PALS has petitioned, and received, an exemption from the FAA to allow for fuel reimbursement to volunteer pilots performing flights on behalf of Patient AirLift Services, in support of patients accessing medical care – Compassion flights are NOT eligible for reimbursement. However, the repositioning legs necessary for passenger pick-up and returning to your home airport are reimbursable under the latest exemption.

In order for a PALS Command Pilot to qualify for the Fuel Reimbursement privileges, there are additional criteria that must be met as set forth by the FAA. While some basic criteria are outlined below, please CLICK HERE to review the complete exemption as provided by the FAA.

Pilot Requirements for Fuel Reimbursement:

Requirements for single engine operations exceed PALS basic Command Pilot requirements for total and PIC time.  The following requirements now apply to ALL fuel reimbursement pilots (single engine, multi-engine, and turbine).

  • An instrument rating or Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate that is appropriate to the aircraft being flown;
  • A minimum total flight time of 500 hours, with no less than 400 hours as PIC, and a minimum of 50 hours in the specific make and model of the aircraft being flown;
  • A minimum of 50 hours as PIC must have been logged within the preceding 12 calendar months immediately preceding the month of the flight;
  • A minimum of 12 hours flown and logged within the preceding 3 calendar months prior to the month of flight. In lieu of this requirement, a pilot may have logged 2 hours of flight training with a certificated flight instructor within the preceding 3 calendar months prior to the month of the flight;
  • A second-class medical certificate (per §§ 61.23(a)(2)(ii) and 61.2);
  • A current flight review (per § 61.56(a)) in the same aircraft category, class, and type (if a type rating is required) being flown;
  • Within the preceding 12 calendar months, an instrument proficiency check (IPC) meeting the requirements of § 61.57(d). The IPC must be conducted in accordance with the Instrument Rating – Airplane Airman Certification Standards, as applicable. This requirement can be substituted by a FAA practical test for an ATP certificate or instrument rating;
  • In addition to meeting the IPC requirement of § 61.57(d) as specified in Condition and Limitation No. 5 (g), the pilot must meet the recent flight experience requirements of § 61.57(c), in the same aircraft category, class, and type (if a type rating is required) being flown; and
  • For all operations under this exemption, the pilot must meet the recent flight experience requirements for night operations (per § 61.57 (b)) in an aircraft of the same category, class, and type (if a type rating is required).
  • Successful completion of annual ground training program developed in accordance with the FAA Exemption
    • Courses are available online at no cost to you and can be taken at your convenience. The certificates of completion should be emailed to palsmail@palservices.org All courses must be completed annually.

Aircraft Requirements for Fuel Reimbursement:


  • Must have a Standard Airworthiness certificate
  • Must be inspected and maintained in accordance with 14 CFR part 91 Subpart E, 14 CFR part 43, or other inspection programs approved by the FAA.
  • A copy of the aircraft logbook entry for the most recent annual inspection of any aircraft used to conduct flights under this exemption must be on file with PALS.

To Get Qualified:

The following documents must be on file before your flight in order to qualify:

  • Current 2nd Class Medical
  • Current Flight Review
  • IPC within preceding 12 calendar months
  • Logbook entry for aircraft annual
  • Certificates of completion for training courses (required annually)
    • Public Benefit Flying
    • PALS FR Training

Documents can be sent to palsmail@palservices.org

Reimbursement Procedures:

The distance to be reimbursed is calculated via Airnav for your full trip (home base > passenger pick-up > passenger drop-off > home base), 15% will be added to your trip distance to account for vectoring and additional fuel burn.

Reimbursement rates are frequently reviewed and subject to change.  Current reimbursement rates are:

$.30/mile for single engine aircraft

$.45/mile for multi-engine aircraft

Reimbursements can be issued after all pre and post mission paperwork is submitted – this includes, passenger waivers, pilot affirmation, weight & balance and post mission report.

Reimbursement requests should be sent to palsmail@palservices.org

Forms for Fuel Reimbursement Flights: