Some of the earliest responders to the Haiti earthquake crisis included experienced business aviation pilots and flight schedulers from across the country, who phoned and e-mailed NBAA with offers of help. The following are just a few of the individuals in the industry who contacted NBAA.
Greg Allen, Chicago, IL, said he was “able and willing to assist in any way possible. The 30-year business aviation pilot said: “You see those gruesome, graphic images from Haiti and you just want to do anything that you can. I volunteered my own small airplane [a Baron] and my flying skills in any way needed to help those people in Haiti.” He noted that the rapid response and versatility of business-type aircraft is a valued quality when disasters of this type strike.
Mason Hargreaves, Indianapolis, IN, reported he was available for relief-work activities. “I can fly, run heavy equipment, captain or mate a boat and build,” the 50-year-old pilot said. “Just put me to work,” said Hargreaves, who noted that he was FAA-certificated in several different business jets. “They’ll need people with construction, engineering and trade experience to help them recover,” he noted.
Sue Kearns, Santa Rosa, CA, e-mailed that she was “ready to donate her time,” telling NBAA: “It was just something I felt needed to be done. It’s giving back.” Kearns also called on other pilots and companies that may be able to help. “I’m getting responses from pilots and companies with business airplanes from all over: Chicago, Austin, Tampa, Boca Raton, Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado… Everybody wants to help those people in Haiti who have had their country destroyed.”
Robert May, Sagamore Hills, OH, e-mailed his readiness. May, 48, is a business aviation pilot who has flown to South America, Siberia, Europe, Asia the Middle East and the Carribean. “The only way to get those people immediate assistance is by air,” he said. “And I’m ready and willing to go help. America’s business aviation community is full of good men and women. I’m proud to do my part.”
Malachi O’Neill, Broomfield, CO, e-mailed to volunteer his services. Within days, O’Neill, a flight scheduler with a charter company in Denver, Colorado, was culled upon to assist with a Haiti relief flight. “It was a hurry-up trip for a group of engineers from Colorado Springs,” he recalled.“They were needed in Haiti right away, so of course I said, ‘we’re ready.’ “I want to do anything I can to help those men, women and children in Haiti,” he continued. “Business flying is such a great industry, all of us want to help any way we can.”
Stuart Sprung, San Diego, CA, e-mailed his immediate availability, adding: “I wanted to offer up my services as both a pilot and a paramedic for the disaster in Haiti.” He listed “basic credentials” as an FAA commercial pilot, both single and multi-engine instrument rated, as well as rotorcraft; with high-performance, complex and high-altitude endorsements; and a California State Paramedic License. “Whenever something like this happens, I’m just compelled to volunteer,” he said. “It must have been all those years I served in the San Francisco fire department.”