"The Voice of Public Benefit Flying" sm
FF July 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! 

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"To see this fully formatted newsletter online please click here."

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.




Don't forget to send in your annual renewal today!


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.




Scroll below for a list of our 2012 proud members.




blue ribbon clip artVotes are in for the 2012 Public Benefit Flying Awards!

Thank you to every individual and organization that submitted a nominee or nominees for an award this year.

There were 8 nominees for Distinguished Volunteer Pilot and 3 nominees for Distinguished Volunteer.

Nominations were also received for Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying, and Champion of Public Benefit Flying.

The Selection Committee met on July 2, 2012. The high caliber of the nominees made the decision process very challenging for the committee!

Please watch for an announcement of the honorees very soon. 


The official 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!

ACA Member Groups
Angel Flight Central
Angel Flight East
Angel Flight Northeast
Angel Flight Soars
Angel Flight South Central
  aka Grace Flight
Angel Flight West
Angel Flight of Oklahoma
Badger Aviators
Bahamas Habitat
Children's Flight of Hope
Dreams and Wings
Emergency Volunteer Air Corps
Hope Flight Foundation
Houston Ground Angels
LifeLine Pilots
Operation Angel Planes
Patient Airlift Services
Pilots for Patients
South Wings
Veteran's Airlift Command
Vital Flight
Volunteer Pilots Association
Wings Flights of Hope
Wings of Mercy East Michigan
Wings of Mercy - West Michigan


Also in Our Listings


Air Charity Network

Air Mercy

Angel Flight Alberta

Angel Flight Australia

Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic

Angel Flight Southeast

Angel Flight of Vancouver Island

Aviation for Humanity

Cair Flight

Challenge Air for Kids & Friends

Christian Air Ministry

Civil Air Patrol

Cloud Nine Rescue Flights

Corporate Angel Network

EAA Young Eagles

Flights for Life

Flying Paws
Flying Samaritans

Freedom Flight
Grace on Wings

Help Four Paws

His Wings Aviation Ministries

Hope Air of Canada

Hope Wings Foundation

International Shrine Aviation

Kids Wings

Liga - Flying Doctors of Mercy

Los Medicos Voladores

Medflight of Indiana

Mercy Flight Alabama

Mercy Flight Indiana

  aka Wings of Mercy-Illiana

Mercy Flight Southeast

Mercy Medical Airlift and its

  fully administered subgroups

Mercy Wings Network

Miracle Flights for Kids

Missions Made Possible

NC Baptist Men Aviation Ministry

Northwoods AirLifeLine

One Heart Missions Services

Pilots for Christ International

Pilots N Paws

Remote Area Medical 

  Volunteer Corps

Servant Air Ministries

Sky Hope Network


Volunteer Mercy Pilots

Wings for Children - SC

Wings of Hope

Wings of Mercy - MN


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Official Newsletter of the       
Air Care Alliance                     
July 2012
Air Care 2012 - Another Great ConferenceRol Murrow
Rol Murrow, Chairman of the Board


We all owe our Air Care 2012 Host Group Pilots for Patients,  especially Philip and Sharon Thomas and Angela Doles our tremendous thanks for their hospitality and organizing skill in presenting our annual conference this year in beautiful New Orleans.  

Dozens of representatives from many groups came together to share their ideas and experiences and hear presentations on a variety of topics highly useful in administering our organizations and better telling the stories of our wonderful volunteers.

If you have any doubt about the value of attending an Air Care event please talk with some of this year's attendees.  In addition to all the useful information we were also provided great social opportunities to get to know one another, put faces to names, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city of New Orleans.

For a review of the proceedings please visit our Air Care 2012 Page by clicking here 

And - be sure to join us next year at Air Care 2013! 

Updates and Upward Progress

Lindy Kirkland

Charles Kirkland (Lindy), President of the Board


We are closing in on the final edits for the ACA/AOPA Volunteer Pilot Safety Course! A small team of reviewers looked over the Beta version of the course this past week and made several edits.  Most of the comments were very positive and indicate that the final product should be something of which we all can be proud.  This has been a long, long process, mainly due to a shortage of staff at AOPA and the company hired to do the development of the course.  But we are almost done!!


Several weeks ago, Rol, Jeff and I met with representatives of the FAA (AFS 800) at FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC regarding the Fuel Reimbursement issue.  They were very receptive to our concerns and expressed a willingness to work with the Air Care Alliance on a solution that would improve on the current waiver process.  As a result of that meeting, Rick Durden, Cody Welch, Jeff and I are working on a white paper to present to the FAA in the near future that will start the dialogue on how to make the reimbursement process less onerous and more accessible than the current waiver system.


For those of you who will be attending AirVenture this year, the Air Care Alliance will be presenting a seminar at 2:30 on Tuesday, 24 July in the Vette Theater located inside the EAA Museum. Please come out and show your support.  Also, we will be stopping by the booths of those groups who are displaying at AirVenture.

Hope to see you there!

In the Media
Look at
all the


We are nearly half way through the year and the AOPA Charitable Flying Public Relations Program is soaring!  

Print Campaigns 

Barton Gilanelli & Associates has been going though our list of charitable flying organizations and pitching them to the media in selected areas where they fly.  In early May, Angel Flight Northeast was pitched in Maine, Life Line Pilots in Colorado and Angel Flight Central in Missouri.  So far this strategy has generated 10 stories and two more are pending.   

