We are very happy to welcome Jordan Owen to AFH as our new Chief Flight Paramedic. Jordan is a 25 year veteran of Emergency Medical Services, with extensive rural, wilderness, and metropolitan experience. Jordan is currently based in Northern California as a Flight Paramedic for Air Methods, and is also a Fire Department Captain. In addition to Fire and Medical work in Mexico and Costa Rica, he has worked in Haiti as an Incident Commander, Paramedic, and House Supervisor at Hopital de Adventiste in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Jordan’s skills, knowledge, and can-do attitude will be a tremendous asset as we move forward with our Haiti Rescue Helicopter program.
We are very happy to welcome Capt. Michael Maya Charles as the new AFH Chief Pilot. With more than 20,000 hours of flight time on more than 200 types of aircraft and helicopters, Michael brings a wealth of expertise to our flight operations. In addition to his extensive fixed wing and helicopter experience, he also holds an A&P license to maintain and repair aircraft. Outside the cockpit, Michael is an accomplished author who, for over 30 years, has written for aviation publications like Vertical Magazine, FLYING Magazine, and AOPA Pilot. He is also the author of Artful Flying, a book that shows pilots a whole new approach to flying.
Michael’s involvement with Aviation for Humanity will play a crucial role in our Haiti Air Ambulance project. Look for a guest post from him soon!
AFH just returned to the US from a 10 day trip with RAM to survey a potential airstrip for the village of Medor. This community of 40,000 people are 6 hours hike through the mountains from the nearest road, and live without running water, electricity, or sanitation.
The trip was also an opportunity to visit the Hospital in St. Marc. Sadly the hospital was inundated with patients suffering from Cholera, a water-borne illness that spreads rapidly. The hospital director expressed a need for air transport for both patients and medical staff between St. Marc and Port-au-Prince – further reinforcing the need for air ambulance support for hospitals and clinics in Haiti.
A C207 is now working in Haiti on a permanent basis, operated by FHEAA – a Haitian foundation dedicated to improving the aviation infrastructure in Haiti that also teaches young Haitians to fly and maintain aircraft. The 207 will be used to fly medical personnel, supplies, and patients throughout Haiti as the country rebuilds. The 207 is a very capable aircraft, and is well suited to operating in and out of short dirt strips.
Next week we will be flying down to Haiti from Miami. We will be taking as many tents as we can fit in the plane. The rainy season is almost upon us, and we have over 1 million people homeless – sleeping under flimsy bivouacs with no power, running water, or sanitation. The tents we will be bringing down will only keep a handful of families out of the weather, but for those few it will mean the world.
N16BN on the GA ramp at MTPP
Just returned from a weekend trip to Port-au-Prince in a donated Queen Air. We were on a mission to find some generators that had been donated a few weeks earlier. Right after the earthquake the airport was overwhelmed with incoming cargo, and a lot of goods were misplaced, lost, or stolen. The generators were found, and will be doing duty at the Project Medishare hospital as backups to the units already running there.
Cockpit L-R: Alan Duval, Rymann Winter
The airport (MTPP) is now back under the control of Haitian ATC. There is no radar coverage, so you have to be sharp and proactive to ensure separation from other aircraft in the area. The ATC transmitter is weak - you end up with a lot of transmissions being stepped on.
The airport was out of 100LL so we had to stop at Provo (MBPV) in Turks & Caicos for gas. Winds were strong on the way back to Miami, it took 3 hours to make the trip. Landing in Opa Locka (KOPF) we had winds 25 gusting 30 right across the runway. The plane handled it no problem, it was rock solid all the way down. That’s one more successful Haiti flight completed.
Refueling in the Bahamas, Harrison Ford and Terry Bender
Harrison Ford got in touch, he owns several aircraft including a C208 Caravan. I met up with him and Terry Bender in Miami, and we flew Dr. Green from Project Medishare down to Haiti. Harrison went on to the D.R to fly medical teams up into Hinche in the Central Plateau. I flew back with the guys to Miami, then we spent two days in the air getting back to Santa Monica. We blew out a tyre touching down in KSMO – no biggie.
L-R: Rymann Winter, Terry Bender, Harrison Ford
The guys were great to hang out with, and we got some much needed doctors where they needed to go. Thanks Harrison and Terry.
L-R: Rymann Winter, Alan Shapiro, Sandy Bredin
Thanks to an email from the Pilatus owners association, Alan Shapiro called to volunteer his Pilatus PC12 for trips down to Port-au-Prince from Miami. Flying right seat was Sandy Bredin, an accomplished aviator and a hell of a nice guy. Alan and Sandy (Alice and Sandra) had me in stitches. We were doing serious work but we also had a lot fun flying medical teams down.
Project Medishare Team with Alan Shapiro & Rymann Winter
One medical machine we carried for Project Medishare was used 20 minutes after we touched down in an operation on a little boy. Its stories like these that keep us going. Thanks guys.
The situation is desperate and aid is very slow in getting out to the people. I just got back from Haiti, and have a new mission – we need a bigger plane (Pilatus PC12 or a KingAir B200) that can make direct runs from Miami into Port-au-Prince. The jets and turboprops that were being donated after the quake are starting to dry up as Haiti falls away from the media spotlight. We need this plane to shuttle medical teams and supplies from the US directly into Haiti. If you or someone you know has the means to support our efforts and the desire to put the tools needed into the hands of a hard working crew, please let us know. We were in Haiti before the quake hit, and we are doing everything we can to rebuild this devastated country.