Georgia
Volunteer Pilots Association
Gary St. Peter
Operation Angel Planes of Rhode Island
Angel Flight West & EVAC
Official Newsletter of the
Air Care Alliance
Welcome to the first issue of
the new Air Care Alliance’s quarterly newsletter! We
are all hoping you find it useful in expanding your
own understanding of the wide world of Public
Benefit Flying. After almost 20 years in an ACA
leadership position I am still always pleasantly
surprised to hear of some new way volunteer pilots
use their skills and planes to help others.
Hopefully this venue will also help you to better
appreciate the work of others like yourself.
For some time now the ACA
leadership has been working on a transition
plan that will expand our work and bring new folks
into it. Our choice of Lindy Kirkland as our new
President is one of the outcomes. He has been with
us for several years now and is well equipped to
help us improve our mission of service to those in
need and those who want to help them.
Please enjoy reading the
stories and learning about the issues we will
discuss, and consider forwarding this to others in
your organization so they too might sign up to
receive future news from the Air Care Alliance.
Chairman of the Board
Welcome Lindy Kirkland as President
Ready for Action!
The Air Care Alliance is pleased to announce the
election of a new President, Lindy Kirkland.
Rol Murrow, ACA
co-founder, Chairman of the Board, and past President,
introduced Lindy to the attendees at ACA’s recent
national Air Care conference.
is looking forward to taking the Air
Care Alliance into the
future, "I envision the Air Care Alliance as an advocate
and a voice for all Public Benefit Flying organizations
and as an organization that will foster greater
cooperation, education, and communication involving all
PBF groups. I am very excited to help the Air Care
Alliance lead the charge as we all move forward
providing an invaluable service to our communities."
Lindy Kirkland is a native of Chipley, Florida, a
small town in the panhandle of Florida. After
graduation from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s
degree in Civil Engineering. he was commissioned a
Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps
and reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola for duty
as a student Naval Aviator. After receiving his "Wings
of Gold," awarded to all Naval Aviators as they
complete the U.S. Navy Flight Training, he was
assigned as an AH-1W Cobra Attack Helicopter pilot and
served various tours at Marine Corps Air Station, New
River, NC and Camp Pendleton, CA. These tours included
a number of shipboard and overseas deployments and
participation in Operation Desert Storm. Lindy also
served as the Deputy Program Manager for the H-1
Helicopter Upgrades Program with the Naval Air Systems
Command at NAS Patuxent River, MD.
His final assignment on active duty was as the
Executive Officer of Marine Helicopter Squadron One
(HMX-1) at Quantico, VA. There he flew three different
helicopters and served as a Pilot in Command of Marine
One, flying in support of the Office of the President
of the United States.
Since retirement from the USMC in June 2006, he has
been serving as a civilian in the Department of
Defense. He is an active general aviation pilot
and has been a member of the ACA board since 2005.
In 2004, he set a U.S. National Record for the
"Fastest Time to Visit all the Hard Surfaced Public
Airports in Virginia," landing 102 times and raising
over $20,000 for Angel Flight East. He is
married to the former Anita Reece of Murphy, NC and
they live in Fredericksburg, VA with their 4 children.
View the full press release at
Over to Oshkosh, WI
July 27 – August 2, 2009
Send us your pictures and videos to
display at the ACA booth, and your stories about
your volunteers for the Fly4Life website!
Mail your videos to:
Angel Flight Central
10 Richards Road
Kansas City, MO 64116
*Please note videos will not be returned.
"We Charge Hugs"
Ronquille family arriving in Baton
Rouge from St. Louis after receiving desperately
needed treatment answers for Madison, age 2,
diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. From Baton Rouge
another linking flight delivered them home to New
here to watch the WWLTV news segment.
Pilots for Patients
I tell our volunteer pilots, "We have
an opportunity to make a difference with each
Pilots for Patients Board President, Philip Thomas, is
a natural born storyteller. He descriptively conveys
his passion for flying and helping others in every
fragment of his conversations. Unlike other pilots who
received flight training in the military, Philip
sought out his own private lessons 35 years ago when
the U.S. Navy said if he enlisted, he would be
grounded in order to give air time to returning
Vietnam War Veterans. So, he drove 50 miles each
morning for lessons to pursue his dream of flying
until he had clocked enough flights to soar the skies
on his own.
