GA volunteer flights assist in IDA recovery
Good Coverage by Trade Press
As usual, no National Media reporta
The path of Hurricane IDA isolated citizens from basic necessities that could not be transported by ground. The following independent aviation assistance organizations created aerial bridges to supply medical supplies, clothing, food and other essentials:
The aviation trade press chronicled these heroic efforts in articles like:
Local news did report these efforts starting with nearby airports from which the assistance flights:
The help is needed especially after a hurricane when roads can be difficult to navigate.
“Damage caused by hurricanes, the storms, tend to damage the roads, make them impassible,” said airport manager Chris Meaux with the Beaumont Municipal Airport.
Meaux knows just how efficient airplanes can be.
“An airplane can get there in 45 minutes,” Meaux said.
That’s why he’s working with NATA and AERObridge to help get supplies to Louisiana.
“So in the next couple of days, the Beaumont Municipal Airport is being used a staging point for relief efforts,” Meaux said.
By Kailey Schuyler
Published: Sep. 6, 2021
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – Hurricane Ida left many Louisiana residents desperate for basic needs.
Vital flights, a charity based out of Florida is responding to the devastation by sending relief flights out of Huntsville Airport down to Galliano, Louisiana.
“I flew into New Orleans Lake Front. A few days before that it was 4 feet underwater,” said Garton
Volunteer pilot, Cody Garton says the emergency supplies being sent are a lifeline for residents of the city.
“They have no power, no electricity, or no way to cook so everything they are getting from these efforts is basically keeping them alive,” said Garton.
Garton says portions of Galliano are still underwater and residents may not have access to supplies for a month.
“They have no food or supplies for about 90 miles,” said Garton.
Chairman of the Board for Vital Flight David Knies says pilots like Cody do this strictly out of the goodness of their hearts.
“Their own expenses, their own airplane, their own time, they are not getting paid to do this. It is all on a volunteer basis,” said Knies.
Knies says this is one of the quickest ways to get residents the help they need.
“We started at 11 o’clock this morning buying materials. We load them on an airplane at noon. They are down there at 2:30. You can’t ask for anything faster than that,” said Knies.
When the sun came out and the missions began Wednesday, the pilots loaded their small aircraft with water and Gatorade, rolled down the Pensacola International Airport’s runway and took off into the skies heading west toward New Orleans.
They delivered several thousand pounds of supplies to Houma, Louisiana, on Wednesday morning and brought several thousand more pounds of needed provisions to the unincorporated community of Galliano in Louisiana’s Lafourche Parish in the afternoon.
“Water and the Gatorade was the first thing that we could get our hand on quickly before we could get a semitruck,” Pierce explained while unloading about 800 pounds of bottled water out of his plane and onto the tarmac at the South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport in Galliano. “But last night, we had a semitruck unloading more supplies in Pensacola. Now we’re going to be getting the food, the diapers, the medical and the first aid supplies here soon.”
The aviation associations shared content through press releases:
It is unfortunate that the General Press ignores (intentionally shades?) the visible, vital volunteer efforts of aviation to help others.
 AeroBridge; Air Care Alliance; Air Charity Network; AirServ International; Angel Flight Southeast; Emergency Volunteer Air Corps; Operation Airdrop; Samaritan’s Purse—among others
Share this article: