The Hangar of Honor Award is given to a multi-year pilot who has gone above and beyond in the previous year, as well as years prior, and who can be counted upon to accept last-minute missions.
The 2023 award goes to Tom Skelton, who is not only a generous volunteer pilot, he is also a mentor to the LifeLine Pilots mission coordinators!
Tom tells his passengers, “I am going to fly my airplane. The only difference is that today you get to pick the destination.” He sees public benefit flying as the opportunity to give back for all the favors he’s received in his life.
Tom started flying after spending many hours in a corporate plane, asking the pilots to explain all their procedures. His first plane was a Cessna 182, replaced, as his family grew, with a Cessna 205. He still owns this plane today. Tom has many stories about passengers who’ve flown in his plane, including the one about a gravely ill 15-year-old who he allowed to take the controls for a while, giving him a great story to tell his friends about the day he went 150 mph across Indiana.
Tom is an active command pilot who is credited with 12 flights in 2022. Tom is our sole Auto Pilot, being willing to drive passengers to their appointments when air travel isn’t possible. He is always willing to spend time finding solutions to difficult routes and answers all questions about flying so that a lay person can understand. Tom is a mentor and interpreter for coordinators.
Tom has been a pilot for many years. He flies a Cessna/205-A and is based at TEW (Mason, MI).