Angel Flight of Texas

Angel Flight of Texas


What is Angel Flight?
Who are the Angel Flight Members?
Whom does Angel Flight transport?
How are Angel Flight missions requested?
What kind of aircraft does Angel Flight use?
How far will Angel Flight fly on a mission?
What are the liability concerns?
What about insurance?
Who pays for the flights?
How do I join?
What happens if I volunteer and then can't fly a mission?
Are there regular meetings?
Can Angel Flight use non-pilot members?
How can pilots and volunteers contact Angel Flight?

What is Angel Flight?

Angel Flight is an organization of pilots and other volunteers dedicated to serving the community by providing free transportation on private aircraft to people who cannot access normal, commercial transportation. Angel Flight also provides services to blood, organ and tissue banks.

Angel Flight is a member of Air Care Alliance, an umbrella organization dedicated to public benefit flying. Other members of ACA include the Environmental Air Force, Air Life Line, Pilots for Christ, and several other Angel Flight organizations, among them Angel Flight of Florida.

Angel Flight is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.

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Who are the Angel Flight members?

Members of Angel Flight are private pilots (aircraft owners and renters) and non-pilot volunteers whose common interest is serving their community.

Although not a requirement, instrument ratings are encouraged as it permits missions under a wider range of conditions. Less experienced and student pilots are encouraged to participate by flying as co-pilots.

Interested non-pilot volunteers (including the non-pilot spouses of pilot members) are also very welcome. Non-pilot members are eligible to act as "co-pilots" on missions, in order to assist with the patient. There is also a substantial amount of pre-flight preparatory work for which everyone's help is appreciated.

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Whom does Angel Flight Transport?

Angel Flight offers transportation to people whose medical problems make it necessary for them to travel for diagnosis or treatment, and who cannot access normal, commercial transportation. Angel Flight will also carry, without regard to financial need, people whose condition or location makes it difficult or impossible for them to use other means of transportation.

Typical examples of Angel Flight missions include carrying cancer patients for chemotherapy, surgery, or other treatment between their home and the treatment facility; carrying people with kidney problems to obtain dialysis or kidney transplants; and carrying patients with heart problems for specialized diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.

The patients flown by Angel Flight must be ambulatory and medically stable. They must be able to get in and out of the aircraft on their own (or with limited assistance), sit up for the duration of the flight, and not require medical treatment during the flight.

Patients may have a friend or family member accompany them, and with prior Angel Flight approval, they may be accompanied by a nurse or carry oxygen cylinders or other medical equipment.

Angel Flight pilots also transport corneas, blood, and other tissue.

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How are Angel Flight missions requested?

Most requests for Angel Flight missions come from the social service workers or discharge planners at hospitals and health care agencies. Calls also come from charitable organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. We also get referrals from related aviation-oriented charities such as the Corporate Angel Network and Air Life Line. These are agencies that generally work with people who are financially needy (or have become so due to the cost of treating their illness).

By using the expertise of these agencies and their personnel, a determination is made that a person meets the medical and/or financial-need criteria and thus justifies the pilot's donation of time and flying expenses.

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What kind of aircraft does Angel Flight use?

Most Angel Flight aircraft are single- or twin-engine, propeller-driven aircraft. They range from two-seat homebuilt models (used for non-passenger missions) to pressurized cabin class aircraft.

The majority of our missions are flown in single-engine, four-seat aircraft. Most mission requests we get are well within the capability of such aircraft. A pilot doesn't need either a large or a fast airplane to be of assistance to most people who seek Angel Flight's help.

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How far will Angel Flight fly on a mission?

Most of Angel Flight of Texas' destinations tend to be either the M. D. Anderson Clinic in Houston, the Burn Center in Galveston, The Cancer Research Institute in San Antonio, and the Blood Care Center in Dallas. As such, the average Angel Flight of Texas mission is 400-600 nm, although some as short as 200 nm are periodically available.

Angel Flight of Texas serves Texas and adjacent states, with occasional longer missions. Missions are not accepted to destinations outside the United States. Affiliated organizations scattered across the country can in some cases relay patients or cargo. Occasionally, Angel Flight will coordinate with corporate or commercial flights for longer distances. In such cases our role is often to bring a patient from a remote location not served by public transportation to a major airport.

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What are the liability concerns?

Flights made for Angel Flight have the same status as any flight made with passengers by a private pilot under Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. There is no greater liability when flying a passenger for an Angel Flight mission than when flying a friend or neighbor.

Further, Texas' Good Samaritan laws provide additional protection for Angel Flight members engaged in Good Samaritan activities.

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What about insurance?

All Angel Flight pilots, whether aircraft owners or renters, are required to have liability insurance in order to fly as the pilot in command of a mission. Angel Flight does not carry additional aircraft liability insurance.

Because Angel Flight pilots receive no financial compensation for their services, the flights are non-commercial and covered under a pilot's normal liability policy. As an added precaution, all passengers flown by Angel Flight sign a waiver of liability naming both the pilots and the Angel Flight organization.

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Who pays for the flights?

The pilot in command is responsible for all mission costs. These costs may be tax deductible as a charitable donation for many pilots.

Several FBOs offer fuel discounts for pilots who are on Angel Flight missions. Among the more notable are Millionair at ADS, United Beech at HOU and SAT, and Cutter Beachcraft at MAF.

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How do I become a member?

Call Angel Flight for a copy of the application form. Simply fill out the form and send it in. You will be notified by phone or mail.

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What happens if I volunteer and then can't fly a mission?

A pilot is free to decline any mission, whether for financial, scheduling, weather, or personal reasons. Pilots are encouraged to recognize their limits, and to fly only when they feel completely comfortable doing so.

When unable to fly as PIC, pilots can participate by flying as co-pilots.

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Are there regular meetings?

Yes. General member meetings occur twice a year - the next one will be on September 21 in Lancaster. Speakers are being contacted, but we promise to make this an exciting affair. While not mandatory, these gatherings are an opportunity to meet other Angel Flight members and to learn more about aviation.

There's usually a post-meeting meal, where members have a chance to socialize, tell about recent mission experiences, and do a bit of hangar flying. There is also time set aside for socializing. Refreshments are served, and guests are always welcome. Occasionally, our meetings are conducted at places of particular interest to pilots such as a flight service stations and/or approach control facilities.

Additionally, the Board of Directors meets the second Friday of each odd month to discuss Angel Flight business and set strategy for future growth.

For the exact time and location of our next member or board meeting, call the Angel Flight office. Everyone is welcome to attend any meeting as a guest.

Angel Flight of Texas also tries to participate at fly-ins and other aircraft exhibitions. Volunteers to man the booth are always appreciated.

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Can Angel Flight use non-pilot members?

Yes! Enthusiastically, yes! Many non-pilots join because of their enthusiasm for the mission of Angel Flight. Non-pilot members often fly along on missions to give attention to the patients being flown. Non-pilots also assist Angel Flight in their own areas of expertise and interest such as writing, computers, mission coordination, telephoning, fundraising and planning special events.

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Angel Flight of Texas

Angel Flight of Texas
Lancaster Airport
Suite 204
730 Ferris Street
Lancaster, TX 75164-5504

972/227-WING (9464)
972/227-9465 - FAX

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