Katrina And General Aviation’s Ongoing Contribution


While Katrina is now a middle item, at best, on the evening news, there is still much work to be done in the Gulf Coast area and GA continues to do its share. While most of the GA activity involves short hops into the affected areas with supplies and back out with refugees, pilots have been contributing some long-haul services, too. At least two pilots from Colorado Springs flew to Mississippi to pick up relatives of local residents trapped by the storm. “I just cried. I couldn’t believe it. He did this out of the goodness of his heart,” said Kimberly Akerlund after pilot Alan von Ahlefeldt delivered her relatives from Crystal Springs, Miss., to Meadow Lake Airport near Colorado Springs. But then, the selflessness of GA pilots has become a common theme in the crisis and no one has been following it more closely than AVweb. Click through for our comprehensive review. Thanks to close contacts maintained through Rol Murrow and the Air Care Alliance and other volunteer flying groups, we’ve been able to chronicle the tremendous contribution GA has made in easing the plight of the storm’s victims, sometimes by overcoming a bureaucracy that was often paralyzed and unable to tap the resource at its fingertips. Pilots simply got it done and their stories are fascinating. AVweb senior correspondent Mary Grady has compiled a special report on the effort and it debuts today on our Web site.