"The Voice of Public Benefit Flying" sm
FF March 2012


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.




Annual membership renewal information has been emailed. 


The Air Care Alliance needs your continued support - both financially and with your updated listing information.  'Thank you" to those of you who have already sent in your data and your dues.  For those of you who have not done so, please return your data sheet and your membership renewal as soon as possible.

The Air Care Alliance lists and makes referrals to all the groups we can find. If your volunteer pilot organization is not on the Listings Page at www.aircareall.org/listings.htm

or if you have not received your data sheet and invoice, please contact




Scroll below for a list of our 2012 proud members.




blue ribbon clip artCast your votes for the 2012 Public Benefit Flying Awards by May 31st

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the Air Care Alliance (ACA) created the National Public Benefit Flying Awards to recognize the significant contributions to the Nation of volunteer-based Public Benefit Flying and the outstanding work of the individuals and organizations engaged in this humanitarian activity. 

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.


The five awards categroies are:


-Distinguished Volunteer Pilot
-Distinguished Volunteer

-Outstanding Achievement


-Champion of Public Benefit Flying


 For complete information and nomination procedures please visit:


Nominations will be accepted via email only through May 31st
The awards ceremony will take place in Washington, DC this fall.  Watch your email for more nomination information!






On February 14, 2012 President Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, a long-awaited Re-Authorization bill to fund the Federal Aviation Administration.


Unfortunately, conflicting provisions in the House and

Senate versions giving liability protection to volunteer pilots and organizations were omitted entirely from the final bill.

However buried in the Bill is a Valentine's Day present for organizations that have been seeking to provide fuel reimbursements for its volunteers and do not have an exemption from the FAA.

§821 of the Act is a provision that requires the FAA to interpret FAR §61.113(c) to:

. . . allow an aircraft owner or operator to accept reimbursement from a volunteer pilot organization for the fuel costs associated with a flight operation to provide transportation for an individual or organ for medical purposes . . ."


Here are some key points:


1)A pilot flying medical patients or organs does not violate §61.113(c) merely by accepting fuel reimbursement from a volunteer pilot organization.


2) The FAA may (but is not

required to) issue regulations governing pilot standards (which it always had the power to do).  Of course, if they VPO's act responsibly, the FAA may see no pressing need to regulate.

3) The Act was effective immediately upon signing, without any action from the FAA.


4)In exemptions from granted to certain volunteer pilot organizations, the FAA has given us some indication of their viewpoint on safety standards where pilots receive reimbursement.  To review the exemptions, go to

http://aes.faa.gov/ and search by entering "61.113(c)" in the "Regulation" box.


More to come at Air Care 2012 in New Orleans!






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


Be a Member of ACA today!

Join Our Mailing List
Official Newsletter of the       
Air Care Alliance                     
March 2012
Dear Rol,

The Value of Sharing Information 
Rol Murrow
Rol Murrow, Chairman of the Board


Each year many leaders of public benefit flying groups enjoy sharing their experiences and practices at the Air Care Conference.
In addition most of the groups, whether ACA members or not, understand the importance of completing our annual survey of operations so we can report to the media and the public how many flights are provided by volunteer pilots to help those in need and our communities.
Another very important value of sharing your group's information is to emphasize to our elected officials and to agencies such as the FAA and NTSB the scale of our charitable activities and how important they are to those served by our volunteers.
Many of your groups have provided us information requested by the NTSB in response to their recommendations for enhanced safety, following a few tragic accidents several years ago.
We will be discussing how groups ensure best practices for their staff and pilots at this year's conference.  In addition we will be sending out a survey form for all groups to indicate how they may be responding to the NTSB recommendations.
Please work with your own group's leaders to make sure the survey is completed and your information is shared.  You will help both your group, all your volunteers, and all those in other groups by participating in the survey! 

Friends of the Air Care Alliance

Lindy Kirkland

Charles Kirkland (Lindy), President of the Board


It has been a busy year since our terrific Air Care Conference last year in Providence and we are making final preparations for another outstanding event in New Orleans


Philip Thomas and Pilots for Patients have pulled out all the stops and everyone who attends is in for a huge dose of good ole' "Suthun Hospitality."  


The ACA Board has also been working hard on finishing our Web project and our AOPA/ACA Online Safety Course that we have all been waiting for. 


The nationwide media project is in full swing and if you have been watching the blogs, you have seen a tremendous upswing in the amount of print and TV coverage on your wonderful Public Benefit Flying activities.  Keep up the great work in getting the word out. 


