Canadian Pilot Reports From Haiti
Jason Krul, one of several pilots with the Mission Aviation Fellowship based in Haiti, was home with his wife, Willemien, and their two-year-old son, Jason, on Tuesday afternoon when the earthquake struck. "I remember hearing what sounded like a heavy dump truck drive past on our street," Willemien wrote in their blog the next day. "Then everything started shaking violently." The family, originally from British Columbia, Canada, came through OK, but their home was damaged and gas and water lines are broken. "If I walk down the street fifty steps, there is absolute and complete destruction," Jason told the Globe and Mail. [Click here for the podcast interview (MP3).] "There are dead bodies in the streets ... a lot of confusion and shock ... It's so incredibly overwhelming." The Kruls live just outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince, near the epicenter of Tuesday's devastating earthquake. The MAF plans to send at least three more pilots and four aircraft to help with relief efforts in the next week or so, spokesman Mark Field told AVweb on Wednesday. Rol Murrow, of the Air Care Alliance, told AVweb that other public-benefit flying groups in the U.S. have been in contact with relief officials to offer their help.
MAF supports seven families in Haiti, as well as seven Haitian staff members and three aircraft. The pilots fly to 16 remote airstrips from their base of operations in Port-au-Prince. All of the MAF families reported in safe, but as of Wednesday afternoon the status of the Haitian staffers was unknown, according to the group's Web site. The organization provides assistance to government aid agencies, nonprofit disaster relief organizations and others. Donations to help the survivors in Haiti are being accepted online via the Red Cross, or via Unicef and Care.