June 21, 2012
When patients need transportation for chemotherapy treatments, abuse victims need to be relocated, or organs need to be flown to a hospital to be used in life-saving surgeries, volunteer pilots from Angel Flight Southeast often step in. The organization helps those who are financially distressed or can’t travel by other means of transportation to get to the medical care they need. Angel Flight Southeast was recognized recently with the 2012 Healthcare for Heroes Award in the Institution/Program category by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
More than 650 pilots are members of the nonprofit organization and volunteer their time, aircraft, and fuel to fly patients. Each year, those pilots fly a total of 1,500 missions in the Southeast. Missions are limited to within 1,000 miles of the patient’s home airport, with pilots flying legs up to 300 miles before transferring the patient to another volunteer pilot.
According to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, “The awards program honored individuals, institutions, professionals, students, volunteers and programs who through their individual or collective actions have made an extraordinary impact in the South Florida health care community.”
Pilot Skip Gibbs regularly uses his Bonanza A36 to bring medical volunteers and supplies to remote areas of Mexico. Just before sunset, Gibbs was flying to the historic city of El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa where LIGA International Flying Doctors of Mercy has been doing good works since 1934.
The GACE Flying Club, which grew from a club for Grumman employees, prides itself on offering members low-cost, safe flying and social events.
Crosswinds Aviation partners with Michigan’s Howell High School and the Young Eagles to create a GA education program.