"The Voice of Public Benefit Flying" sm
FF December 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."
President's Message
Above All
Join Our Mailing List


Angel Flight West invites you to attend our annual national public benefit flying conference!
Air Care 2010
April 16-17, 2010.
Reno, Nevada
Our conferences provide you the opportunity to meet leaders from many other organizations, hear from experts in various fields, discuss subjects important for your group, and share your own experiences and stories about the good work being performed by your volunteers.
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.

Siena hotel reno 
Check out the hotel at www.sienareno.com
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


 street car


Your Public Benefit Flying Organization can enjoy the following benefits and more!"
-Networking and engagement
-Awards and recognition
-Information distribution and knowledge collection
-Volunteer opportunities
Join now for just $50 per year!
Email me for more information on membership in ACA. 



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!


Official Newsletter of the Air Care Alliance December 2009 
Beam of clouds
True WealthRol Murrow
Rol Murrow, Chairman of the Board
We all know that people often first think of money when thinking of wealth. But as we mature we realize that true wealth lies in the enjoyment of our families, the value we bring to our communities, and the personal satisfaction we derive from accomplishing much good in the course of our work and our lives.
Especially now, when real concerns about jobs, property values, and money are so troublesome for so many, we should realize how blessed we are in the volunteer pilot community by being able to help those in need, to put a smile on the face of a child in treatment, to contribute to the health of our planet, and to share the experience of flight, perhaps inspiring someone to get better or to reach for the stars.
A nice thing about all of this is that we can share this wealth of experience with others in public benefit flying and it seems to get multiplied, over and over. Whether we do it by introducing fellow pilots and others to the joy of volunteering, or by sharing what we have learned in running our organizations with our colleagues from other groups at an Air Care conference, this wealth keeps growing by leaps and bounds, and increases our collective ability to help others.
You certainly know how rewarding it is to be involved in the world of charitable aviation.  It doesn't matter whether you coordinate the missions or fly the planes, whether you run a group or write a good story for a magazine, your work is making a difference in the lives of those you have touched. 
We also hope you have realized value from your association with the Air Care Alliance and all the volunteers and supporters we promote from all the many groups engaged in public benefit flying. True wealth lies in what you and they are all doing together, and in enjoying our fellowship, sharing your wealth of experience with so many others who are doing it for the same excellent reasons.
President's Message for 2010
A Seat at the Table Lindy Kirkland                                     Charles (Lindy) Kirkland 

As this holiday season rolls around, I am reminded of scenes from my youth. Every Christmas, our extended family would gather for a huge feast and friendly conversation. We had a large dining table but it could only seat all the adults and not the children. As a sullen teen, I remember how humiliating it was to have to sit at the card table with the younger kids and how, as an older teen, I was allowed to sit 'at the big table. Sitting at the big table was all about maturity and acceptance and knowing your thoughts would be heard by the larger family audience.

As I reflect on 2009 and the Air Care Alliance, I am recalling feelings from my youth and that feeling of acceptance. Because of the hard work of many dedicated volunteers over the last 20 years in promoting Public Benefit Flying and fostering cooperation among the various groups, I am learning that the general aviation community sees the Air Care Alliance as a valuable member with much to offer. We have been asked to "sit at the big table" many times during over the years and have had our thoughts, issues, and concerns heard and understood by many leaders in general aviation.

Many of the events of 2009 solidified this for me. The hugely successful Fly4Life theme at EAA's AirVenture 2009 and the central role that the Air Care Alliance had in the planning and execution of Public Benefit Aviation participation in that event showed how the EAA views our organization. During the planning the leadership of EAA noted that the Alliance was doing a superb job of representing all of Public Benefit Flying and how they valued our input to the process. We were commended for our non-partisan representation of all types of Public Benefit Flying.

AOPA has also encouraged ACA over the years, having hosted our first Air Care conference in 1990 at its national headquarters. Since1994 AOPA has provided a booth at its annual convention and often presented our seminars there. In 2009 AOPA supported Public Benefit Flying in many new ways. In a tremendous spirit of cooperation AOPA supported the Fly4Life theme at EAA's AirVenture 2009, providing the audiovisal equipment needed for our presentations. AOPA also asked ACA to provide input and to help develop Public Benefit Flying as a component of the GA Serves America campaign. As part of that campaign, AOPA invited us once again to display a booth at the AOPA Summit and to present a forum there on Public Benefit Flying. Several other joint initiatives are in development and I hope to be able to announce some of those in the near future.

We have continued to work very closely with the Alliance for Aviation Across America during this past year, including maintaining a seat on the Board of Directors for that organization. We have been asked to participate in a number of their outreach efforts to educate and inform policy makers about the value of general aviation. In many of these forums the participants have cited the significant contributions provided by Public Benefit Flying in numerous communities across the nation.

