Monthly Archives: May 2014

2013 Annual Report

Congratulations on another outstanding year for Angel Flight West!

Your help and support in 2013 enabled Angel Flight West to continue its invaluable work in arranging free air transportation to those with critical healthcare or social needs. Our 2013 Annual Report tells our story by the numbers, by the people we serve, and by the donors and pilots who make our “miracles of flight” possible.

This is your organization. Angel Flight West would not be what it was in 2013 without your passionate help and support. Please share this with your family, friends, and community. Help us tell our story so more people can participate in the life changing work we are doing. We can’t wait to see our accomplishments in 2014 and beyond!

annual report

AFW Kickstarter – We Still Need Help!

We need your help! We’re participating in a Kickstarter project that will enable us to expand our ground transportation services. The cost of a cab is preventing many of our passengers from seeking the treatment they need. This fundraiser would allow for critical enhancement to open source software used by 10 charities that would enable scheduling of volunteer drivers who drive their on cars. We have 22 days left to reach our fundraising goal so that we can help more people.

If you are not able to donate at this time, please help us spread the word about this project through social media on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or any other website you may use to connect with friends and family. 

Please check out our video  about the program below .

Auto-Pilots Video 

To learn more about the project and to donate, please visit our kickstarter page:


Lightspeed Aviation Foundation Contest

Lightspeed Aviation Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2014 Pilot’s Choice Awards. Angel Flight West has been named one of 15 finalists selected out of hundreds of nominees! The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation will administer grants to the top-voted charity organizations out of these 15 finalists. Selected charities will receive up to $10,000!

Keeping the commitment to providing this crucial resource for passengers requires having in place all of the components needed to make each flight happen. It takes a full time staff to receive, manage, and administer the flood of inquiries and requests, as well as to coordinate volunteers and contact healthcare organizations. It also takes financial resources to make the phone calls, send the faxes, print the forms, create and maintain the website, stay in contact with myriad organizations, coordinate operations among widely distributed Wings, recruit pilots, and to do the dozens of other tasks that make every flight possible. Angel Flight West’s financial support consists of generous gifts from many of our members, our annual golf tournament, and support from a wide away of foundations. This is where you can help us…


About Lightspeed Aviation Foundation

Lightspeed Aviation is a leading manufacturer of premium aviation headsets. Since introducing its first product at EAA AirVenture in 1996, Lightspeed has established a reputation for leading innovation in aviation headsets with a number of first to market advances, including Bluetooth® integration, Auto Shutoff™, and, with Zulu PFX, Streaming Quiet™ ANR. This has earned Lightspeed a loyal customer following among professional, commercial, and private pilots.

Lightspeed also creates shared values with both employees and customers by generously participating in corporate charity matching programs and through its funding of the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation, which supports growth and compassion-related causes with an aviation focus.

“The Pilot’s Choice Awards promotes engagement and awareness for our finalists to pilots and their constituents affected by general aviation.” says Allan Schrader, Lightspeed Aviation president. “By encouraging outreach by our finalists, we have witnessed hundreds of thousands of lives touched through aviation. We’re excited about the impact each of these organizations are having in their areas of service.”

Pilot’s Choice Awards (Foundation Grants)

  • Foundation candidates can be nominated by any member of the aviation community. Nominations run from November through January 31st each year.
  • Applications to apply for the Pilot’s Choice Grant Program are available to fill out November through early February.
  • After a grant application has been processed, grant candidates will be evaluated to assure harmony with the foundation mission and their track record and capacity to leverage the Pilot’s Choice Program.
  • The selected finalists are contacted by Lightspeed Aviation Foundation and an official announcement is made each spring at Sun ‘n Fun.
  • The selection of the top charities will be determined through online voting. One vote per person.
  • Foundation Grants are announced and awarded in November.


Endeavor Awards 2014 Recap

Sunday May 4, 2014 was the first annual Endeavor Awards celebrating public benefit aviation. Over 400 guests were in attendance at the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion in the California Science Center to celebrate the good that aviation does. Highlights from the star-studded event are included below. 


2014 Award Winners

Jeff Hendricks

Veteran’s Airlift Command/Angel Flight West

Jeff Hendricks - 2014 Endeavor Award Winner

 When asked about why he is a volunteer pilot, Jeff is quick to say that he feels very fortunate to utilize his own good fortunes and passion for flying to pay it forward to those who need to reach medical care, and to our veterans and their families.

Jeff Hendricks was nominated by Veterans Airlift Command, a volunteer pilot organization which provides free air transportation to post 9/11 combat veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes. In 2013 he flew 24 missions for VAC and has flown a total of 67,720 mission miles.

Many of his missions are coast to coast, a great fit for his Lear which he originally started flying for his fishing business in Alaska.One of his most memorable flights was flying Tyler Jeffries, a double amputee veteran, across the country from Washington D.C. to Ft. Lewis in Seattle to meet his unit as they returned from Afghanistan. Because of the efforts of Jeff and Veterans Airlift Command, Tyler was able to meet his unit standing up.

