"The Voice of Public Benefit Flying" sm
FF December 2011


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.



Attention Volunteer Pilots

We need your stories!

As most of us know, the good deeds of private aviation are largely unknown and unseen by a majority of Americans.  The media and general public often perceive General Aviation (GA) as a "rich person's hobby," and given today's economy we hear this more and more. Seldom mentioned is the positive impact GA has on the local and national economies. When the media does focus on GA, it is often the aftermath of an accident.


The good news is that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has authorized its long time public relations agency, Barton Gilanelli & Associates (BG), to tell the untold stories about the thousands of humanitarian missions flown by GA and the crucial role it plays in helping millions around the globe.


During the past several weeks BG has been building communications bridges with members of the Air Care Alliance (ACA). Through these relationships, BG is gathering information from ACA members about upcoming flights to determine media potential.


What can you do to help? Call or email Judith Eckles at BG 215-592-8601/Judith@bartgil.com) with your missions.  Call as far in advance of a mission as you can and provide Judith with as many facts as possible:


Who is the patient?
What is the patient's diagnosis?
Why does s/he require the services of an ACA member?
What are the dates of the flights?
From where to where?
What and where is the disaster?
What supplies/people/ etc. are you transporting?
What is one thing that makes this mission particularly urgent or interesting


The more information/ stories you provide to BG, the more opportunities we all have to get our stories told.

At the end of the day, it is hoped that when someone hears a small airplane flying overhead, that person will look up and instead of thinking, "Where is that airplane going?" will ponder, "I wonder who that pilot is helping today."





Rol Murrow

ACA Board Chairman

Emergency Volunteer

Air Corps


Charles (Lindy) Kirkland

ACA President 

Angel Flight East


Jim Weaver

ACA Vice President

Angel Flight West


Karen Halverson

ACA Secretary

 Lifeline Pilots


Jeff Kahn

 ACA Treasurer

Angel Flight East




Judy Benjamin

Angel Flight Central


Hume Davenport



Rick Durden



Sandy Johnson

Angel Flight Soars


Kevin Sell

Volunteer Pilots Association


Christopher St. Peter

Operation Angel Planes &

Angel Flight West


Gary St. Peter

Operation Angel Planes


 Bill Worden

ACA President Emeritus

Angel Flight West & EVAC






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. 


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


please send us your information so we can include you!

Proud Members
Angel Flight Central, Inc.
Angel Flight East
Angel Flight Northeast
Angel Flight Soars, Inc.
Angel Flight West
Angel Flight, Inc. (Oklahoma)
Aviation for Humanity
Badger Aviation Inc.
Bahamas Habitat
Children's Flight of Hope, Inc.
Dreams and Wings, Inc.
Emergency Volunteer Air Corps     .    (EVAC)
Hope Flight Foundation
LifeLine Pilots
Mercy Flight Southeast
Operation Angel Planes
Patient Airlift Services
Pilots for Christ, Inc.
Pilots for Patients
Sky Hope Network
Veteran's Airlift Command
Vital Flight, Inc.
Volunteer Mercy Pilots (MI)
Volunteer Pilots Association
Wings Flights of Hope
Wings for Children - SC
Wings of Mercy - Michigan (West)


Listing Only

Air Charity Network (ACN)

Airlift Hope of North Carolina
Airlift Hope of Tennessee
Angel Flight Australia
Angel Flight Europe
Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic
Angel Flight of Kentucky
Angel Flight of Maryland
Angel Flight of Michigan
Angel Flight of Ohio
Angel Flight of Vancouver Island (CANADA)
Angel Flight of Virginia
Angel Flight South Central
Angel Flight Southeast

Cair Flight, Inc.
Challenge Air for Kids & Friends
Christian Air Ministry
Civil Air Patrol
Cloud Nine Rescue Flights
Corporate Angel Network
EAA Young Eagles
Flights for Life, Inc.
Flying Paws
Flying Samaritans
Freedom Flight
Grace Flight
Grace on Wings
Help Four Paws
His Wings Aviation Ministries
Hope Air of Canada
Hope Wings Foundation

