...Volunteer Aviators Helping Out

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Of course aviation, mostly the rotary kind, is playing a huge role in the aftermath of Katrina. Commercial aircraft along with military, Civil Air Patrol and Coast Guard Auxiliary units from all over the Southeast are being deployed to the storm-hit areas and there's no shortage of spectacular rescue coverage from the flock of news choppers also vying for airspace. Although the media flights were permitted initially, the skies got too crowded over New Orleans on Tuesday and Brown said they had to be stopped. She said there have been numerous calls from aviation organizations wondering how they can help. CAP crews are trained for aerial photography and damage assessment as well as helping with search and rescue. The Coast Guard Auxiliary crews are also in the air. "Our Aviators were operational, surveying and taking pictures for the Incident Command Center." said William Crouch, Vice Commodore of the Auxiliary Eighth Coast Guard District Coastal Region. Auxiliary members are not covered by the same laws that enable to National Guard and Reserve units to leave work to report for duty and must ask for time off from their employers to join the effort.