Flying - - Sky Next -

In re­sponse to the dev­as­ta­tion caused by hur­ri­canes Har­vey, Irma and Maria through­out south­east Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, gen­eral avi­a­tion pi­lots and busi­nesses from all over the United States re­sponded quickly to en­sure that vic­tims re­ceived nec­es­sary sup­plies and as­sis­tance. As it has since Hur­ri­cane Katrina bat­tered New Or­leans and much of the Gulf Coast in 2005, Aer­o­bridge or­ga­nized and co­or­di­nated pi­lots and air­planes big and small, load­ing them with ev­ery­thing from school sup­plies to chain­saws. Aer­o­bridge also or­ches­trated evac­u­a­tion flights for peo­ple stranded on St. Thomas. In Texas, a talk-ra­dio host named John Clay Wolfe ral­lied his fel­low pi­lots to cre­ate Op­er­a­tion Air­drop. Pi­lots vol­un­teered their time and air­craft, and OAD flew more than 400 mis­sions in just eight days af­ter Har­vey’s dev­as­tat­ing land­fall in Rock­port, Texas. Irma caused unimag­in­able de­struc­tion on is­lands such as St. Martin, where the leg­endary Princess Ju­liana In­ter­na­tional Air­port in­curred heavy dam­age by the Cat­e­gory 5 hur­ri­cane. So­cial me­dia proved to be an im­por­tant tool for air­ports across South and cen­tral Florida, with of­fi­cials im­plor­ing own­ers to se­cure their air­craft and make sure they left no po­ten­tial pro­jec­tiles be­hind.

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