Volunteer Pilot Application

Services Offered by LifeLine Pilots

The need to seek the care of specialists at distant hospitals can be an overwhelming problem for families who are in financial distress.  LifeLine Pilots provides a solution during a time of crisis.  In general terms, we offer assistance to:

  • Ambulatory patients in need of evaluation, treatment, or an operation at a distant medical facility, and cannot afford the cost of travel.
  • Such flights are arranged well in advance of need. We also require a viable back-up plan in the event we are unable to fly due to bad weather or other unanticipated reasons.

While most flights are for medical purposes, we also conduct humanitarian flights.  These may include, but are not limited to, transporting children with life threatening illnesses to medically-related camps; fulfilling patient’s last wishes to visit family/home; transporting immediate family to provide support for someone in a distant hospital for recovery or final visit situations; and domestic abuse or rehabilitation situations that have been arranged by an agency and undergone an interview process similar to patients with mental health problems.

Who May Use the Services of LifeLine Pilots?

While criteria differ for medical and humanitarian missions, some general rules apply to both:

  • Flight recipients must demonstrate financial need, be unable to afford other means of transport, or immuno-compromised thus disallowing ability to be with large numbers of people;
  • Mobility: Potential flight recipients and support passengers should be able to enter a small aircraft with little or no assistance and be seat belted in an upright position for the duration of the flight.  Exceptions regarding mobility may be made for children able to be lifted, or adults accompanied by a support person who is able to lift the person in and out of the aircraft;
  • Flight recipients and support passengers must be medically stable and able to fly in an unpressurized aircraft. We are not an air ambulance service and have no medical facilities or personnel on board;
  • Understanding and willingness on the part of all passengers to fly in a small, 4-6 seat aircraft;
  • Potential flight recipients or support passengers known to be combative will not be transported;
  • Weight: is a crucial factor since each model of aircraft has a total weight limit;
  • Advance Notice: We ask that flight requests be submitted early enough to allow for 3 business days between the receipt of completed paperwork and a potential flight departure. Exceptions to this will include emergency and return flight requests.  We will attempt to fulfill all requests but short notice hampers our ability to find a volunteer pilot.

Pilots’ Pilots are Volunteers

It is important to know that all of our wonderful volunteer pilots are caring and compassionate volunteers.  They come from all walks of life.  All of them are FAA-certified, have over 250 hours of Pilot-in-Command time, and are up to date in their certifications.

There is absolutely no charge to the patient or referring agency for a LifeLine Pilots flight.  Our Pilots donate their time, aircraft, and flying expenses, including the cost of fuel, to allow this to occur.

Mission Requests

LifeLine Pilots accepts inquiries and requests from health care and social service professionals, clergy, family members, and patients on our toll free line (800-822-7972).

New Pilots: Informational Sheet

General Information:

LifeLine Inc. dba LifeLine Pilots is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) organization based in Peoria, IL.

Missions are broadcast by e-mail and are available for viewing by logging into a secure database.

  • Volunteer Pilots will receive a login and password to access the database and will receive periodic emails with available missions in their area.
  • The average mission is 250-350 nautical miles one way;
  • With few exceptions, flights will be for a patient/passenger and one support person;
  • Most missions are of a medical nature but some may be humanitarian. These may include transporting a child with a life-threatening illness to a special camp, someone to see a dying family member, disaster relief, etc;
  • Patient/passengers must meet certain mission criteria before they qualify for a flight. They must:
    • Demonstrate financial distress with limited or no other means of funds for transportation.
    • Have a signed Physician’s Release for the flight.
    • Be ambulatory, able to board an aircraft with little or no assistance.
    • Be able to sit upright for the duration of the flight.
    • Sign a General Release of Liability and Indemnity before we will consider their request for a Mission.

Pilot Responsibilities:

  1. AOPA Volunteer Pilot Safety Course: The Volunteer Pilot must successfully complete the on-line Safety Course and submit their completion certificate to the LifeLine Pilots before volunteering for a mission.  The Safety Course is can be accessed at www.airsafetyinstitute.org/volunteerpilots.
  2. As a Pilot, you will receive 2 forms by email:
  • Suggested Flight Plan - If you need to alter the Suggested Flight Plan, feel free to do so, but PLEASE notify the mission coordinator immediately so we are fully informed.
  • Mission Follow-Up Form – to be filled out by you AFTER the flight and faxed/mailed to LifeLine.
  • Day of Mission: Flight Authorization, Release of Liability and Indemnity form (2 pages) – to be filled out BEFORE the flight by both the patient and pilot and faxed or mailed to our office PRIOR to the flight.
  • If there are any problems with your mission, PLEASE CONTACT the Mission Coordinator by calling 800-822-7972, and indicate any changes or problems on your Follow-up Form. Your comments help us improve our procedures and maintain accurate records.
  • Call the patient/passengers at least 24 hours prior to flight to verify the names and number of passengers going, departure airport and time. If any of this differs from Suggested Flight Plan, please contact a mission coordinator.
  • If the flight is more than one leg, call the link-up pilot to verify/coordinate time and place of link-up.
  • Patients/passengers are informed that cancellations occur due to weather, etc. If you cancel, please notify both the patient/passenger and mission coordinator immediately.
  • Safety is of the utmost concern for every mission. LifeLine Pilots would rather cancel a flight than have a pilot fly in a potentially dangerous situation.

Thank you for becoming a LifeLine Pilot volunteer pilot.  Feel free to contact our office or stop in anytime.  We look forward to meeting you.

Qualifications for Volunteer Pilots:

  • 21 years of age or older.
  • Must be current with a minimum of 250 hours of pilot in command time.
  • Submit a completed and signed application.
  • Submit proof of insurance with a copy of the declaration or certificate page.
  • Submit a copy of most recent log book entry for BFR or wings phase.
  • Provide updated information whenever reportable changes occur such as loss of privilege, contact or aircraft insurance information.
  • Submit a head shot photo for LLP I. D. Badge by email.
  • Complete the AOPA Volunteer Pilot Safety Course & submit a copy of the certificate to us. airsafetyinstitute.org/volunteerpilots .

Please stop by the LifeLine Pilots’ office on the third floor of Byerly Aviation at PIA, Peoria, IL to meet the staff and view the operation first hand.

Thank You for Caring about Helping Others in Need!