Joe DeMarco, Sr.

Wings Flights of Hope
Joe DeMarco, Sr. - 2014 Endeavor Award Winner

Joe was introduced to volunteer flying by a friend. Joe was invited for what he thought was casual day of flying. Upon landing, they were greeted with tears of joy and gratitude from a mother and her child suffering from a spinal tumor. Joe was unprepared for the impact of this experience. He became a volunteer pilot in 2004 and has flown 1,165 missions.

Joe DeMarco Sr. is President of DeMarco Construction Management, Inc. and the Founder of Wings Flights of Hope.

Joe founded Wings Flights of Hope in 2010. He flies a mission almost daily and his wife, Diane, is the Mission Coordinator. Together with his son, Joe DeMarco, Jr. and 17 other volunteer pilots, they are on call 24/7 for passengers in need.

One of Joe’s most memorable flights was for a boy named Luke with a double-lung transplant. While waiting to go home from a hospital, Luke explained to the paramedics that his personal pilot was on his way. Joe says that being there for Luke as “his own pilot” really rewards him as a volunteer.

Joe Howley

Patient Airlift Services (PALS)
Joe Howley - 2014 Endeavor Award Winner

Joe Howley is Co-Founder, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Patient Airlift Services. Joe says that his dedication to PALS “comes from seeing firsthand how much need there is and the qualitative difference we are making in people’s lives.”

Joe has been a volunteer pilot for over 15 years. He has flown over 500 flights for PALS and previously for another VPO. He has dedicated extraordinary time and energy to hosting fundraising events and making presentations to business groups and local organizations explaining the work of volunteer pilots.

One of the highlights of his experiences as a volunteer pilot was flying back and forth for two weeks during the Haitian relief efforts bringing doctors, nurses, engineers and supplies to those in need, and helping to reunite families.

Joe is also the President of the Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association. He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Christine and their three children.


To learn more about the night’s festivities, please check out these wonderful articles recapping the event.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA): Aviation Shines at Endeavor Awards 

Flying Mag: Aviation Notables Honor Volunteer Pilots

AFW Volunteer Pilots Turn Passion into Compassion

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When you join AFW as a Volunteer Pilot, you are joining an amazing group of men and women who take to the skies in the interest of helping others.  We’ve got 1,300+ active members in 13 western states, who collectively fly an average of 10 flights each day to help those with a compelling need.  Each day our Volunteer Pilots help those in need, providing one-on-one service to directly benefit our passengers. In recent months, our members have flown:

  • To Portland, to enable cancer patient Miriam to participate in a clinical trial.
  • From San Diego to Imperial to deliver donations of much needed blood.
  • Back and forth from Southern Utah to California, to bring passenger Melanie to her bi-monthly kidney cancer treatments.
  • To Los Angeles, to bring Adriel and his dad Ruben to UCLA for Adriel’s ongoing treatment for Muscular Dystrophy.
  • To East Elementary school in Cedar City, Utah, to deliver Santa and school supplies to underprivileged students. (Even Santa can use help from the AFW Angels from time to time.)

The list goes on and on, with more than 3,500 missions flown in 2013. Right now we have about 100 missions waiting to be assigned, but sadly each month we are unable to find a Volunteer Pilot for every mission, meaning that many of our passengers have to make other arrangements. The more qualified Volunteer Pilots we have, the more passengers will have an Angel at their side for vital travel.

Our pilots tell us that in addition to enjoying the fuel discounts and more opportunities to fly, the chance to use their flying skills to give back to the community was their number 1 reason for joining AFW.  What will your reason be?

In addition to flying missions, AFW members come together from time to time for fly-In gatherings and a speaker series on aviation topics.  And our regional wings  host pilot events closer to home.  AFW Volunteer Pilots can develop their skills with the new Culture of Professionalism toolkit.  And of course AFW pilots are all recognizable by our logoed decals, hats and shirts, so flying with AFW is a great way to meet other pilots in the hanger.  Perhaps you’ve heard the Angel Flight call sign, for example “Angel Flight 1-2-Bravo,” used by another aircraft while in flight?  When you do, you’ll know your fellow pilot has a very grateful passenger.

To become an Angel Flight West Command Pilot you need to have 250 hours as PIC and complete a short ground orientation.  Many of our pilots rent aircraft, so if you haven’t bought your dream plane yet, you can still fly with AFW.  If you haven’t yet reached the qualifications to be an AFW Command Pilot, you can volunteer as a mission assistant or provide ground transportation. As a pilot you have a unique set of skills and expertise that are in high demand.  By joining Angel Flight West, you can share your love of flying with someone who will truly appreciate your special talents.  Click here to browse the available missions in your area.  When you’re ready to turn your passion into compassion, and share your love of flying to help a deserving individual or family, become a member. Thanks for your consideration!