"The Voice of Public Benefit Flying" sm
FF October 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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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 artWinners announced for the 2012 Public Benefit Flying Awards!


The annual Above and Beyond Ceremony to celebrate the work of all Public Benefit Flying volunteers and organizations was held on Thursday, September 13, 2012, in the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D C.   A wonderful time was had by all!  


The event also provides the opportunity to present the National Public Benefit Flying Awards by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the Air Care Alliance (ACA).     


NAA President & CEO Jonathan Gaffney opened the ceremony with a warm welcome.  NAA is 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.
Rol Murrow, Chairman, and Lindy Kirkland, President, of the 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.


Acknowledgment and thanks were provided to those whose efforts made the Above and Beyond ceremony possible, especially Linda Daschle and our host legislator Senator Harry Reid.


Then Mr. Gaffney and Mr. Murrow Presented the 2012 Public Benefit Flying Awards: 


Distinguished Volunteer - Debi Boies - Pilots N Paws

- For her intense passion for neglected animals and creating and nurturing a national organization of volunteers transporting them from kill shelters to forever homes. 

Distinguished Volunteer - Larry Scheffler - Miracle Flights For Kids

- For decades of selfless dedication, turning miles into smiles for sick kids everywhere.


Champion of Public Benefit Flying - Lightspeed Aviation Foundation - Allan Schrader, President

- Recognizing Lightspeed's major contributions to all charitable aviation activities through promoting and enhancing the work of Public Benefit Flying groups and their volunteers who fly to help others.

Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying - Bob Showalter and Showalter Flying Service

- For outstanding support of public Benefit flying groups and their many volunteers flying to help others in times of crisis including the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and the Haitian earthquake.

Distinguished Volunteer Pilot - Del Reiff - Wings of Hope 

- For decades of dedicated service and more than 3,900 hours of flying to alleviate poverty and isolation; serving human needs around the world, from the war-torn Congo the jungles of the Amazon.

Distinguished Volunteer Pilot- Susan Lapis - SouthWings

- For her outstanding and longtime service generously using her aviation skills in protecting the natural heritage, communities, and ecosystems of the Southeast.


All award recipients were in attendance to accept their awards and many were accompanied by family members and close friends to share this very special time in this very impressive ceremony in our Nation's Capitol.


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 Thunder Grill in Union Station. The recipients and their family members and guests enjoyed meeting one another and learning more about the wide variety of missions and accomplishments that characterize public benefit flying.
Now it's your turn!  Please get the word out to your organizations and volunteers and submit those deserving volunteers and supporters for an award next year!   See the procedures at 







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


Be a Member of ACA today!

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Official Newsletter of the       
Air Care Alliance                     
October 2012

Emergency Preparedness
and YouRol Murrow
Rol Murrow, Chairman of the Board


Ever since our first conference at AOPA headquarters in 1990 we have enjoyed numerous presentations and panels concerning the involvement of volunteer pilots in disaster relief efforts.  As founder of EVAC, the Emergency Volunteer Air Corps, in 1987 I have enjoyed moderating and participating in those sessions, and am truly astounded and pleased how this kind of work has grown.

Pilots have served in many relief efforts, including the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 and the later Northridge Earthquake; various hurricanes including Hugo, Andrew, Katrina, and Rita; flying blood test kits, relief managers, and rescue dogs following the attacks of 9/11/11; and even taking on international flights to help out after the Haiti Earthquake.

Recently EVAC was contacted by a national interagency preparedness team responsible for patient transport efforts following disasters and we put together a team to go talk with them in Washington DC about their needs.  The bottom line is that they now understand how there are many groups and volunteer pilots ready to serve when needed, and they see a great collaboration for all of us in the future.    

Please continue building your own group's emergency preparedness planning and capabilities so you and your volunteers are ready to serve in a little bit different way when circumstances dictate that we all are called to help out following a major disaster.  Planning is the key to being of great help versus being in the way!


More news soon...

AOPA-ACA Safety Course

Lindy Kirkland

Charles Kirkland (Lindy), President of the Board


Well, we have some exciting news from the AOPA Summit this year.  We took the opportunity that Palm Springs provided to launch the AOPA-ACA Volunteer Pilot Safety Course that has been in the works for the last three years.  Go to the site and

take a look at the new course www.airsafetyinstitute.org/volunteerpilots.


We would very much appreciate any feedback you or your pilots may have on the course so if you have comments, please send them to me at lindy.kirkland@aircareall.org.  Additionally, the Fuel Reimbursement Committee had a very productive meeting with AFS-800 on the path forward for the fuel reimbursement implementation.  The next step will be a formal briefing in the January 2013 timeframe from ACA to the FAA with our recommendations and concerns.  At that time, we will also know if the FAA intends to have a formal comment period on this proposed rulemaking effort.  We appreciate all the comments that were received on this important issue and we are making every effort to represent all concerns in this area. 


