Since 1996, the volunteer pilots from Angel Flight NE have been flying patients and their caregivers from locations in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


Recently I wrote an article about Angel Flight Northeast that will be published next month in Avalon Magazine. Angel Flight Northeast is an organization of volunteer pilots providing free flights (in very small planes!) to those requiring medical care.

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Angel Flight Northeast is one of the unsung heroes of Island life: a group of pilots who offer free transport to people needing access to medical care. The organization is now in its 15th year, having served Martha’s Vineyard since 1997. As of June 4 (the last time statistics were tallied), Angel Flight NE had scheduled more than 8,600 flights and flown 5,400 missions for Vineyard residents. This equates to $1.7 million in donated time and expenses for patients and their families living on Martha’s Vineyard.


Confusion continued this week over the cancellation of Angel Flights during President Obama’s visit.

On Monday Angel Flights Northeast coordinator Paula Strasser told the Gazette that the nonprofit organization, which flies people who are critically ill to off-Island medical appointments, had cancelled its 8 to 10 scheduled flights due to flight restrictions in place for the duration of Mr. Obama’s vacation from August 23 to August 30, to protect air space.

Angel Flights, the nonprofit organization which flies people who are critically ill to off-Island medical appointments, has shut down Martha’s Vineyard operations this week, apparently in reaction to flight restrictions in place for the duration of the presidential vacation visit to the Island.

The move came despite assurances that special dispensation was made for the mercy flight operators during temporary flight restriction (TFR) orders to protect air space over Martha’s Vineyard from August 23 to 30.


From thousands of feet above the blue-green waters of Nantucket Sound, reality seems to wait below.

Inside the cabin of the 1977 single-engine plane, Mike is the tough-talking washashore, piloting his Skylane 182 from the Vineyard to Hyannis. Joe, the co-pilot, is an Islander through and through, with a war story for every patch of water below. And for the moment, Bruce, who peers from the plane's window looking for his Lambert's Cove home, forgets about his battle with cancer.