Granted that there have been lots of discussion, and several threads about the recent tragic events in Haiti. Jason (flyboy97222), and I imagine a few others here can relate.... However, I felt that this perspective deserved its own. A good friend of mine became deeply involved in Haiti relief efforts. Her account is certainly worth sharing and speaks for itself....
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As some of you may know, I have been involved in the Business Aviation relief effort in Haiti for the past 60 days. As you also know, our industry has been under attack from the public and media for over a year. I wanted to share with you some of our stories from Haiti so you can pass along this amazing story of generosity and need to help spread the word about how great Business Aviation truly is. I apologize in advance for the "mass email" format, but I wanted to make sure everyone knows the story.
A few years ago, I helped form an organization called C.A.R.E., Corporate Aviation Responding to Emergencies. We work with NBAA to take donated aircraft and coordinate them for emergency flights after a disaster. We started the organization in response to Hurricane Katrina and flew about 100 missions and moved approximately 1,000 people in that effort. We prepared the organization to be ready for the next disaster. We waited five years ...
The earthquake in Haiti produced a situation that was the fundamental case for Business Aviation. It needed quick reaction, de-centralized response and efficiency. Business Aviation was the only response entity that could do all three. C.A.R.E. Operation Haiti has included over 675 flights with 3400 passengers and 1,200,000 lbs of critical supplies. Our passengers have included medical personnel, relief workers, newly adopted children, injured patients and missionaries. Over 90 aircraft have been activated for the program, flying more than $5,000,000 worth of flight hours. Those are the statistics, here are some of the stories:
-C.A.R.E. worked with Tradewind Aviation to set up a landing strip on a road in the Leogane region in Haiti. Their Caravan flew 155 flights in and out of the road. Not only did the aircraft provide food, medical supplies and transportation, but we also siphoned fuel for the local generators. Business Aviation provided fuel to run the generator at the hospital in Leogane.
-C.A.R.E. arranged transport of critically injured people. One of our passengers was a young girl named Yadissa, who was hit by a bus on the morning of the second aftershock. One of our doctors found her and called for a transport. We had an aircraft there in less than 24 hours and were able to fly Yadissa to Ft. Lauderdale for treatment. I'm proud to report Yadissa will be returning home on March 27th and will see her parents for the first time since the accident. Business Aviation saved Yadissa's life.
-C.A.R.E. set up a warehouse in Santiago, Dominican Republic to store food and medical supplies. A fleet of turboprops flew from Santiago to all the outlying airstrips in Haiti including Jacmel, Pignon, Jeremie, Port de Paix and Les Cayes. Our airplane that landed in Jacmel carried the very first relief supplies that region had received. When our first airplane arrived in Les Cayes, the airport manager who helped unload the supplies had not eaten in four days. We gave him food. Business Aviation was the first to deliver food and critically needed supplies to these regions. The general aviation airports were critical to getting supplies to the people.
-C.A.R.E. coordinated the flight that brought newly adopted Tia Wilson and her friend Josh home from Haiti. They were one of the first sets of "partially adopted" children to be released from the country. We coordinated this flight entirely through text messaging and the pilots had never spoken to any C.A.R.E. representatives at this point. The orphanage where Tia and Josh were living was down to less than 24 hours of food remaining. Business Aviation brought Tia and Josh home.
The generosity and "can-do" spirit of the aviation community was greater than we could have ever imagined. Thank you to everyone that helped on every level and a special thank you to our friends Marianne Stevenson, Doug Shultz, Banyan Air Service, Windsor Jet Management, JSSI, NBAA and all of the C.A.R.E. volunteer coordinators.
For pictures, videos and more incredible stories, please visit the C.A.R.E. Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gi ... 760&ref=mf
This effort has been a very humbling experience for me personally. I have cried, screamed, yelled and gone many nights without sleep. It has most importantly reaffirmed my opinion that I work in the best industry on earth.
Thank you to everyone involved again.
Please don't forget the people of Haiti.