Here is an example of one of the stories from Maine that appeared in the Kennebec Journal and The Morning Sentinel.  Click here

An Associated Press (AP) reporter wrote about a mission for Angel Flight West.  The story ran in the Bend, Oregon Spokesman Review, and on the website of WBNS-TV, CBS affiliate (Columbus, Ohio) and in the Washington Examiner, also based in Bend, OR.  Click here

Angel Flight South Central volunteer pilot Jason Tuggle was profiled in the Austin's Texas American Statesman.  Click here 


As mentioned in our last update, the story about Angel Flight East appeared in a Philadelphia paper, the Chestnut Hill Local. Click here

TV Campaigns

On May 31, Angel Flight Soars volunteer pilot Welles Murphey flew a baby from Savannah, Georgia to Miami to receive an organ transplant.  Here's the story that was done by Savannah's Channel 22, an affiliate of both FOX and ABC. Click here

Moving forward, I strongly suggest that you consider missions to discuss with Barton Gilanelli.  Is there a region in your service area where you would like them to pitch the media about your organization?
Just call Barton Gilanelli at 215-592-8601 and ask for Judith Eckles or email her at judith@bartgil.com and let her know in which of your service areas you'd like to raise your visibility. 

Don't forget we are also looking for your missions. Contact Judith with your missions to see if they're worthy of a media pitch.  Getting stories about your organization is a very powerful way to get more patients, pilots and, of course, more money.
Lastly, to date the Charitable Flying PR Program is responsible for 37 stories that have reached more than 6 million people.  The future of the program looks bright.  Many of you have already seen the direct benefits of these stories. 

ACA Member Spotlight


Patient Airlift Services of Farmingdale, NY


Although Patient Airlift Services (PALS) is one of the newest Volunteer Pilot Organizations (VPO) to be formed and join the ACA, many of the PALS Board members and pilots have a long history of involvement with other VPO's.  We at PALS believe strongly in transparency, honoring the donations of time and money from those who are a part of the PALS Team and the collaborative efforts in joining an organization such as the ACA.  Combining all of the above allows us to keep the mission at the forefront and serve those in need of our services more powerfully.  

PALS mission is twofold, to serve our patients and our pilots.  To best serve the individuals that turn to us for help, PALS listens to each patient with care and compassion.  Our mission coordinators do everything possible to fill a flight request.  When PALS does arrange a flight,  we do our best to ensure that the patient has ground transportation and appropriate accommodations.  If it is not possible for PALS to arrange a flight,our staff refers the patients to one of our counterparts in another region or to an appropriate resource.  Our mission staff maintains a list of referral resources to ensure that we can provide any information that may be helpful to our patients.  


PALS is very thankful for all of the support we have received from our friends at the ACA, including access to the Angel Flight West AFIDS mission coordination system, and receiving advice on best practices from all of the ACA members especially Angel Flight Soars and Angel Flight Central.  Thanks to the PALS board, their knowledge and connections, the dedication of the PALS staff and volunteer pilots, coupled with the support we have had from our friends at the ACA, we have experienced some amazing growth since our inception in 2010, quadrupling the number of flights we arranged -- from 400 in our first year to over 1,600 to date!
To best serve or honor our volunteer Pilots and "Auto" Pilots we have formed a completely volunteer board which has oversight for all financial transactions, ensuring proper use of all donated services and funds.  We additionally work to have all flight related fees waived, ask for fuel discounts when possible, and have advised our pilots that we will pay for any hotel expenses incurred should a situation arise that would compromise the safety of the flight. 
Finally, PALS petitioned the FAA for fuel reimbursement at the suggestion of some of our pilots, our petition was granted, and in April of 2012 we issued the first reimbursement check to a pilot who did a flight that was qualified under the exemption.  It should be noted that we have decided NONE of the PALS Board Members who are pilots are eligible for the Fuel Reimbursement,  and also that our pilots do NOT have to fundraise to be reimbursed.  They are paid out of a general fund. 
Our pilots are encouraged to be a part of small town pilot dinners held throughout the Northeast and participate in any other PALS activities that might allow for the chance to meet other PALS pilots.  The PALS Board and Staff are simply representatives for all of the volunteers who are PALS, and will continue to do our best to serve them well.
A Notable Story of PALS Services:
Far too often, PALS mission coordinators have received calls from people saying, "If I had only known of your services sooner...."For one family that contacted PALS with this sentiment, the situation was critical.  Over Thanksgiving weekend, PALS received a frantic Facebook post from the parents of a 5 year-old boy with Neuroblastoma living in Virginia.  They had recently learned from their doctors in Virginia that their son had a life-threatening tumor that had to be removed immediately.  Unable to perform the surgery in Virginia, the doctors made an appointment for the boy with team ofsurgical specialists in New York.  The family could not afford to fly to New York to help their son. A PALS staff person saw the post and promptly began calling pilots. Understanding the critical nature of the call, a PALS pilot accepted this mission, leaving New Jersey to pick the family up in Virginia and bring them to New York.  This emergency flight and the numerous subsequent trips from Virginia to New York resulted in the best possible outcome for this young boy: he is now N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease).
PALS' hope for the future is that we continue on a path of increased awareness for the services we provide, growth in our pool of volunteer pilots, continued financial support from individuals and corporations, and expanded collaborations with other organizations including our friends at the Air Care Alliance.
To learn more about Patient AirLift Services, PALS, visit our website at www.palservices.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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