GA COMMUNITY OFFERS HURRICANE RELIEF
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.