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Flight Following October 2010
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!
MESSAGE FROM THE ACA PRESIDENT - CHARLES (LINDY) KIRKLAND
|What a Tailwind!
It's been a very busy summer to say the least. After our fantastic conference in Reno, we quickly moved to planning for our exhibit at EAA's AirVenture 2010. Again this year, we were provided, courtesy of EAA, prime real estate on the west side of Aero Shell Square. From this vantage point, we could watch the daily air shows and all the activity on Aero Shell Square. It also provided for a good flow of visitors throughout the week. Each day, our tent staff was augmented by the tremendous group of volunteers from the International Association of Mission Aviation (IAMA).
On the Tuesday of AirVenture, we were hosted by EAA's Government Relations Director, Randy Hansen for a meeting with representatives from all over the Volunteer Pilot community to discuss the NTSB recommendations and our response. We had a very productive discussion among those represented and this valuable input helped us formulate our final response to the NTSB. Thanks very much to Randy and the EAA for being such great hosts and accommodating our group.
Looking forward, we are very excited to be on the program again this year at the AOPA Summit in Long Beach, CA. (http://www.aopa.org/summit/) If you can make it to the West Coast November 11-13th, we would love to have you stop by our booth and say hello. We will also be presenting a forum titled Beyond the $100 Hamburger: Flying to Help Others. This forum will be held Friday, November 13 at 3:30 pm and will feature an all-star panel with Walt Fricke, Founder and Air Boss of the Veteran's Airlift Command; Alan Dias, Executive Director Angel Flight West; noted aviation author and attorney, Rick Durden; and our very own Rol Murrow. Come join us for a lively discussion and help us encourage others to participate in Public Benefit Flying.
Also at the AOPA Summit, we will be presenting the AOPA Foundation with a check for the first installment of the funding required for our Volunteer Pilot Safety Course.We have a long way to go to finish raising all the required funds, but this is a good faith effort to help get the project started.Thank you to all who have contributed so far and please continue to encourage other groups, individuals, and corporate entities to help sponsor this very important program.
Lastly, to all the volunteers and volunteer pilots out there: you are making a difference each day and we want to encourage you to continue serving your communities through charitable aviation.Your service continues to inspire others and your dedication in these tough economic times is commendable. Thank each and every one of you who are on the vanguard.
Public Benefit Aviation tent at AirVenture - Volunteers Discuss their Work
JEFF KAHN'S LEGAL CORNER
Air Care Alliance Responds to National Transportation Safety Board
On September 7, 2010, ACA responded to the Safety Recommendations letter of June 9, 2010 and issued recommendations to all known volunteer pilot organizations (VPO's).The NTSB made recommendations concerning (1) verification of pilot currency, (2) disclosures to passengers that volunteer flights were not regulated as commercial flights and (3) development of written safety guidance, best practices and training materials for volunteer pilots. These recommendations arose out of the NTSB's investigation of four accidents that occurred in 2007 and 2008 involving volunteer medical transport flights.
In response, ACA agreed in substance with the NTSB's recommendations and urged VPO's to adopt policies as best suited to their operations. In addition, ACA is teaming with the Air Safety Institute of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to develop the recommended safety materials and make them available to volunteer pilots. ACA is seeking the support of all VPO's in developing these materials. The NTSB recommendations came after a collaborative effort which included several meetings with members of the NTSB staff, Lindy Kirkland (ACA President) and Steve Craven of Air Charity Network.
In formulating its responses, ACA relied on input obtained from volunteer pilot groups beginning as early as December 4, 2008 when ACA convened a special meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, hosted by Angel Flight Central, to examine safety issues. ACA also solicited guidance from VPO's when it distributed the NTSB recommendations and received many helpful comments. ACA also received extensive feedback from groups attending a meeting at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this past July.
ACA is hopeful that the results of a collaborative process with the NTSB will lead to an enhanced level of safety without additional regulations that could impair the ability to VPO's to accomplish their mission.The complete texts of the NTSB recommendations, ACA's response and ACA's recommendations to VPO's can be found at
VPO Reps Meet at EAA AirVenture to discuss NTSB Recommendations.
2010 AIR CARE ALLIANCE RECAP
ACA takes over the Biggest Little City!
The "Biggest Little City in the World," Reno, Nevada, was the scene of the 2010 Air Care Alliance Conference, hosted by Angel Flight West. The Siena Hotel, situated on the edge of the Truckee River, welcomed 65 delegates from 19 public benefit flying organizations from across the country. Leadership personnel gathered to discuss current issues that impact charitable aviation, to learn of opportunities that they could implement in their organizations and to network with their colleagues in public benefit flying.
The day prior to the conference about 20 of the attendees shared a spectacular luncheon cruise on Lake Tahoe. The crisp blue sky and the rippling blue waters, ringed by the breathless beauty of the snow-covered mountains, were an amazing sight to behold and a glorious prelude to a magnificent weekend. The cruise day concluded with a warm opening reception as friends greeted old friends and new friendships were forged.
The main day of the conference provided a wide range of sessions on topics to benefit those who gathered with a common purpose of enhancing the services of their organizations. Safety issues dominated the morning schedule, with a lively panel discussion comprised of Judy Benjamin of Angel Flight Central, Jennifer Hotsko of Angel Flight East, and Alan Dias of Angel Flight West. The panel was moderated by Lindy Kirkland, President of ACA.
Presentations were focused on their organizations' responses to the safety dialog that has continued since the accidents of 2008. Following the panel dialog, a very informative session was given by Tim Burtch of the NTSB, who provided insights into the workings of the NTSB and shared his perspective on how the NTSB views the safety issues of public benefit flying. A vigorous discussion ensued regarding the fuel reimbursement exemption issues that were recently issued by the FAA. The morning was capped off by a presentation by Selena Shilad, the Executive Director of Alliance for Aviation Across America, regarding the Nationwide Economic Impact Survey.
The afternoon sessions were a potpourri of issues, opening with a panel, moderated by ACA Board Chair, Rol Murrow, and made up of representatives from CARE (Corporate Aircraft Responding to Emergencies) and Bahamas Habitat, providing an inspirational look at the variety of compassionate aviation responses to the recent earthquake in Haiti. Smaller workshops addressed critical issues of board development, fundraising and disaster response. The day and the conference concluded with a social hour and dinner in the fascinating setting of the National Automotive Museum with the spectacular Harrah collection of vintage vehicles. Aviation humorist and instructor, Cathe Fish, was the dinner speaker, providing ample laughter and aviation insights to wrap up another great Air Care Conference.
Save the Date Now for ACA 2011
In what seems like warp-speed time, Operation Angel Planes of Rhode Island, our host for ACA 2011, already has pretty-much wrapped up plans for our annual meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.
Marriott Providence Downtown where the event will be held next year from April 15th through April 17th, will include a day-long excursion for those interested attendees to the City by the Sea: Newport, Rhode Island. While the agenda for the national meeting has not been finalized as of the date of this newsletter, events seemingly would dictate that 'best practices' likely will be the focus of ACA 2011. Finally, instead of our trying to hype next year's event, we've decided to let this gem of a location speak for itself through our listing of a few e-sites that just might tell the story better than we ever could.
See you in Providence!
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