Private Aviation Ida Relief Flights  More Invisible to the National Media Radar than a Stealth Raptor

Stealth and Raptor and GA Relief plane
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GA volunteer flights assist in IDA recovery

Good Coverage by Trade Press

As usual, no National Media reporta

The National Media does not give credit to private aviation for the good that this category of aircraft delivers to America. The headlines usually include the derogatory term “fat cats”.

The path of Hurricane IDA isolated citizens from basic necessities that could not be transported by ground. The following independent aviation assistance organizations[1] created aerial bridges to supply medical supplies, clothing, food and other essentials:

 

aviation assistance associations

 

The aviation trade press chronicled these heroic efforts in articles like:

Aviation Community Helping Victims of Hurricane Ida

air drop

Aerobridge Ramps Up for Hurricane Ida Relief Flights

Aerobridge

Local news did report these efforts starting with nearby airports from which the assistance flights:

Beaumont Municipal Airport takes flight to bring relief to Louisiana neighbors in Ida aftermath

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.

South Florida charity sending relief flights to Louisiana from Huntsville Airport (wbrc.com)

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.

Vital Flights

 

“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.

Volunteer pilots use Pensacola airport as a launching pad for Hurricane Ida relief efforts

 

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.

Pensacola loading

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:

PILOTS LINE UP TO HELP IN IDA’S WAKE

GROUPS SHIFT FOCUS TO TARGET NEEDS IN DISASTER AREA

Member Alert: Assisting in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

NBAA Humanitarian Emergency Response Operator (HERO) Database

FEMA logo

 

These efforts are so appreciated by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) recognized the utility of organizations like Aerobridge can provide in times of crisis.

It is unfortunate that the General Press ignores (intentionally shades?) the visible, vital volunteer efforts of aviation to help others.

ga flights everywhere

 

[1] AeroBridge; Air Care Alliance; Air Charity Network; AirServ International; Angel Flight Southeast; Emergency Volunteer Air Corps; Operation Airdrop; Samaritan’s Purse—among others



 

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