Free Medical Flights & Patient Air Transportation

The Patient AirLift Services’ network of volunteer pilots provide free medical flights and air transportation services, receiving no compensation, using their own or rented aircraft. No fees of any kind are charged for these services. Generally, the individuals who turn to PALS for air transportation are receiving diagnosis, medical treatment or follow-up for acute or chronic healthcare conditions and cannot afford commercial or charter flights. To qualify for a PALS flight, you must:
  1. Have financial or compelling need. Our volunteer pilots donate their time, aircraft, and expenses at great cost. Please exhaust all other transport possibilities first.
  2. Provide notice at least 5 business days prior to desired flight date. PALS occasionally arranges a flight on short notice, but only in special circumstances.
  3. Be medically stable to travel. Your physician or social worker must complete a Medical Release Form.
  4. Be mobile. You must be able to sit upright in a standard aircraft seat, wear a standard seatbelt and get in and out of a plane with limited assistance.
  5. Children over the age of two must be restrained in a DOT-approved aircraft seat or child restraint system.
  6. Be able to fly in a small aircraft. PALS pilots fly non-pressurized general aviation aircraft with limited seating and cargo space. Our planes cannot accommodate a stretcher and are not air ambulances.
  7. Be prepared for flight delays or cancellation. Ensure you can reschedule a medical appointment, or have alternate transportation available, in case of flight cancellation due to weather, pilot need or other circumstances.
  8. Be responsible for your own medications.
  9. Not have a communicable disease.
  10. Provide supplemental oxygen and medical assistance, if required. Must be approved by the Department of Transportation.
  11. Sign a waiver and release of liability form and provide Photo I.D.

Covid Protocols

PALS Return to Flying Protocols

The Mission Coordination team will be conducting Enhanced Passenger and Pilot screening and will:

  • Exclude any passengers with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including but not limited to cough, sneezing, chest congestion, shortness of breath, fever, and loss of taste or smell
  • Exclude any passengers with known exposure to a COVID-19-infected person within the previous two week period, including anyone who has been notified of possible exposure through contact tracing
  • Confirm that passengers are able to enter and exit an aircraft without any assistance or physical contact other than their companion
  • Evaluate any passenger whose medical condition prevents them from complying with droplet transmission protections (e.g., inability to wear a surgical mask)
  • Secure revised medical releases with physicians approval to include a statement of necessity of travel considering all risks to pilots and passengers within 24/48 hours of the flight
  • Evaluate flights for those pilots/passengers who fall into higher CDC risk categories.
  • Limit the number of passengers to the patient and a necessary companion if needed
  • Encourage flights in larger cabin aircraft whenever possible
  • Secure signed COVID-19 Release and Indemnity Forms for both pilots and passengers prior to every flight
  • Social distancing of 6 feet where the opportunities permit
  • Deny requests for anyone who is not willing to adhere to best practices
  • Provide access to information regarding risks, protecting oneself, disinfecting, etc.
  • Follow up with pilots and passengers to check health status 14 days after flight