Buffalo Airways And Everts Air Pitching In To Save Lives
In the effort to develop a coherent general aviation response plan for the west coast we’ve learned a great deal over the years. One aspect that has become very crucial to our success is the ability to maintain the supply of AVgas as a good portion of the aircraft which make up the Disaster Airlift Response Teams (DART’s), flies on it.
As we face a magnitude 8 plus earthquake for 3 to 5 minutes with significant damage to the road infrastructure the ability to get fuel is going to be a very serious problem in large part due to the topography of the main states going to be most affected by this earthquake. Washington in particular is very vulnerable as there is no AvGas productionin Washington or Oregon. So with the high likelyhood of the pass highways being gone we had a major headache for the West Coast General Aviation Response Plan (WCGARP).
Thanks to two phenomenal commercial cargo operators up north the issue of fuel seems now solved. There is still much work to be done, but with their involvement moving AVgas by airplane is now an option. Buffalo Airways out of Canada and Everts Air Fuel out of Alaska have both joined the WCGARP effort.
The addition of these two groups into the effort makes a huge difference and quite literally will keep the DART’s running. What is even more significant is Buffalo Airways brings unique knowledge of how to turn an amphibian into a flying tanker. This essentially provides a way to maintain fuel supply to the seaplanes in the impacted area without requiring any hard surface runways. This creates an earthquake proof resource.
But, they don’t just bring the ability to fly fuel; they bring aircraft that don’t require paved runways and pilots that are very experienced flying in very challenging conditions on a regular basis. But as the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”, the two videos below should be giving some good information.
A very special thank you to all who have worked for so many years on this effort and a huge thank you to Buffalo Airways and Everts Airways. The are literally keeping us in the air.
Sky Terry is the Emergency and Disaster Response Editor at Seaplanemagazine.com and has written extensively on the topic of incorporating General & Business Aviation into the mix of first response after natural disasters. If you wish to get involved in the effort or begin developing your own plan to start an Emergency Response Team, please contact him via Email. To learn more about the Emergency Volunteer Air Corps visit EVAC.org. Sky Terry also puts out frequent email updates on the progress of the effort with a large number of individuals.
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