DENTON, Texas, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- OAD is an all-volunteer group of General Aviation pilots and planes formed in late August by iHeartMedia personality John Clay Wolfe and pilot Doug Jackson to fly critically-needed relief supplies to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. In only a few days it has grown to more than 150 planes and delivered countless tons of supplies, mostly to smaller airports in coastal Texas.
While efforts in Texas are expected to continue for several more weeks, members of the group are already looking towards Florida and Hurricane Irma. Irma is currently a Category 5 storm with winds reaching 185 mph.
Wolfe said in a statement:
"Right now, we're trying to get as many supplies down to BMT and IWS (Beaumont and West Houston airports) as we can on Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, we'll have to see where we're needed the most. We have created strategic relationships with the Texas and Cajun Navy, Aero Bridge, and PALS (Patient Airlift Services), these volunteer ground Navy's have proven crucial to ground based supply distribution. The ops center leaders have taken the entire week off work, using their vacation time to provide their expertise in OAD."
"OAD has a war-room style operations center located in KDTO (Denton, TX) manned by a software pro, full time controller, airlines logistics expert, and other pilots as mission control. These Vols are scheduling freight, assessing needs, updating FAA for clearance codes, managing aircraft weight loading specs, fuel burn, fuel replenishment locations, and of course constant weather updates to our air-force of volunteers. An enormous part of OAD's sudden success is the streamline logistics, and feedback to our pilots in real time. When pilots land they know where to drop, where to fuel, and no one goes home until every flight is accounted for safe and sound, tracking each plane online much like government controlled operations."
"The response we've been getting has been incredible. The outpouring of love, energy and effort on everyone's behalf has shown the world just what Americans are capable of. Harvey was a once in a lifetime event and it will take years for the area to fully recover, but we've been doing all we can to help our neighbors in their time of need."
"We've been talking to our friends and fellow pilots further east about Irma, since it looks like Florida could get the first winds and rain as early as Friday. It's possible that Operation Airdrop will need to expand to deal with a similar situation there as what we've been going through here in Texas."
"If there's a silver lining to Harvey, it's just how quickly we've put aside our differences and come together to help each other. America and Americans are strong, and we've just proved it to the world once again," Wolfe said.
To support Operation Airdrop, go to www.operation-airdrop.com, or follow the group on Facebook for the latest updates, most critical needs, donation sites and other information.
SOURCE Operation Airdrop