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Tue, Jan 19, 2010

GA Steps In To Help In Haiti

Bahamas Habitat Delivering Relief With Private Aircraft

Bahamas Habitat announced Monday their aviation relief operation is "up and running" to Haiti.  "Sunday was our third day of airlift operations into the outlying airports around Port-Au-Prince and we delivered a lot of medical supplies and evacuated 27 more people today", reported John Armstrong, President of Bahamas Habitat.

Steve Merritt, the Treasurer and Chief Pilot for Bahamas Habitat answered the call last Thursday and launched to chart the course and prepare the way for other volunteers in the organizations recently donated Beechcraft Baron. He was joined by Cameron King and Matt Hansen, Bahamas Habitat long term volunteer pilots serving at their Eleuthera base camp.

On Friday January 15th their first two flight teams made it in to Haiti from their staging base on Inagua, in the Southern Bahamas, delivering medical supplies and evacuating people. Saturday more planes joined the efforts and a significant amount of medical supplies were moved in and more trapped missionaries moved out.

"We have had a rush of requests to help get people out and more medical supplies in. Private pilots with aircraft have been volunteering and making preparations to join the efforts from all over the country and even Canada. We have medical and other supplies in Nassau and Fort Lauderdale that need to be moved in and the list of people needing to be evacuated continues to grow" stated Armstrong.

"We are focusing on getting to the airports of Cap Haitien and Les Cayes that are north and west of Port-Au-Prince where the big aircraft can not serve. People are moving out to these areas seeking help and evacuation and the clinics and hospitals are over run there without enough medical supplies," McIntyre explained.

So far the flight missions have involved everything from Cessna 182's, Bonanzas, Barons, Aztecs, to a Cessna 340's and a Caravan. Bahamas Habitat says more volunteers that have twin engine aircraft and high performance singles are needed to join in the mission.

The organization has indicated the following ways people can help.

  • Aircraft owners can volunteer to make flight missions. If you don't have a plane they suggest you help get the message to other pilots that have suitable planes and then join in with them.
  • Help spread the word to pilots to request supplies, funds and additional airplanes.
FMI: www.bahamashabitat.org

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