Houston Ground Angels & Pilots
International Shrine Aviation Assoc.
Kids Wings
Liga - Flying Doctors of Mercy
Medflight of Indiana, Inc.
Mercy Flight Alabama
Mercy Flight Indiana aka Wings of Mercy-Indiana
Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA)
Mercy Wings Network
Miracle Flights for Kids
Missions Made Possible
N.C. Baptist Men Aviation Ministry
Northwoods AirLifeLine LLC
Oklahoma Baptist Men Aviation Ministry
One Heart Missions Services
Pilots for Christ Intl.
Pilots N Paws

Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps
Servant Air Ministries (FL Chptr of Pilots for Christ)
SkyArk, Inc.
South Wings, Inc.
Wings for Children - PA
Wings of Hope, Inc.(MO)
Wings of Mercy - Minnesota


'Tis the season for ACA membership renewals...watch for your renewal notice early in January 2012.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Official Newsletter of the       
Air Care Alliance                     
December 2011
Holiday ornaments
Surviving Hard Times By
Telling Your Story
Rol Murrow
Rol Murrow, Chairman of the Board


Recently, based on feedback from our board members, our Air Care 2012 conference planning team decided that one main theme of the conference should involve the difficulty our organizations face because of the impact of the current economy on donations and on the ability of pilots to provide flights.  Thus we will have some discussions regarding how to best deal with such problems and we'll encourage a dialogue among the attending group representatives about how they are solving them and finding new sources of support, or on economizing.  We hope you will read the "save the date" article below and plan to attend Air Care to join that discussion.
We should all also realize that a very important part of maintaining and increasing support is simply to tell our stories!  Over and over we at the Air Care Alliance hear complaints that the public at large - and even the aviation industry - does not realize how valuable the volunteer flown public benefit missions are, to both those in need and to our communities.
So please pay special attention to the other article in this newsletter calling for the participation of your group and your pilots in AOPA's initiative to reach out to regional and national news media offering media coverage of flights helping others.  This is your group's opportunity to shine a big spotlight on the work of your volunteers, and to tell the story of public benefit flying.  Be sure to take advantage of it!   


Happy Holidays to all our members and friends and best wishes for a very prosperous, safe, and shining new year!  



Air Care Conference - Save the Date!


2012 Air Care Alliance Conference

April 13-14, 2011 

In Fabulous New Orleans!


New Orleans Photo

 Mark your calendars now to be in New Orleans for the annual Air Care Alliance Conference, April 13-14, 2012. In addition to the opportunity to learn from and rub shoulders with your colleagues who are serving in leadership roles in the public benefit flying, you will be able to experience the magic of one of the most exciting cities in the country!


 New Orleans is one of the world's most fascinating cities. Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond, its brilliant mosaic of culture, food and music will entice you. You'll find brimming bowls of gumbo, remarkable jazz, strolls through historic neighborhoods, and a rich and tantalizing culture. Come and experience one of America's most culturally and historically rich destinations.


Friday Evening
Your taste buds are in for a treat!  Tommy Cvitanovich, President of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, will be cooking his famous BBQ oysters, just for our group!  We will be going to Ernst Café, across the street from the hotel, where Tommy will cook for us and we will have our meet and greet. You can stay and dine at Ernst Café or visit one of the many restaurants in the French Quarter.

Saturday Night

We are very excited about visiting the National World War II Museum for dinner and a show.  On the Air is a rollicking rendition of a live radio broadcast from 1945.  The cast of five and a live band bring the era to life with a timeless musical score, comedy and more!  Go to www.nationalww2museum.org to find out more about the country's official World War II museum. Dinner seating 6pm, Show 8pm $60

Our hotel venue for the 2012 ACA Conference will be the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, located on the banks of the Mississippi River and adjacent to the famous French Quarter. Check it out at www.neworleansriversidehotel.com.  It also so happens that the annual French Quarter Festival is that weekend! www.fqfi.org. The ACA conference discounted room rate is $169 per night. That rate is available from Thursday, the 19th, through Sunday, the 22nd, so that you can come early and/or stay later to enjoy this festive city. Additional reservation information will soon be forthcoming, along with special activities for conference attendees.

