AFNE Volunteer Pilot Rich Jacobs Recognized for Five Missions of Healing & Hope in ONE DAY!

At the core of Angel Flight NE’s mission lies the unwavering dedication of our volunteer pilots. These extraordinary individuals generously donate their time, skills, and resources to bring hope and healing to those in need. Today, we highlight one such exceptional pilot whose commitment has touched countless lives.

Meet Rich Jacobs, a passionate volunteer pilot with Angel Flight NE. His love for aviation and deep compassion for others drives him to make a significant difference for patients. Recently, Rich undertook an incredible journey, completing missions of hope and healing in a single day, after recently marking his 900th mission.Richard Jacobs has put plenty of miles on his Beechcraft Bonanza to destinations all over the Northeast region, including Augusta, Maine, pictured here.

Rich’s day started early as he meticulously prepared his aircraft for the first leg of his mission. Each flight was carefully planned and executed, and Rich took to the skies with determination and purpose, knowing his efforts would profoundly impact the lives of his passengers.

Despite the long hours and demanding nature of flying, Rich greeted every patient with a warm smile and a reassuring presence, offering comfort and support throughout their journey. After completing two flights, he continued with unwavering dedication, knowing that his work was not yet done.

Rich navigated the skies, ever mindful of the critical role his flights played in providing access to necessary medical care. Finally, as the sun began to set, he completed his last flight, returning home with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude. Rich’s spirit soared, knowing he had made a difference in the lives of three individuals by facilitating their access to vital medical treatment.

Reflecting on his experience with Angel Flight NE and the patients he assists, Rich shared:

Almost all of my Angel Flights are three cornered: First the flight to pick up the passenger – then the flight with the passenger– and finally the return to my base airport. Thus, I’m always on the lookout for back-to-back missions and was delighted to spot a rare alightment of five (yes five!) missions on April 15 which would more than fit that bill.

The day started with round trips for two passengers from Presque Isle, Maine to Belfast, Maine.  The two were receiving similar treatment at a facility near Belfast.  Angel Flight’s Mission Coordinators worked with the passengers and the treatment facility to arrange for back-to-back appointments, thereby permitting a single round trip serve as transport for the two of them.

And then a flight from Presque Isle to Lawrence, Massachusetts for a patient whom I have flown at least five missions, the first of which was in 1999.  As it turned out, the weather at Lawrence (and other Boston area airports) caused us to land in Portland, Maine. Again, the Mission Coordinators helped to arrange for the passenger and her mom to reach her final destination that day.

Thanks, as always, to Angel Flight’s Mission Coordinators, who are always available to assure that missions run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They are truly the “secret sauce” which permits Angel Flight to fulfil its mission:  providing free angel flights and ground transportation so that children and adults can access life-saving medical care.

Rich’s remarkable journey stands as a testament to the dedication and compassion of our volunteer pilots. His achievement of flying 900 missions exemplifies the spirit of hope and healing that Angel Flight NE strives to provide. As we celebrate Rich’s incredible feat, we are reminded of the profound impact that each flight has on the lives of those we serve.

We extend our deepest gratitude to Rich and all our volunteer pilots for their unwavering commitment to our mission.

Together, we continue to make a difference, one flight at a time.

Posted Under: AFNE News, Thankful Thursday

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