Voice of Public Benefit Flying"
(Date) BY U.S. MAIL AND VIA FAX TO: (Fax number)
The Honorable ______________
Dear Representative ____:
As a (volunteer/volunteer pilot) for (organization), I respectfully ask you to co-sponsor H. 1879, the Volunteer Pilot Organization Protection Act of 2005.
Volunteers from volunteer pilot organizations fly people who need medical treatment but who cannot afford the travel to their medical facility. Often, cancer patients, transplant recipients, and those who suffer from rare diseases must travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to receive the specialized treatment they require. These nonprofit groups also arrange many other missions of service to those in need and their communities, such as search and rescue, animal counts, and disaster relief.
The volunteer pilot organization I work with and dozens of others like it across the country are facing a crisis because of high insurance costs. As with most groups, all of our pilots are required to have an insurance policy to protect against a catastrophic accident, but now the non-profit organizations that arrange these flights are also required to take out insurance. Just a few years ago, this insurance cost $1,000 a year. Now, this insurance can cost as much as $25,000. For groups that depend on donations, these high insurance costs or a large lawsuit may bankrupt our groups and leave our patients without the means to get the care they need.
H. 1879, the Volunteer Pilot Organization Protection Act, introduced by Representative Thelma Drake, will close the loophole in the original Volunteer Protection Act that has created this problem. This legislation will amend the Volunteer Protection Act to give these groups, their pilots, their volunteers, and their staffs protection from claims beyond the level of normal pilot insurance and will allow them to continue the important services they provide.
I hope you will agree to co-sponsor this legislation. Please contact Representative Thelma Drake or Sarah Hamlett of her staff at 202-225-4215 to let her know that you will sign on as a co-sponsor of this important legislation.