Hilton Hotel New Orleans


Experience the best the Crescent City has to offer from the beautiful Hilton New Orleans Riverside. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, our full-service New Orleans French Quarter hotel is adjacent to the Convention Center, Riverwalk Marketplace and countless attractions and restaurants. Settle into sumptuous accommodations, and explore this "city within itself". Enjoy the expansive health club. Dine within legendary restaurants. Few French Quarter New Orleans hotels offer so much luxury in such a prime location.

Important Information

Reservations must be made no later than March 13, 2011. Call 1-800-HILTONS, specify Hilton New Orleans Riverside and use Group Code PFP.  You can also go to the following link to make your reservations online.


The conference itself will have its own brand of magic, offering you and your organization an opportunity to avail yourselves of such enriching topics and information as:

Operating your organization in this tough economic  climate
Developing your Board for maximum performance
Key elements of Strategic Planning, and why do it
Mission Coordinators Roundtable
Effective mobilization of volunteers
The essentials of budgeting and internal financial controls
Whys and hows of Risk Management


Block these dates in your calendars now and be
sure to attend what promises to be one of the
best Air Care Alliance Conferences
of all time!

ACA News & Updates


Above and Beyond Awards 


The annual Above and Beyond Ceremony to present the National Public Benefit Flying Awards by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the Air Care Alliance (ACA) was held on Thursday, September 15, 2011, in the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D C.

Jonathan Gaffney, President & CEO of the National Aeronautic Association, a non-profit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to  promoting public understand of the importance of aviation and space flight in the United States, opened the ceremony with a warm welcome.


Rol Murrow, Chairman and Lindy Kirkland, President of Air Care Alliance provided a brief history of the Air Care Alliance. They further shared that the NAA and ACA have designed these national awards to recognize the contributions of volunteer-based Public Benefit Flying and the outstanding work of individuals and groups engaged in this humanitarian activity.


Mr. Gaffney and Mr. Murrow Presented the

2011 Public Benefit Flying Awards:


Distinguished Volunteer Pilot - Dr. Lewis Young - For steadfast dedication to public benefit flying through his commitment to providing individuals with hope and interacting with Angel Flight Central passengers with a spirit of generosity, dedication and compassion.


Distinguished Volunteer - Dick Gooch - For his exemplary and longstanding volunteerism in public benefit flying on behalf of Angel Flight Central and its clients as a staff member, outreach ambassador, board member and advocate for patients, pilots and staff, as well as his service as handyman extraordinaire.

Distinguished Volunteer - Larry Lemke - For his tireless dedication providing more than 7,000 charitable hours of humanitarian flying and other volunteer service in his passion for helping the poorest of the poor realize their dreams and gain self-sufficiency.

Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying

- Bruce Robin Stoddard, Wright Flight, Inc., - For a quarter century of dedicated service to American children using aviation to help them discover that they have the Wright stuff.

Champion of Public Benefit Flying - 2010 Cessna Special Olympics Airlift - For giving wings to the hopes and dreams of America's

Special Olympic athletes.

All award recipients were in attendance to accept their awards and many with family members and close friends to share this very special time in this very impressive ceremony.

In conclusion, Mr. Gaffney congratulated all award recipients and thanked everyone for attending the ceremony.  He also invited all recipients and their families to dinner at the Union Station.


Please get the word out to your organizations and volunteers and submit those deserving volunteers for an award next year!  See the procedures at www.aircareall.org.


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


Air Care Alliance | 2060 State Highway 595 | Lindrith | NM | 87029

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