Speaking of recognition, we are announcing the opening of nominations for the National Aeronautic Association Pubic Benefit Flying Awards.  The nominations period is open and I encourage each and every one of you to nominate one of your fellow volunteers or a derserving group.  These awards are a wonderful way to honor those who are doing so much to help their fellow citizens out.  Thanks for all you are doing and I hope you can join us in April for a wonderful time in New Orleans!


Air Care Conference - Register Now!

Pilots for Patients

is proudly hosting the

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.


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.


NOTE: The conference hotel is now full!  There are other hotels with rooms nearby and in nearby communities.  Because of the area festival they are filling up fast. Please run a search and book your rooms now.  Some hotels with rooms as of March 20 are: the Four Points Sheraton located in Metairie 3 miles from the New Orleans airport and 9 miles from the French Quarter www.starwoodhotels.com; also the Wyndham, the Holiday Inn French Quarter, and the Royal St. Charles near the Hilton. Most of the more affordable hotels seem to be out near the airport.

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


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:

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


Media At Work
BG Logo
Visibility Can Bring New Clents and New Donors
As you probably know by now, several months ago AOPA
asked its public relations agency, Barton Gilanelli & Associates (BG), to convince local and national media to do stories about Air Care Alliance members and their missions.
Click on the following links and you'll see several recent examples of BG's efforts to generate local coverage. The groups mentioned are reporting tremendous enthusiasm from the public for their work as a result of the articles!
Gloucester County Times in New Jersey (Click here)
Grand Rapids Press (Click Here)
The Main Line Times, a suburban Philadelphia newspaper (Click Here)
To help them help you, you'll be receiving an email from Judith Eckles, BG's senior PR account executive.  The email is a media pitch with blanks for you to fill in the details. Of course you can also provide additional facts and information.  Most importantly, BG asks that you provide the details for a compelling mission. They will take that info and turn it into a creative pitch intended to motivate the media to do a story.
Working together, their goal is to get your local media to do stories just like the one you read a few moments ago.  This story resulted from a media pitch that included information similar to what they're asking for now. 
Let BG help you raise your visibility in the community to help you to get new pilots, new patients and new donors!
ACA Member Spotlight
Wings of Mercy 
   Wings of Mercy
   Eastern Michigan
Incorporated in 1995 Wings of  Mercy East Michigan provides free air transportation in private aircraft to and from medical centers for individuals who otherwise would not be able to travel. The organization has traveled 38.9 times around the world for their patients. They serve the Eastern half of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. 


Flights are coordinated utilizing a Virtual Private Network that links their Flight Coordinator and Screener.  Wings of Mercy East Michigan does reimburse their volunteer pilots for fuel per an FAA exemption letter specific to the organization. 
Founder and President, Cody Welch, shares his favorite story - "This past year I was given the opportunity to fly 'Helen' from Asheville, NC to Oscoda  MI.  'Helen', a slightly built woman in her late 60's was delivered to the FBO in AVL via ambulance from the hospital.  Her entire worldly possessions were contained within two small suitcases.  She has cancer in her spine and required a large quantity of medical oxygen.

'Helen' boarded our single engine Jetprop and immediately engaged our crew with her wit and humor.  She spent the majority of the flight staring out the window, obviously deep in thought.  At one point she blurted out a question on our intercom..  "Do you know why I am flying to Oscoda?" I answered no, we don't... She responded that she was going to live with her friend. Nothing else was offered. 
After shutting down in Oscoda on this clear winter day, an original Chevy Suburban came rumbling up to the plane.  This vehicle was completely rusted out, the windows were hazed over and it was riding quite high in the nose with the rear shocks completely depressed.  A late 60's gentleman with a large white beard exited the vehicle and immediately pulled me aside to talk.  He inquired about whether I knew what was going on. When I said no and that we respect the privacy of our recipients, he asked if he could share his story.
He said that he and 'Helen' had been in love as younger people and that he should have married her 40 years earlier.  Life got in the way and the two went different directions.  His wife had died within the past year and he recently learned that his first true love was also dying and penniless without family. He told me that there was no way that this fine lady would spend the rest of her days alone and that he was going to love her and take care of her. 
At that point he greeted 'Helen' for the first time in 40 years.  The look on her face will be forever etched in my mind.  My final memory of this flight is of 'Helen' sitting in that Suburban with her first boyfriend, bearing a grin that was all telling.  They drove away like teenagers in love. All was right in their world.
To learn more about Wings of Mercy East Michigan, visit their website at www.wingseastmi.org
Wings of Michigan 
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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