Angel Flight Soars with member Doug Ellis - Apr 23, 2021

by Stephen Jamieson | Oct 18, 2023
In honor of this month’s National Volunteer Week, we are honoring a special Member who has dedicated his time, effort and energy to making our local community a better place.

Doug Ellis

Member Doug Ellis recently hosted a talk about his involvement with Angel Flight SoarsTM. This nonprofit organization started in 1983, is the original volunteer pilot organization serving the Southeast. These volunteer pilots are responsible for transporting patients in need of immediate care, medical supplies and more. They are firm believers that the cost and availability of transportation should not impede people from receiving medical care.

Our very own Doug Ellis has flown with Angel Flight SoarsTM as a volunteer pilot for 15 years. His plane, who he affectionately named Cricket, has helped transport routine patients as young as newborn babies. In total, he estimates that he has flown between 800 and 900 missions through Angel Flight SoarsTM.

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Doug Ellis and Executive Director, Jeanine Chambers

Mr. Ellis uncovered his love for flying in 1957 when he was just a teenager. He spent a lot of time in the air during his college years but took a 30-year sabbatical from flying when he entered the United States Navy and had a family. Following his retirement, he wanted to revisit the hobby and use it to make a difference.

He certainly has made a difference! And it hasn’t been easy. Volunteer pilots have many requirements to fulfill before they are allowed to serve with Angel Flight SoarsTM. A total of 250 combined flight hours, instrument rating (the ability to fly in all weather conditions), and funding are just a few of the requirements volunteers must adhere to. There are currently 200 volunteer pilots who fly for Angel Flight SoarsTM.

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Doug Ellis with patient Tiffany and his plane Cricket