"The Voice of Public Benefit Flying" sm
FF August 2009


Flight Following
the official newsletter of the Air Care Alliance

Welcome to Flight Following!  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."
Winners Announced
2010 ACA Conference
President's Message
Fly for Life - 2009
Become a Member

Washington, DC

July 7, 2009

The National Aeronautic Association, in partnership with the Air Care Alliance,

a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations, is proud to announce the recipients of the 2009 National Public Benefit Flying Awards.
Distinguished Volunteer Pilot - Mack Secord, Angel Flight of Georgia
Distinguished Volunteer - Robert J. Munley, Wings of Mercy (Michigan)

Outstanding Achievement in Public Benefit Flying - Corporate Angel Network

These prestigious awards will be presented at the special "Above and Beyond" Awards Ceremony, at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, 2009, in the Lyndon B. Johnson room of the U.S. Senate.
The Public Benefit Flying Awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers, and their organizations engaged in flying to help others, and those supporting such work. Since 2003 dozens of awards have been presented at the celebratory Above and Beyond Awards Ceremony, held each fall in the United States Capitol Building.
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Angel Flight West
invites you to attend
Air Care 2010
April 16-17, 2010.
Reno, Nevada
Reno is aptly known as the "Biggest Little City in the World." Home of the famed Reno Air Races, Reno boasts of fine dining, river adventures, exciting casinos, fabulous shows, challenging golf and more. Our conference will be held at the lovely Siena Hotel, Spa and Casino, a beautiful boutique hotel on the Truckee River on the edge of downtown Reno.
Check out the hotel at www.sienareno.com
Siena hotel reno

While the conference agenda is still in the planning stages, we can mention now that the closing banquet will be held in the famed National Automobile Museum (The Harrah Collection), a phenomenal collection of over 200 cars dating as far back as the 1920's. It is just across the street from our hotel. We will have the museum to ourselves for our social hour and dinner, with plenty of time to stroll among these unique vehicles. 

Take a look at www.automuseum.org

street car

Reno is easily accessed by multiple commercial air carriers. For those wishing to fly themselves to Reno, our good friends at Mercury Air Center will welcome you and will take good care of you and your airplane.


Ink this weekend in your calendar for a magnificent conference and an exciting visit to the "Biggest Little City in the World."



2009 - 2010


Rol Murrow
ACA Board Chairman
Emergency Volunteer
Air Corps

Lindy Kirkland
ACA President
Angel Flight East

Jeanine Biron
ACA Executive Vice President
Angel Flight of Georgia

Jim Weaver
ACA Vice President
Angel Flight West
Keith Laken
ACA Secretary
LifeLine Pilots

Jeff Kahn
ACA Treasurer
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
ACA President Emeritus
Angel Flight West


See who already
flies with us!
Dozens and dozens of groups serve our communities and those in need, including international, national, regional, and statewide groups - and even small local groups with just a few pilots serving their immediate area. We provided a long list of these groups at the Fly4Life tent and exhibits at AirVenture.
The Air Care Alliance lists 
and makes referrals to all the groups we can find. If your volunteer pilot organization is not on the Air Care Alliance Listings Page at 
www.aircareall.org/listings.htm please send us your information so we can include you!

Air Charity Network 
Air Mercy
AirLifeLine of Texas
Airlift Hope
Angel Flight Australia
Angel Flight Central
Angel Flight East
Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic
Angel Flight Northeast
Angel Flight of Alberta
Angel Flight of Georgia
Angel Flight of Oklahoma
Angel Flight of Vancouver Island
Angel Flight Southeast (Florida)
Angel Flight West
Aviation for Humanity
Bahamas Habitat
Brigade Air
Cair Flight
Challenge Air for Kids
Children's Flight of Hope
Christian Air Ministry
Civil Air Patrol
Corporate Angel Network
EAA Young Eagles
Emergency Volunteer Air Corps
Flights For Life
Flying Paws
Flying Samaritans
Freedom Flight
Grace Flight of America
Grace on Wings
Great Commission Air
His Wings Aviation Ministries
Honor Flight
Hope Air
Hope Flight Foundation
Houston Ground Angels
International Shrine Aviation Association
Kids Wings
LifeLine Pilots 
Liga - Flying Doctors of Mercy
Los Medicos Voladores
MedFlight of Indiana
Mercy Flight of Indiana
Mercy Flight Southeast
Mercy Medical Airlift and

Miracle Flights for Kids
Missions Made Possible
North Carolina Baptist Men Aviation Ministry
Northwoods AirLifeLine
Oklahoma Baptist Men Aviation Ministry
One Heart Mission Services
Pilots For Christ, International
Pilots for Patients
Pilots n Paws
Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps
Servant Air Ministries
Veterans Airlift Command
Volunteer Mercy Pilots
Volunteer Pilots Association
Wings For Children
Wings of Hope
Wings of Mercy - East Michigan
Wings of Mercy - Michigan
Wings of Mercy - Minnesota
Yavapai County Sheriff's Air
Youth With a Mission
 ...and more to come forward!