I say all that, not to boast about what the Air Care Alliance is doing, but to emphasize the fact that the tremendous work that each of you and your organizations are doing in serving your communities is being fully recognized by the greater general aviation family. Your voice is being heard by the "big boys" and they are very appreciative of the good reputation each of you has garnered for general aviation.

The Air Care Alliance is proud to represent you and your hard work in the many venues in which we participate. We continue to ask for your input and your support, and in turn we will do our absolute best to help tell the good news of the outstanding work you are all doing. I would also offer our sincere thanks for a fantastic 2009 and our best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and holiday season and an even better 2010.
We Are Flying Together Now!
GivingFlite is now part of
Angel Flight Soars!
Member Profile:
Dear Friends, Board Members, Pilots and Volunteers: 

I have some very exciting news to share with you about the future of GivingFlite.

But first I'd like to reflect just a moment on our history. Since 2004 we have been dedicated to arranging free transportation for people in Alabama who needed to get to and from medical treatment and didn't have the means.

We set up our first mission when an ordinary experience by one of our board members took an extraordinary turn. Todd Davis was on business in Mobile and stopped into a convenience store. He saw a jar with a photo of a child and a note asking people to donate to help pay for a trip to Texas for medical treatment that the child needed. Todd realized that GivingFlite was the answer. He hastily wrote "I can help - call me" on the back of his business card and we were off and running.

GivingFlite has always been a lean organization. Most of us have full-time jobs and many other responsibilities. We don't really have the time or manpower to take it to the next level. We want what we started to live on and to thrive! It is for that reason that I am pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2010 GivingFlite will become a part of Angel Flight Soars (formerly Angel Flight of Georgia) as they expand their operations in Alabama. Our pilots will continue flying but under the new name. It's a win-win for both organizations. The ultimate result will be even greater service and availability to those who need us.

Angel Flight Soars has helped us countless times since our inception with advice and resources. We have gained insights from their experienced management and staff. We have linked with them on numerous flights over the years and we know many of their pilots.

I will miss working with you all, but I am proud that we are handing over our legacy to an organization that will continue the good work and make us proud. The missions that we fly are bigger than us.

Linda Hill

President & Executive Director of GivingFlite 
For more information on Angel Flight Soars (Previously Angel Flight of Georgia), an ACA member, please visit their website at www.angelflightsoars.org
LightHawk Flies Above All!
Two Different Worlds 
Reprinted/Edited with permission from LightHawk Waypoint Newsletter
October 2009, Issue 34
The thrilling call of the Common Loon is inseparable from the idea of a North Woods experience. For many people, loons signify wilderness. For scientists with Maine Audubon and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the loon in the wild is a barometer measuring the effects of climate change, mercury and lead contamination in lakes, and land lost to development. When Audubon staff were concerned about loon population decline they turned to LightHawk.

Two Aerial Surveys

lake viewThe loon counting flight required coordinated flights over the many small and large lakes scattered throughout northern Maine that could provide habitat for loons. Photo: Susan Gallo/Maine Audubon/LightHawk



It had been 12 years since the last aerial survey counted loons in Maine. Research indicating lower chick productivity since then was raising concern about the actual population of loons in the region. The only way to find and count loons in densely forested northern Maine is in the late summer, via costly flights over every likely lake in the water-studded Maine woods. State of Maine resources were limited, so in partnership with state biologists, Maine Audubon requested flight support from LightHawk.

The LightHawk-Audubon team flew half the northern lakes in three segments over two days with the state team flying the remaining half. Volunteer pilot Pat Andrews characterized the missions as "some of the most intense and exciting flying I've done in years." Each team used slightly different methodologies to assess how best to approach future surveys. While official reports are pending, the LightHawk flights identified 73 birds on 44 lakes.

LightHawkNew York City Audubon's Liz Craig holds a Great Egret chick that has been outfitted with a transmitter labeled AP.  This bird's signal was heard at its South Brother nesting colony until July 6, 2009. 
Photo: New York City Audubon 
This summer, radio transmitters were attached to nine chicks. Normally, with highly mobile species like egrets, chicks are located using an antenna mounted on the strut of a high-wing plane, but FAA approval for mounting such equipment has become difficult. At the suggestion of LightHawk Program Manager Kelley Tucker, the Audubon team experimented with a hand-held antenna inside the plane cabin. Early in the first of three flights, the young bird seen above was the first signal to be clearly picked up and tracked. Others followed, adding to scientists understanding of the niche these birds have found in this dense urban environment.

     "In a few hours, we covered an area that would have taken days on the ground. The flight shed new light on how these birds use their colonies during the breeding season and prior to migration, and will be invaluable for local stakeholders as they guide development in this busy and highly valued region." Kate Ruskin, NYC Audubon, Research Technician


LightHawk will continue to support the work of Maine and New York City Audubon and other effective, solution-oriented groups as they work to protect birds and their habitats in our wild places and in our most populated backyards. In the end, as we protect them, we protect ourselves.

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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