Three Cheers for Pilots of the Year

(AFMA Pilot of the Year Cleve Benedict)

By Suzanne Rhodes We’re pleased to report that the volunteer Pilots of the Year have been chosen for 2011 and wish each one our hearty congratulations. Of course, all our pilots are remarkable volunteers and all of them heroes. Each year our flight operations staff selects pilots who represent the highest levels of service in their states. Here are the honorees: Cleve Benedict, of historic Lewisburg, West Virginia, is the Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic Pilot of the Year. He flew an extraordinary number of missions in 2011 in his Cessna 206. He has been flying for 60 years and says the opportunity to fly with Angel Flight is “a blessing on both sides, for patient and pilot.” Cleve, who has been West Virginia’s Pilot of the Year for 10 consecutive years, gave up being a dairy farmer so he could devote more time to flying. He and his wife Ann are very active in community affairs. Read an uplifting story about the Angel Flight of Maryland Pilot of the Year, Peter Winik that appeared in the Washington Post.
  • Delaware—Dusty Carnahan
  • Pennsylvania—Dan DeDona
  • Tennessee*—Peter Serodino
  • Virginia—John Billings
  • West Virginia—Cleve Benedict
  • Kentucky—Tony Schmidt
  • Maryland—Peter Winik
  • Michigan—Dick Lawrence
  • *North Carolina—Kenny Hardin
  • Ohio—Charlie Poll
(*In TN and NC, the volunteer pilot program is called Airlift Hope.)


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