booth set up
street car
Official Newsletter of the Air Care Alliance August 2009 
Beam of clouds

Working Together is Best!
Recently we have been hearing more and more about the value of collaboration among aviation-minded organizations.  We at ACA couldn't agree more with this idea!
The Air Care Alliance was founded following the first public benefit flying conference in 1990, with the idea of partnerships, collaboration, and sharing of ideas as being a core value central to our mission.
As  many of you have experienced, individuals in nonprofit groups, governmental entities, colleges, and other well-meaning organizations occasionally tend to focus on single-mindedly building their own groups.  Sometimes this is at the expense of others, and sometimes even to the detriment of those in need - who should hear about all the resources that may be available to help them.
Most pilots, other volunteers, and leaders of the public benefit flying groups could not care less about that kind of thinking.  Almost all the folks involved want one thing: to have their skills, their aircraft, and their time put to use helping those in need and serving their communities.  In fact, many pilots and others volunteer for more than one group.  
We all just saw the value of collaboration and sharing at the wonderful EAA Fly4Life tents and exhibits at AirVenture 2009.  Volunteers from many different groups joined hands to promote all the groups, in the spirit of mutual support and appreciation.
I find it very gratifying to see so many groups linking flights, referring clients to one another, and freely sharing ideas at our Air Care conferences and other venues.  That kind of spirit builds public support for our cause, our groups, and for general aviation; and, as Fly4Life team leader Bob Warner noted, in the long run "floats all boats."   
Rol Murrow
Chairman of the Board
President's Message
ACA, AOPA, NAA, etc. Lindy Kirkland 
Members of the Air Care Alliance and the
Fly4Life committee presented several forums on Public Benefit Flying and we had the opportunity to speak to many aviation media outlets to tell our story. Additionally, the Monday night feature presentation at the Theater in the Woods was an all-star panel of people involved in Mission Aviation and Public Benefit Aviation. Throughout the week, we had scores of potential new volunteers come in and ask how they can get involved.  We have compiled this list and your groups should be seeing it soon so you can contact those in your area and get them involved
In between all the activities of Air Venture, Rol and I and others had an opportunity to talk with many leaders in the aviation community about Public Benefit Flying.  We spoke with Craig Fuller of the AOPA, Tom Poberezney of the EAA and numerous representatives from the FAA and NTSB about issues that are of interest to us all.  Without exception, these leaders expressed high praise for the great work you are doing and the positive image you are portraying of general aviation to the world.
Just prior to AirVenture the Air Care Alliance and the National Aeronautic Association jointly chose members of the selection committee for the National Public Benefit Flying awards. With many outstanding nominations available,they selected three very deserving award recipients for recognition this year. In partnership with the NAA, we will be hosting the national awards ceremony in the Lyndon B. Johnson room on the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol Building on September 10th to honor these incredible people and organizations.  Please see the articles below for more information and join us in Washington, DC for this premier event if you can.  As we move closer to 2010, I highly encourage all of you to nominate those among your groups you feel are deserving of this special recognition.
In conjunction with the awards ceremony, your ACA Board of Directors will be holding their Fall meeting on September 11th and 12th at the NAA offices in Washington, DC.  One of the most pressing issues is to continue moving toward an updated web presence for the Air Care Alliance and we will be working diligently on that issue and several others during this time.
Early in the summer, Rol and I met with several senior AOPA staff members at the AOPA Headquarters in Frederick, MD and discussed several initiatives to further promote Public Benefit Flying. One of the outcomes of that meeting was that AOPA helped sponsor our tent at AirVenture by providing the audio-visual resources that were a central part of our display. AOPA wants to continue telling the good news of Public Benefit Flying and has invited the Air Care Alliance to present a forum at the Aviation Summit in Tampa this November.

So, while the economy still struggles, just know that your continued efforts are paying large dividends of goodwill for all of general aviation. 
Keep up the great work and fly safe! Lindy
Over to Oshkosh, WI
Fly For Life
High Fives for Fly4Life!
A Report from Rol Murrow
Bob Warner, an old friend and colleague from EAA, called and asked if the Air Care Alliance would support a new AirVenture theme this year, called Fly4Life.  Fly4Life would celebrate both volunteer pilot based Public Benefit Aviation as well as faith-based Mission Aviation.  EAA very generously donated to each team a large tent and display space on the edge of Aeroshell Square - about the best location one could ever hope for! I asked our ACA President Lindy Kirkland, board member Keith Laken, and Christel Gollnick of Angel Flight Central to join the Public Benefit Aviation team. Bob asked Cody Welch, President of Wings of Mercy in East Michigan and a longtime pilot and supporter of EAA's Trimotor flights, to join and act as our EAA liaison.
Christel, Lindy, Jessica Day of Angel Flight of Georgia, and I worked together to develop banners, presentation videos, and a new Fly4Life website.  Keith brought loads of tools and materials, and provided his Mooney for our four aircraft displays. He also arranged for thousands of Fly4Life buttons to be printed and donated by LifeLine Pilots and the supplying company.  His grandson Marshall was a real trooper helping wherever we needed him.
Bob was the project lead for both tents and worked with Cody to get local supplies and to scrounge other necessities from EAA. Our team arrived a week early and worked like crazy to finish the tent exhibits on time.  AOPA provided the video monitors and equipment.  Various groups sent us their videos and photos to use.  A grant from the Wolf Aviation Fund covered many exhibit costs. Several individuals and organizations provided display aircraft.  And many tireless volunteers spent countless hours with us working various shifts, explaining the work of the volunteer pilots to those attending AirVenture.

