Dear CalDART members and friends:
Saturday (9/19/2020) CalDART joined forces with Angel Flight West, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Air Squadron, Direct Relief and Reach Out World Wide to transport 100,000 KN95 masks, Wildland Fire Kits, trundle beds, shampoo, hair conditioner, and a broad variety of additional items from Santa Barbara to Eugene, Oregon. The Oregon firefighters and communities surrounding Eugene will greatly benefit from our service.
Saturday’s operation was the biggest single Operation as measured by goods moved and total air miles flown in the history of CalDART. Our annual practice mobilizations have involved more pilots and more ground crew, but the loads and distances have both been much smaller in comparison. Forest fire TFRs, heavy smoke, and IFR weather along the way combined to give us an even bigger aviation challenge to go with the logistics challenge. We came through marvelously. It’s the experienced aviators, DART personnel, and Angel Flight West Missions Team who made it all possible.
Saturday was a test of how we might handle an even larger future disaster, and it showed the potential enormous benefit that we can bring. Imagine the number of planes and volunteers we would need, and the kinds of transport operations the communities would need if we had a 7.9 earthquake in LA, San Diego, or the bay area. It is our desire to be ready for such a catastrophe so that all 54,000 pilots in the state of California have a chance to offer their services to help, in a scale that will be meaningful to the minimization of misery, suffering and loss of life after such a major calamity.
The world around us took note of what we were doing Saturday. We made the evening news Saturday in Santa Barbara and Eugene, and by this morning ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX stations all over the country had picked up on the story and repeated it in more condensed form. See and read for yourself the local newspaper/TV below, and the national ones as of this morning at the end. they have excellent pictures and video of our operations. Some of our planes and people have been seen all around the country!
I thank each pilot who so generously gave of their time and aviation budget to make all this happen. Here’s a few notable statistics from the day. Of the 23 pilots who flew, Doug Mockett gets the award for fastest flight and heaviest payload flown. His CJ3 stretched Cessna jet flew the Vice President of Emergency Response at Direct Relief, two Direct Relief staffers, and a decent load of freight to Oregon. The speed of the CJ3 allowed the VP to help supervise loading in Santa Barbara to make sure the most urgent things got on the planes first, and yet still arrive in time to help with the unloading and to meet his counterpart at Reach Out World Wide face to face for the first time, and still be home well before dinner. The many turboprop planes helped increase the average payload weight flown. The second place award for payload was a very tight contest between the Kodiak 100 and the Bonanza A36, with the A36 winning out by 20 pounds.
A major guess factor for the day was how much would each plane be able to carry in the particular tubs and densities given to us. By the time the 17th and last plane had loaded, there remained about 1 plane’s worth of cargo still on the ramp to be flown. Also, every piece of cargo that was flown to a handoff point was successfully loaded in the next plane and flown to the final destination.
Appended below are some of the stations nationwide who carried the story.
Paul Marshall, President
408 838 3307