Islands Hit Hard By Ike, Bracing For More Storms
With residents of Haiti, Cuba and
The Bahamas now cleaning up following the onslaught of Hurricane
Ike -- and with the storm now setting its sights on the Texas Gulf
coast -- now is a good time to talk about efforts to help storm
victims rebuild their lives.
Bahamas Habitat recently announced an upcoming Fly-In & Help
Out event to Eleuthera in the Bahamas, from November 6-9. The
organization is urging pilots and aircraft owners to join in this
This is a very special mission because along with normal work on
current construction projects, this year there will be hurricane
aid and reconstruction to perform in the remote parts of the
Bahamas. Inagua, in the southern Bahamas took a direct hit from
Hurricane IKE and the full extent of the damage is still coming
"We are not yet out of the Hurricane season and already there is
much to do," said John Armstrong, the organization's Vice President
and Regional Manager for Dominion Aircraft Sales. "We are
mobilizing for support of the stricken areas. We are urging all
interested pilots, aircraft owners and individuals involved in the
aviation industry to join us."
The Aviation wing of Bahamas Habitat leverages the resources of
the general aviation industry and aircraft owners from the US to
support disaster relief efforts and on-going mission work for our
close by neighbors in the Bahamas.
"What makes this mission opportunity so unique is that the
Bahamas are so easily accessible by general aviation aircraft and
so in need that it provides the ideal opportunity for a mission
minded pilot to give back to a community in need in an exciting and
tax deductible way." Armstrong added.
In addition the organization is beginning efforts to transport
and setup a complete dental clinic at Camp Symonette, the
organizations main base of operations in central Eleuthera.
"The dental clinic equipment was a very generous gift from Dr.
Herbert Rust and his lovely wife Louise," explained
Armstrong. "We are extremely grateful to Dr. Rust for his
generous donation and his enthusiasm to be part of this
"The Flying Dentists Association learned of our efforts to
establish a dental ministry and they are very anxious to help us,"
Armstrong said. "Several of their members will be on the committee
for the site selection and development of this much-needed
facility. We are actively seeking other flying dentist to come and
join this project."
Pilots and crewmembers participating in the November Fly-In
& Help Out mission will meet at Premier Aircraft Sales'
headquarters at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) on
Thursday, November 6 for lunch and pilot briefings prior to
departing to Eleuthera. Lodging and transportation on the island
are arranged for the group.
"If you've ever wanted to fly your airplane to the Bahamas, this
is the perfect way to learn to learn the ropes while supporting a
valuable mission," Armstrong said. "We had pilots join us from all
over during our Fly-In & Help Out event last winter and in
every case the experience really touched their hearts (see: Fly-In
Help Out Touches Hearts post). We had about 14 aircraft on previous
trips. We can house up to 60 people at Camp Symonette so our goal
is about 20-25 aircraft for the event this November. We hope to
form partnerships with various aviation organizations including
type clubs, flying clubs and aviation media organizations to grow
and support this valuable mission.