On AirVenture opening day the Theatre in the Woods featured a presentation by four noted humanitarian pilots, two from Mission Aviation and two from Public Benefit Aviation. Their stories were well received (photo below).

In addition to introducing many, many folks to the world of public benefit flying, we enjoyed visits from a number of folks who will likely be very supportive in the future.  As he had previously promised, Craig Fuller of AOPA met with us, and quickly grasped the importance of our work and the need for a common voice speaking for public benefit flying.

ACA Booth
Lindy arranged a visit from Timothy Burtch, an NTSB official from Washington, and we discussed how NTSB currently views volunteer pilot operations, and productive ways of emphasizing a culture of safety among groups.

I worked with EAA's Randy Hansen to set up a meeting with FAA reps, and both the recently Acting (now deputy) and the newly appointed Manager of General Aviation Flight Standards Anne Graham and Mel Cintron came by the tent and learned about our work and concerns. They noted they had been pressed by various groups for special treatment or varying standards, and said they much preferred to work with an umbrella organization, to gain consensus among the groups on system wide needs rather than having to react to a bunch of different voices wanting different things.
AOPA 2009

At Fly4Life: Lindy Kirkland, AOPA President Craig Fuller and Rol Murrow

Lindy and I both had the opportunity to meet at different times with EAA's Paul and Tom Poberezny too.  Tom said he was looking forward to our participation next year,and Bob said he heard the same thing from other staffers. It is a nice tribute to all our Fly4Life volunteers that EAA wants us back!

During the week and during teardown discussions we all agreed this was a wonderful opportunity for ACA and all the groups we support.  The event furthered our efforts encouraging groups to work together.  We made many new friends, and I think the various group representatives were very impressed with the way we promoted them.

ACA group at Fly4Life
All the volunteer pilots and their groups owe EAA a million thanks for devoting so much staff time and AirVenture resources to promote humanitarian aviation and the work of all those devoting their skills,
aircraft, and time, flying to help others!

For more pictures, scroll to the end of the newsletter.  Thank you all!    
My passenger said, "I had no idea!"
Member Profile (Asheville, NC)
Southwings volunteer pilots
SouthWings depends on an eleven-state network of volunteer pilots in the Southeast. Our pilots come from all walks of life, but all share concern for environmental issues and love to fly!

Founded in 1996, SouthWings is a conservation and public benefit aviation non-profit that provides skilled pilots and aerial education to enhance conservation efforts across the Southeast. Our team and our service are unique, combining the knowledge of conservation issues with experienced piloting skills. We enable those we fly to better understand, from an otherwise inaccessible vantage point, the globally significant ecosystems of the Southeast. Through the aerial perspective, SouthWings' service provides experiential understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities for conservation. This perspective fosters understanding of scale/magnitude, and the relationships of cumulative and compounding environmental effects. We provide a means to educate public and elected officials, media, community leaders, researchers and conservation organizations.
"I Had No Idea..."
The most frequent comment we hear from passengers after a flights is - I had no idea. Why? The bird's eye view from a small plane provides a unique opportunity. We enable those we fly to see beauty and human-induced landscape change in our environment from another, otherwise inaccessible, vantage point. Utilizing the aerial perspective, SouthWings' service provides experiential understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities for conservation. This perspective fosters understanding of scale/magnitude and the relationship of cumulative and compounding environmental effects. We provide a means to educate public and elected officials, media, community leaders, researchers and conservation organizations.


Experience a virtual SouthWings flight here.

For more information on Southwings, an ACA member, please visit their website at www.southwings.org
ACA Membership - You Belong Here!
Join the Discussion! 
by Sandy Johnson
ACA Board Member & Membership Committee Chair 
As we continue to work on an ACA transition plan to expand our work and recruit new member organizations, we need your help.  If we know what you expect, we can - within reason - frame our growth to capture those expectations in member benefits.

The ACA Board of Directors will be talking extensively about membership at our fall retreat in September.  To represent your voice in that discussion, I will need some input from you.

Q: If your group is a paid member of the ACA, please tell me what you feel are the benefits of that membership and what added benefits you would find most attractive.

Q: If you are a public benefit flying organization but not a paid member of the ACA, tell me what we could do differently to secure your support?
Click here to download the new member group form

Current areas of benefits an ACA membership will give your
PBF organization:
Networking and engagement
Awards and recognition
Information distribution and knowledge collection
Volunteer opportunities

I encourage you to share your thoughts and ACA membership ideas with me at sandy.johnson@aircareall.org so that you have a voice in this discussion. 
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 

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