On Wednesday, September 19, 2018, Alliance Air Charter partnered with Operation Airdrop to fly a trip to deliver life-saving supplies to Maxton, NC, an area that was hard-hit and remains flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Shorts Pilot in Command, Alex Clark, and First Officer, Kevin Rasch, flew the Shorts aircraft. According to Clark, Hurricane Florence presented some unique challenges to delivering supplies into the area, including having to utilize boats to unload some of the donated supplies from aircraft.Operation Airdrop has had "some major aircraft donated... but the aircraft are not configured for freight and were unable to land in the space the Shorts was able to operate in. Alliance helped because the runway and ramp space was limited due to water. The town ration center was out of water, so the Shorts was able to stack and deliver literal tons of clean drinking water to this community along with some hot meals, hygiene products, diapers, insulin, first aid kits, etc. The local mayor and fire department unloaded us in their personal pick up trucks [for supplies] to be taken and distributed immediately."
One of the core values at the CAP Family of Companies has always been to be socially responsible and a good neighbor, and we have had a long-time focus on helping the communities in which we operate and our employees live, as well as helping those in need throughout the world.
We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with Operation Airdrop, an organization that was started in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. In describing the organization's start, Clark said that after Harvey he began to see pilots who were flying unorganized and unplanned flights to deliver supplies in order to help supplement FEMA's efforts. "... a Love Field controller and I met at his house and called around to airports and city officials generating a list of needs and [locations to] access the community. Using Facebook, we organized Operation Airdrop, which was just a Facebook event at the time. 250 pilots signed up and Fort Hood let us know they had organized a 250,000 sq. ft. hangar's worth of donations and the National Guard had dropped small teams of soldiers to help us unload and organize delivered supplies."
According to Clark, the mission of the Operation Airdrop organization is to "deploy our framework following the aftermath of a disaster to assist and work closely with government officials to help people who otherwise cannot be accessed by land-based resources. We stay and help until the government is able to address all needs or the roads open up and land-based resources are able to access the area." CLICK HERE to find out more about Operation Airdrop.
A special thank you to Alex Clark, who is a founder, Treasurer and Director of Operation Air Drop, for bringing this opportunity to help to Alliance. Additionally, thank you to Kevin Rasch who flew the trip, as well as to Beth Bond, Julie Guvernator and Dusty Newton of the Alliance dispatch team, who did the flight planning and management for this operation.