Phillips 66 has launched a rebate program designed to support pilots who volunteer their aircraft and time to fly seriously ill patients who need specialized medical treatments.
Starting June 1, pilots flying missions organized and approved by Angel Flight Northeast and Mercy Medical Airlift (which administers Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic and Airlift Hope America) will qualify for a $1-per-gallon rebate on fuel purchased using a Phillips 66 Aviation Personal Credit Card at a Phillips 66 Aviation branded FBO. The rebate applies to avgas purchased from a Phillips 66 Aviation dealer. There are more than 713 Phillips 66 FBOs across the country.
The program could initially support more than 1,600 active pilots that fly these critically important flights in the Northeast United States, according to Phillips 66 officials.
“Through this program, Phillips 66 Aviation is saying to these volunteer pilots, ‘we recognize your value, we appreciate your efforts and we support you,’” says Rod Palmer, manager of aviation for Phillips 66. “If it encourages more pilots to volunteer or take more medical flights, then we’ll consider this program a success.”
Angel Flight Northeast volunteer pilots have flown more than 53,000 children and adults more than 8 million miles, explains Larry Camerlin, president and volunteer pilot for the group, based at Lawrence Municipal Airport in Andover, Mass. Many patients come from rural areas, he says, without access to the hospitals and care they need to survive. “These flights can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for these patients and their families,” says Camerlin. “This is a remarkable gesture on the part of Phillips 66. They recognized the need, the countless flights, plus the expense our volunteers take on to help thousands of patients.”
Volunteer Pilot Bill MacLeod has flown 259 missions for Angel Flight Northeast in his Cherokee 6. For the past five years, MacLeod has flown 30 missions a year. But even MacLeod says the cost of fuel has him thinking twice about taking on extra Angel Flight missions.
“The Compassion Flight rebate will make a difference, absolutely,” says MacLeod. “There are guys who have cut back their medical missions, and when they hear about this, it may be the incentive they need to fly more patients.”
When pilots volunteer for medical missions, they pick up the entire cost of the flight – the fuel, maintenance, insurance, everything, explains Camerlin. “They are giving their time and their financial resources to fly people they have never met in their life to get critically needed medical care,” he says.