SERVANT AIR MINISTRIES, INC.
Servant Air Ministries, Inc., 2011 had only a fair year in providing flight training and air transportation. With the fuel prices and insurance premiums increasing, Servant Air Ministries, Inc. was still able to fly only a total of 129 hours, utilizing our three aircraft. Over all we were down significantly in the number of hours from last year’s hours flown, based on fuel prices and resources. This being the ministry’s 18th year of the organization’s existence, Servant Air continues to provide quality missionary flight services to the Southeast part of the United States and the Bahamas. The ministry continues to meet its mission statement of providing chapel services, on the field at Merritt Island Airport and providing individualized missionary flight training and ground school experiences. Air transportation consisting of mercy flights is provided for various ministries and churches, throughout the state of Florida and the Southeast part of the United States.
A slate of officers was presented to the Board in our June 2011 meeting, and the following officers agreed to serve in their same positions. Dr. Robert E. Lehton was again elected as President; Mr. Dick Todd was elected as Vice President, Mr. Ryan Roberts as Board Secretary, and Mrs. Lydia Dixon as Treasurer. The Board kept its same composition as last year.
Mr. Fred Pino will continue his responsibilities recruiting and dues collection, and Mr. Kyle Dixon and Mr. Dick Blondin for coordination of air show evangelism. Mr. Steve Miller will be responsible for dispatching of flights and Mr. Dick Todd will be responsible for supervision of the maintenance of the aircraft. We would like to especially thank Dick Todd, Steve Miller, Dick Blondin, and Bud Campbell for taking excellent care of all 3 aircraft. This year we had 3 annual inspections and rebuilt the right engine on our PA-23 Aztec.
The financial position of Servant Air Ministries, Inc. remains very stable, with a positive cash flow; however we have had large expenditures in the area of maintenance and our new 8400 sq. ft. Hanger and Chapel. Much of the general flight training is now being referred to Voyager Aviation. Our Cessna 172 is now being used for both missionary flying and flight training, whereas, the Aztec and C-172 are utilized mainly for longer mission flights to the Bahamas, Central America and throughout the eastern part of the United States. Our PA-32 was sold for $20,000, as suggested by the Board meeting in 2010. We also bought a C-150 for Training and that was purchased for $15,500.00. The C-150 flew only 23 hours, based on a short time of ownership and the purchase being at the end of the year.
This year our 172 was flown only 55 hours, mainly in flight training for our missionary pilots, for mercy flights. Our Aztec PA-23 was flown for approximately 51 hours. Flight instruction decreased in this last year and was conducted mainly by Mr. Dick Todd and Bob Lehton. The ministry is moving back to more flight training, mercy flights, and EAA young eagle flights, which has been the trend over the last year. We will be hiring a full time flight instructor and possibly an executive director, to oversee the organization in 2012.
Mr. Dick Todd, who is Servant Air Ministries’ A1 and A&P mechanic has kept all three airplanes in excellent shape, along with the help of Mr. Steve Miller and Bud Campbell. Mr. Todd continues to be a blessing to the organization by supervising maintenance of all three aircraft, which includes annual inspections and routine progressive maintenance throughout the year.
Over 100 flights were performed for the Young Eagles, which is part of the Experimental Aircrafts Association. Dick Todd, Bob Lehton and Dick Blondin did the majority of these flights. Mr. Ryan Roberts continues to manage our web site and it continues to run smoothly. Ryan Roberts, at the end of last year, put “PayPal” on the web site to receive donations by credit card, for our new projects and this has provided some additional income.
In September 2011, Dr. Lehton was again elected as Vice President of Pilots for Christ at the Convention held in Wyoming and Mr. Dick Todd was elected as a General Board Member at large. Bob Lehton presented the Chapter report for the year 2010, at this convention in Gillette, Wyoming.
Mr. Dick Blondin has done a wonderful job in representing SAMI at local airshows. This year with the help of Tim Layne of the Michigan Chapter, we were presenters at the Fun’n’sun Airshow. Dick traveled in the C-172 with volunteers daily to man the booth. We also participated in the Prayer Flight Ministry, praying for our country on May 5, 2010.
The most exciting event this year was a merger with Copters for Christ and Dwight Bell, who is the President, in providing flight training, to his ground school class of youngsters in mission aviation. We will be conducting introduction flights to this youth group that is taking ground training by Dwight.
An amended lease was signed for 20 years beginning on January 1, 2011, with two five year extensions allowed at the end of the term. The Hangar passed all inspections and we received our CO (Certificate of Occupancy) on December 27th, 2009. We moved in on January the 2nd 2010. The new hangar will be located next to the airport beacon, which will be a light of Christ on the field. The Hangar is now complete and we want to thank all the volunteers for their time and sacrifice. We began operations in January and the Tico-Airport Authority gave us a new lease dated 01-01-2010, with the same terms. The hangar and Chapel were totally paid off at the end of 2011.
Jack Parker, Brevard County Sheriff, has supported SAMI over the years and now his lawn crew cuts our grass on a regular schedule for free.
In 2011 we prepared an overall summary of flights from 1987 to December 31, 2010, to secure a grant from the United Way. This summary consists of 17 pilots that regularly fly for Servant Air. We have flown during this period 631 mission flights of 2285 hours. We have conducted 1696 training flights, consisting of 1924 hours. Total flights of missions and training is 2288 flights with 4,212 hrs. This will be updated each year to measure the performance of the organization and for funding purposes.
In conclusion, even with the escalating price of fuel, Servant Air Ministries, Inc. continued to fly. Again, it has been my privilege to serve as President of Servant Air Ministries, Inc. for the past 18 years and I again thank the Board of Directors and volunteers for their efforts in service in Jesus’ name. We will continue to make Young Eagle flights approximately four times a year and numerous trips to the Bahamas and Southeast part of the United States providing mercy flights. We’ll continue our efforts to provide evangelism at air shows and work with all ministries throughout the Southeast part of the United States in providing charity and missionary flight activities.
We sincerely thank all the members, Board, pilots and supporters of Servant Air Ministries, Inc. for a fruitful year in 2012 and expect the Lord to produce great fruit in this coming season.
Robert E. Lehton, CFII, MEI, President