Philip and his wife Sharon, enjoyed flying for
business and pleasure but when they learned of the
need to transport patients and loved ones through
Angel Flight, they knew they needed a PBF "Ministry"
in their state. With a $50,000 budget, 10 Board of
Directors, one paid coordinator and dozens of
volunteers, Pilots for Patients was born just 15
months ago. Based out of Monroe, Louisiana and
stretching their wings into Texas and Tennessee, 59
pilots have already logged an impressive 285 flights.
Both adult and pediatric patients are transported
weekly using a sophisticated tracking system on their
Airports outside of Houston are Philip’s favorite
places to bring families because upon arrival he is
met by volunteers from the Houston Ground Angels who
transport the arriving patients to either their
lodging or specialized treatment facility/hospital,
free of charge. "It is a long haul from the airport,
but when you see how relieved the family is to see
another smiling volunteer for their next leg, it is
truly heartwarming. Saying goodbye, I know I have had
an opportunity to make a real difference in that
"As you can imagine, we become close to patients who
require frequent trips, especially the kids.
Admittedly, when they send pictures years later, it
can be hard to recognize them. If I place my finger
over their hair, I see the now healthy child who
fought cancer all those years before."
Like all PBF programs, the demand has increased and
strategic growth is
essential. "Costs are always our concern, but patients
can’t believe our services are free." Philip jokes
about trying to convince people they won’t receive a
bill, but sometimes they still don’t believe him.
Eventually he concedes that a small administrative fee
does apply. "We charge hugs" he says with a smile and
he tends to collect more than the standard fare.
For more information on Pilots For Patients, a ACA
member, please visit their website at
ACA Membership – You Belong Here!
Join the Alliance!
Member & Membership Committee Chair
Whether you are flying people for
medical treatments, transporting medical supplies,
documenting environmental degradation,
or flying search and rescue for Civil Air Patrol – you
are contributing to public benefit flying and
should be a member of
the Air Care Alliance.
Here is what ACA has been able to achieve for members!
||ACA has been very
helpful with the interpretation of government agency
rulings impacting public benefit flying such as those
made by the FAA and IRS.
||The ACA is
currently involved in efforts to introduce federal
legislation to limit the liability of volunteer pilot
organization and pilots (see Jeff Kahn’s update)
||The ACA succeeded
in creating and serving as official administrator of
the internationally recognized call sign "Compassion"
for certain types of nonprofit flying operations.
||Each year we strive
to gather industry data which members use to show our
impact and benefit to our respective communities.
||Since 2003, in
association with the National Aeronautic Association,
the ACA presents the National Public Benefit Flying
conference serves as a great resource, networking and
educational tool for new and seasoned public benefit
||The ACA website is
heavily utilized by organizations and individuals
seeking the services provided by ACA members. Calls
and emails to ACA are promptly returned in order to
quickly connect interested parties to the appropriate
ACA member group.
to download the new member group form or email
and let me share even more
benefits with you. Current members – spread the word and
help recruit others!
Public benefit flying organizations have existed for
decades, but the need to share resources and
coordinate efforts became clear in November 1990.
Under the direction of founder Bill Worden, nineteen
volunteer pilot organizations met at the national
headquarters of Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
(AOPA) to form the Air Care Alliance (ACA).
Currently there are more than 60 such pilot
organizations that can be contacted through the ACA
list. By promoting interaction and cooperation among
these nonprofit groups, the Air Care Alliance is
able to direct the public to an organization that
best meets their needs. This will help ensure a
quick and qualified response. If you require
assistance, have resources, or are involved with
other volunteer pilot organizations, please do not
hesitate to contact us or the groups listed on the
or through the help-line at 888.260.9707.
Office Phone and Patient Transport Help Line:
Toll Free: 888-260-9707
Office Fax: 815-572-9192
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to other members of your group and to anyone else interested in public benefit