Frequently Asked Questions -- for Pilots
A. Vital Flight Command Pilots must have an instrument rating, 250 hours in type, and must be willing to donate time, aircraft, and fuel. If you are a pilot but do not meet the above requirements, you may join as a Co-Pilot and assist Command Pilots with their missions, fly in the right seat, and assist the passengers. If you are not a pilot, you can join Vital Flight as a Mission Assistant and still fly on missions. As a Mission Assistant you will join the mission and assist with paperwork as well as assisting the passengers in and out of the aircraft. Membership is $50 for the first year and $30 each year thereafter. The membership fee helps Vital Flight meet certain administrative costs.
Q. WHAT IS VITAL FLIGHT™?
A. Vital Flight™ is an all volunteer 501 (c)(3) tax exempt, nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of Florida. Vital Flight is staffed by volunteers who receive no pay, stipend, or compensation of any kind. We are an organization without walls. Vital Flight does not pay rent or a mortgage for office space. All staff and volunteers work from their own homes and offices. As a result, Vital Flight™ can use all available funds and donations to directly support the Vital Flight mission. Vital Flight’s™ mission is to coordinate FREE air transportation to those with medical, compassionate or humanitarian needs. At Vital Flight, our passion is flying; our mission is helping people.
Q. WHO DOES VITAL FLIGHT™ FLY?
A. Vital Flight™ passengers range from cancer patients in need of treatment, to blind veterans traveling to the VA Hospital for orientation to life without sight, to the disabled traveling to competitions or tournaments, or family members who need to be together in a time of crisis. In short, any person who needs to travel anywhere in the state of Florida for any medical, compassionate, or humanitarian need who could not otherwise physically travel or financially afford any other mode of transportation.
Q. HOW ARE MISSIONS SET?
A. Either an individual or medical provider (through social workers or patient services coordinators) will call our Mission Request Line or submit a Mission Request Form via our website or facsimile. We also have relationships with various patient support groups throughout the state that serve people stricken with various illnesses.
Q. DO I NEED A CERTAIN TYPE OF AIRCRAFT TO BE A COMMAND PILOT?
A. No. Vital Flight™ missions have been flown in everything from a Cessna 172 to small jet. If your aircraft can accommodate the weight and passengers on the mission and you are otherwise qualified, you may fly a Vital Flight mission.
Q. WHAT AREA DOES VITAL FLIGHT™ SERVE?
A. Vital Flight serves Florida and the Bahamas with a minimum distance of 200 miles and maximum of 1,000 miles. If a mission is longer than that, Vital Flight, as a member of the Air Care Alliance, will coordinate with other Volunteer Pilot Organizations to complete the mission.
Q. DO I NEED SPECIAL INSURANCE OR FAA AUTHORITY?
A. No. All Vital Flight missions are covered under FAR Part 91. No special insurance is required but you should consult your insurance carrier to determine if you are limited in carrying passengers. All Vital Flight passengers are required to sign a Waiver and Release of Liability which the Command Pilot can fax from the originating FBO prior to departure.