Flight Following

the official newsletter of the Air Care Alliance

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! 


Air Care logo
'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
2009 Conference Highlights
Welcome Lindy
Fly for Life - 2009
"We Charge Hugs"
Become a Member
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 Supporter.
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!
Complete nominating information is available online at  www.aircareall.org or www.naa.aero.
Join Our Mailing List

conference 2009 image

conference 2009 photo

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 experimental aircraft.
Reno, Nevada
April 16 - 17, 2010
Please click on the link provided to take a short survey on the conference. Your feedback is essential for planning future conferences. http://tinyurl.com/ACA-Conference-Survey
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 and organizations.
Jeffrey S. Kahn
Attorney at Law
Plymouth Meeting, PA
2009 - 2010

Rol Murrow
Emergency Volunteer Air Corps
Board Chairman

Lindy Kirkland

Angel Flight East

Jeanine Biron
Angel Flight of Georgia
Executive V.P.
 Jim Weaver
Angel Flight West
Vice President

Keith Laken
LifeLine Pilots

Jeff Kahn
Angel Flight East


Tami Bream
Angel Flight of Georgia

Rick Durden

Sandy Johnson
Angel Flight of Georgia

Dan Meyer

Kevin Sell
Volunteer Pilots Association

Gary St. Peter
Operation Angel Planes of Rhode Island

Bill Worden
Angel Flight West & EVAC
President Emeritus
Official Newsletter of the          Air Care Alliance May 2009 
Beam of clouds

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.
Rol Murrow
Chairman of the Board
Welcome Lindy Kirkland as President
Ready for Action!                 Lindy Kirkland   


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. 


Lindy 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
Fly For Life
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!
Upload pictures using the "True Stories" tab on the www.fly4life.org website.

Mail your videos to:
Christel Gollnick
Angel Flight Central
10 Richards Road
Kansas City, MO 64116
*Please note videos will not be returned.

"We Charge Hugs"
Pilots for Patients 
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 Orleans.Click here to watch the WWLTV news segment.


Pilots for Patients

Member Profile (Monroe, LA)

I tell our volunteer pilots, "We have an opportunity to make a difference with each flight"


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 website.

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 family's life."

"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 www.pilotsforpatients.org

ACA Membership - You Belong Here!
Join the Alliance! 
by Sandy Johnson
ACA Board 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 your organization should be a member of the Air Care Alliance. 
Here is what ACA has been able to achieve for members!
bulletACA has been very helpful with the interpretation of government agency rulings impacting public benefit flying such as those made by the FAA and IRS.
bulletThe 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)
bulletThe ACA succeeded in creating and serving as official administrator of the internationally recognized call sign "Compassion" for certain types of nonprofit flying operations.
bulletEach year we strive to gather industry data which members use to show our impact and benefit to our respective communities.
bulletSince 2003, in association with the National Aeronautic Association, the ACA presents the National Public Benefit Flying Awards.
bulletOur annual conference serves as a great resource, networking and educational tool for new and seasoned public benefit flyers.
bulletThe 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.
Click here to download the new member group form or email me at sgjohnso@bellsouth.net 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 ACA website

www.AirCareAll.org or through the help-line at 888.260.9707.

General email: mail@aircareall.org                                    Air Care logo            
Office Phone and Patient Transport Help Line:   

Toll Free: 888-260-9707
Office Fax: 815-572-9192
Newsletter Consultant - marchelle@welcomehomeconsulting.com 

   SUBSCRIBE to Flight Following CLICK HERE TO -  Join Our Mailing List
Please feel free to forward this newsletter or the link http://www.aircareall.org/ff-090510.htm to other members of your group and to anyone else interested in public benefit flying.            

Home Listings Patient Transport Volunteer Pilots News Newsletters Awards Program Conferences Resources Relief Info Membership Donations History Contacts/Board   Site Map - Contents

email:                         mail@aircareall.org 
Office and Administration:       admin@aircareall.org
to our Flight Following newsletter list!  CLICK HERE TO  Join Our Mailing List  
Air Care Alliance Organizational Contacts:    See Board and Contact List
Send questions or comments about this web site to webmaster@aircareall.org  
Copyright 1998 through 2013  Air Care Alliance  Last modified: October 21, 2013