Airlift to Haiti – Day 1

Rich Pickett is SDSU’s CIO and a licensed pilot for 32 years. He is volunteering his time to fly relief flights to earthquake ravaged Haiti and will be sharing his experiences here as often as he is able …

We flew to Fort Lauderdale today and set up the logistics for our first flight tomorrow.  The demand for flights is  even more than I imagined.  People (medical, engineers, etc.) need to fly into Haiti and those who have been down there need to return to the States.  One group has already coordinated 150 flights by 65 private aircraft and carrying 125,000 lbs of supplies along with 30 medical personnel delivered to Haiti.

Upon arrival, and during the trip from San Diego, I received numerous text and phone messages asking for help.  Brandon Campbell, who is finishing his Accounting Degree at SDSU, has helped raise some funds and is joining me on the trip.

The plan tomorrow is to fly 7 people down to Jacmel Haiti, drop some people and supplies for the hospital.  Some of them have been waiting at the airport for 4 days, just trying to get a flight to the Hospital. From there I’ll fly over to Turks and Caicos to pick up an advance group of  staff from a San Diego organization – The Halo Group, and Harvard, and take them somewhere in Haiti that we will determine.  I’m helping them connect with my recent contacts in Haiti who need help.  From there, I hope to pick up some people and return them to Florida.

If all goes well, I’ll load up another 1100-1200 lbs of supplies and then Brandon will join me on a return flight to Haiti.  My friend, Todd Macaluso, is making this possible by providing me the use of his airplane, which he has only had for three weeks.  Hopefully I won’t scratch it!

A hangar in Ft Lauderdale filled with supplies for the airlift

The PC-12 Pilatus plane being flown for the Haiti mission.


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