On Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, pilots took to the skies and found their way to the Port of South Louisiana’s Executive Regional Airport in Reserve, Louisiana, for the first Pilots for Patients (PFP) Fly-In.
The Louisiana-based non-profit has been in existence for some nine years and has one mission: To assist those in need of air transportation for medical reasons.
To date, the organization has performed 3,812 total missions with 1.4 million miles flown — at no charge to the patients.
“As long as a patient is medically stable and ambulatory and is able to climb into a small aircraft, that patient would be eligible for the transportation,” said Philip M. Thomas, president of Pilots for Patients.
Several pilots associated with the organization made the trip to talk about the services provided. They also told many touching stories of people they have helped along the way.
Also in attendance were patients from the River Parish area who were happy to hear of the program after enduring many trips driving miles back and forth to Houston and other facilities around the state and southeast U.S.
Groups such as Perry’s Posse, a local group that raises money for cancer patients, came to learn about this program so they can, in turn, tell the people they help about this option for travel.
The Ochsner Flight Team flew their helicopter to the event as well.
“Of all the different groups we work with at the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport, one of the most important and rewarding has to be Pilots for Patients,” said Paul Aucoin, Port Executive Director. “Helping people to receive the treatment they need is a reward in and of itself and we are thrilled to be associated with this special organization.”
“Pilots for Patients is actively looking for pilots to sign with us to assist flying their neighbors and friends for medical treatment in this community,” added Thomas.