Lastly, we had the opportunity to speak to the audience at Summit about the great work that each of your groups are doing.  The 45 minute presentation included me, Rol, Rick Durden, Alan Dias and Cheri Cimmarusti (AFW), and Cody Welch of Wings of Mercy each speaking about a facet of volunteer flying.  The highlight was a letter read by Cheri from a family that had been helped extensively by Angel Flight West and it spoke of how the many, many flights the family took helped preserve the sense of normalcy for the family and their small children throughout the illness of the father.  It was a very moving letter and really spoke to the heart of why we do what we do.  The overall presentation was very well received and we entertained many questions about public benefit flying throughout the three days of Summit.


Last month we enjoyed a wonderful Public Benefit Flying awards program at the United States Capitol. We had a very deserving group of recipients that represented a broad spectrum of the Public Benefit Flying community. They were but a small sample of the thousands of volunteer pilots and ground volunteers like each of you that are out there every day serving their communities. Thank you all for the great work you are doing.

2012 Public Benefit Flying Award Winners
winner 4

Distinguished Volunteer, Debi Boies

Pilots N Paws 


winner 3

Distinguished Volunteer, Larry Scheffler Miracle Flights For Kids


Champion of Public Benefit Flying - Lightspeed Aviation Foundation

Allan Schrader, President


winner 5
Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying - Bob Showalter and Showalter Flying Service


winner 2

Distinguished Volunteer Pilot, Del Reiff

Wings of Hope


Winner 1
Distinguished Volunteer Pilot, Susan Lapis SouthWings 



In the Media
Pilots make good stories great!


September is off to a great start with press coverage! Here are two stories that Barton Gilanelli got covered about two very special pilots.


The first story is about pilot Michael Lawless who flies for both Angel Flight Northeast and Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic.  On a recent Angel Flight Northeast mission, Michael took along a reporter from Jersey Man Magazine "  that resulted in "Angels in Flight" click here


Although not in the online version, there was also a full page Q & A where Michael did the Angel Flight organizations proud.  Here are a few of the questions with abbreviated answers. 


Q. How did you get involved with Angel Flight? 


A.  Angel Flight is a very well known organization . . . It turned out to be great flying for a great cause. 


Q.  Why do you do what you do for Angel Flight and what makes it personally rewarding for you? 


A.  We take a lot of children as passengers and that gets to be tough after a while. There was a period of about 6 - 12 months where I was considering not being active because you see a lot of kids with tough lives.  You know you are helping but it still leaves you with some emotion after the flight.  I am past that and try to make every flight as much fun as possible for those guys.  They are some of the toughest people in the world and I am just glad I have a chance to have some impact on their lives.  That feels good. 


Q.  Anything else people should know about Angel Flight?

A.  Angel Flight has a staff and office that coordinates all these flights.  You would be amazed at how much coordination goes on to get these flights off the ground.  . . They are constantly talking to passengers about changing schedules and lining up logistics to meet those needs . . . It really is a complicated network and managed very well . . .

What a great spokesman for charitable flying! 


Now let's head out to the middle of the country and the Wichita (KS) EagleAngel Flight Central pilot Charles Lloyd was recently featured in a profile on the first page of the business section.  While "A Conversation With Charles Lloyd" was mostly about business, Charles wrapped it up with the focus on general aviation and Angel Flight Central. Click here


Again, an amazing spokesperson for Angel Flight Central and general aviation.  We loved that he brought up the need for more pilots and more donations!


Do you have a pilot who would be a good spokesperson and willing to be interviewed by the media?  Call Barton Gilanelli & Associates at 215-592-8601 and ask for Judith Eckles.


Air Care Alliance Conference

April 26-27, 2013

Albuquerque, New Mexico


The Land of Enchantment will be the venue for the 2013 Air Care Alliance Conference. Grab your calendars now and ink in the dates of Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, 2013, for two great days with your charitable aviation friends and colleagues in the magical town of Albuquerque. For those of you who attended the 2007 conference in Albuquerque you will remember our stay in Old Town Albuquerque at the Hotel Albuquerque. We are returning to this same beautiful hotel at the inviting rate of $102, plus tax, per night, a price lower than we paid in 2007. They loved having this distinguished group then and are inviting us back with open arms. Check out the hotel at www.hotelabq.com


Old Town NM 

This rate will be available from Thursday night the 25th through Sunday night the 28th for those who may want to enjoy the New Mexico experience a bit longer. You may actually make your room reservations now. Call either (800) 237-2133 or (505) 843-6300. Reference the Air Care Alliance Annual Meeting or Block Code 1304AIRCAR.


In addition to a magnificent hotel, you'll experience the magic of Old Town Albuquerque and the enchantment of New Mexico. Of course you will also enjoy the camaraderie of your public benefit flying friends from across the country as we experience together the fun activities planned and the sessions that will deal with the issues you confront in providing leadership for your charitable aviation organization, as well as current aviation matters that impact your daily operations. Many more details to come later.


See you in Albuquerque in 2013! Save the dates now!

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Toll Free: 888-260-9707
Office Fax: 815-572-9192


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