Bits and Pieces: Relief Flights to the Interior

By Mike Davenport, EAA 89102, Langley, British Columbia

Many private individuals operating personal, private aircraft flew relief flights into the southern interior of British Columbia in order to provide basic food stuffs and medical supplies to those who suffered great loss from flooding or were cut off from normal access by landslides.

Among those were Garry Peare and Scott Jackson, EAA 1044661, both residents of the lower mainland of British Columbia, who used Scott’s Cessna Cardinal RG to transport a half ton of urgently needed materials to the town of Merritt. Over the course of two days, Gary flew Scott’s airplane on both trips while getting a checkride at the same time.

Gary loaded up with supplies

On both flights, the supplies were taken to Merritt and then further on to an isolated First Nations village by helicopter. All of this at no cost to those in need. This shows the extent of the effort made by these volunteer pilots to help others.

Helicopter staging at Merritt to ferry supplies to flood victims

Fortunately the weather was good for both trips, something that is rarely the case in winter months in British Columbia. Good weather is necessary as the route flown is through several narrow mountain passes.

Gary somewhere in the mountains

Coincidentally another Cardinal also flew this same route, this one owned and operated by Glen Hoffman and previously owned by the same Scott Jackson.  Glen had only recently acquired this aircraft and was clearly anxious to put it to good use. His fixed gear model shared a design feature with Scott’s RG in that each has a low sill on a very large door, making it very easy to load and secure freight. In addition neither has a wing strut to get in the way while loading.

Glen made three trips, one with Scott, one with Brodie Morgan and the other with Bill Flasch in order to deliver just over 1,100 pounds of urgently needed supplies.

Glen and Brodie manage to take a selfie

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