Aircraft, Pilots Critical To Tsunami Relief Effort...

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Helicopters Finally Arrive

In the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean coastline last week, military and civilian aircraft from around the world are providing critical relief. Desperately needed helicopters arrived over the weekend in Indonesia, finally bringing help into remote areas where airplanes could do no more than drop supplies. The U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln arrived off the island of Sumatra over the weekend, and helicopters based on the ship are ferrying supplies in and flying casualties out to hospitals. Villagers mobbed the helicopters as they touched down, desperate for food and water, sometimes preventing them from landing. "They came from all directions, crawling under the craft, knocking on the pilot's door, pushing to get into the cabin," Petty Officer First Class Brennan Zwack told the BBC News. "But when they saw we had no more food inside, they backed away, saying 'Thank you, thank you.'" The Dec. 26 tsunami killed at least 150,000 people in the region, and hundreds of thousands are in urgent need of medical care, clean water and food.