November 2016 SAMI Newsletter

Left to Right: Tactical Flight Officer Bernie Bemardo, Melbourne Police Dept. and Pilot Officer Scott Harris, Brevard Sheriff Deputy

Left to Right: Tactical Flight Officer Bernie Bemardo, Melbourne Police Dept. and Pilot Officer Scott Harris, Brevard Sheriff Deputy

Brevard County Sheriff Aviation Unit Presentation November 2016: During SAMI’s November meeting, we had the honor of meeting Tactical Flight Officer Bernie Bemardo from the Melbourne Police Department and Officer Scott Harris, Brevard Sheriff Deputy and Pilot. This STAR (Sheriff Tactical Air Response) Crew shared their aviation unit is made up of 5 pilots, 4 tactical flight officers known as observers and 2 mechanics. A crew consists of one pilot and one observer who uses cameras, binoculars and a laser mapping system. Together they communicate with police, fire, paramedics and the coast guard performing search and rescue operations such as the Caretrack Program to find lost seniors and law enforcement. Brevard county has OH58 helicopters and uses a Huey helicopter for water drops during fires. A special thank you to Jim Powell for making this presentation possible and sharing from Roman’s Chapter 13 that we don’t need to fear authority if we are doing good.

SAMI Updates:

We are very thankful to God – SAMI’s hanger, planes and members weathered Hurricane Matthew very well!

Answers to Prayer: Bryce’s surgery for pancreatitis was a success! Thank you for continuing to prayer for this ten-year-old and her parents who were flown to Minnesota in October.

Pilots for Christ Annual Meeting September 2016: SAMI members Dick Blondin, Kyle Dixon, Bob Lehton and Dwight Bell along with 70 individuals from chapters around the country attended the annual meeting at Mackinac Island, Michigan. During the meeting SAMI members learned our chapter has the honor of being a model for others. Some ministry highlights SAMI reported from last year included: 264  missions flown by 10 pilots, 7 instructors, 46 students, 5 A&P maintenance volunteers, SAMI flew 52 children through Young Eagles program and attended 7 air shows.

Mission Conference – Great Things Done with Small Aircraft October 2016: 40 youth ages 7 to teen participated in SAMI’s program learning about aviation and ministry. Sessions included talks about UAVs and Drones by an volunteer from NASA and our member Sean Halloway gave talks about airplane maintenance. Kyle Dixon gave guided walking tours of the airport and all the youth enjoyed flying in our planes especially the two who had never flown before! Thank you to everyone who made this day very special for the youth. 🙂

Young Eagles October 2016: Thank you to the 3 members from SAMI who participated in this event at the Merritt Island Airport. 107 children enjoyed a plane ride and for 66 children it was their first flight!

Ministry Opportunities:

Lawn Crew Needed: the grass around the SAMI hanger needs to be mowed once a week and every two weeks during the winter. If you can provide this service please email

Chapel Clean-Up Crew Needed: before the 2nd Saturday of every month our chapel and bathroom needs to be cleaned. If you are interested in joining the clean-up crew to provide this service please email

Air shows and special events are where people learn about our ministry and we find new members. If you are able to help SAMI have a booth at the 2017 events listed below please contact Kyle Dixon at or phone 321-289-2613.

  • Sebring US Sport Aviation Expo January 25 – 28
  • Tico Air Show March 10 – 12

Friendly Reminders:

Next SAMI meeting – Dec. 10th
Christmas Potluck & Grand Bahamas Children’s House Toy Drive
Following our SAMI meeting on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9 am we will have a special Christmas Potluck. SAMI will provide the Turkey and Ham. Please email Victoria what side dish(es), dessert(s), soft drink(s) you are bringing so we don’t have duplicates.

There are 27 orphans at the Grand Bahamas Children’s House ages 2 to 11 years old. Please bring an unwrapped toy(s) for a boy or girl.

We look forward to celebrating our Lord’s birthday with you and bringing joy to 27 orphans in the Bahamas. See you at the SAMI Hanger, 471 Manor Dr, Merritt Island, FL 32952 United States.


Share SAMI: members are encouraged to share our ministry with their local church family and pastors. If you would like a SAMI board member to share our ministry and see how we can help your church (remember SAMI can fly pastors to meetings!) please contact Dick Blondin at or phone 321-544-1317.

SAMI Information: Visit our website and Facebook page

SAMI Membership (New and Renewal):  is only $35 per year which includes membership to SAMI and Pilots for Christ! Members have access to all detailed information about upcoming missions and volunteer opportunities on the website calendar. SAMI exists to serve others so they can better know Jesus Christ, or discover Him for the first time. If you want to jump in and serve GOD, learn to fly, and be a part of the mission, you need to be a member of SAMI. Subscribe for a Membership and enjoy all of the benefits.


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