10:24 AM

CAP Radar Team's Henderson, Helm Among 2018 Public Benefit Flying Award Recipients

The National Aeronautic Association, in partnership with the Air Care Alliance, a nationwide league of humanitarian flying organizations, announced the recipients of the 2018 Public Benefit Flying Awards today. The awards were created to honor volunteer pilots, other volunteers and organizations engaged in flying to help others, as well as those supporting such work.

Among this year’s recipients are two members of Civil Air Patrol’s National Radar Analysis Team, Lt. Col. John Henderson and 2nd Lt. Argon Helm, who developed and oversaw two new software programs — “The Sandbox,” which allows emergency managers to view a live radar feed for search and rescue efforts and “ICARUS,” which uses computer algorithms to predict when aircraft have crashed.

Their efforts, according to the release, “have tremendously improved the speed and accuracy of national, state and local authorities to locate missing aircraft,” earning them PBF’s 2018 Distinguished Volunteer award.

Henderson, who serves as vice commander of the radar team, has worked on 315 missing aircraft missions, resulting in 198 finds and 20 saves.


Other recipients of 2018 Public Benefit Flying Awards include:

Distinguished Volunteer Pilot
Earning her first of many pilot certificates in 1975, Merry Schroeder is one of LightHawk’s longest serving volunteers, donating 387 flights since 1987 in some of the most challenging conditions faced by conservation volunteer pilots. She also donated 215 flights with Angel Flight from 2003 to 2017. Merry remains an active LightHawk volunteer pilot, and has also served as a board member, donor and community representative.

Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying
Joe Howley
 turned his passion and business success into a vehicle for raising awareness for charitable aviation. With his support and connections, Patient Airlift Services (PALS) has engaged pilots to fly, garnered financial support, and established relationships with partnering organizations, all in the name of furthering the benefits of Public Benefit Flying.

Members of the 2018 Public Benefit Flying Selection Committee were Stephen Danz, 2015 Distinguished Volunteer Pilot; Linda Daschle, President of LHD & Associates, Inc; Rick Durden, Air Care Alliance; and Jane Nicolai, 2015 Distinguished Volunteer Pilot.

The Public Benefit Flying Awards will be presented at NAA’s annual Fall Awards Dinner on Nov. 27 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

About NAA
The National Aeronautic Association is a nonprofit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of some of the most important aviation awards in the world, and certifies all national aviation records set in the United States. For more information, visit www.naa.aero.

About ACA
The Air Care Alliance is a nonprofit public service organization supporting the work of dozens of volunteer-based charitable organizations whose members fly to help others. ACA is devoted to fostering, enhancing, and promoting public benefit flying in the United States and other countries. For more information, visit www.aircarealliance.org.