Sea Turtles Need Help From Pilots


Photo: New England Aquarium

“It’s that time of year again,” Leslie Weinstein, president of Turtles Fly Too, told AVweb this week. As the season changes from summer to fall, sea turtles in the ocean off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, are being found on the beach, stunned by the cold water and in need of assistance. “Most of the seaturtlesare the Kemp’s Ridley, one of the most endangered species, headed towards extinction,” says Weinstein. “General aviation pilots have played a major role in prolonging the life of the Kemp’s.” The rescuers are now seeking more volunteer pilots to help with turtle transport.

The stressed turtles need to be flown to facilities, mainly in the Southern states, where they can be cared for and released back into the wild. They are more likely to survive if they fly, says Weinstein, which lessens the stress and travel time. Experts at the New England Aquarium care for the stranded turtles and prepare them for flying, safely packed in cardboard boxes. Pilots interested in volunteering can find out more at