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Mon, Aug 28, 2017

GA Tries To Stay Out of Path of Hurricane Harvey

Early Evacuation Proved to Be Safe Bet...

ANN is monitoring reports of extensive damage and heartache in Texas... but a number of GA pilots got out while the going was good. ANN friend, Sarah Rovner, described her company’s efforts to get susceptible GA birds out of harm’s way.

"As the owner of FullThrottle Aviation, an aircraft delivery company, I often get calls from people to move airplanes for various reasons. The incoming hurricane Harvey had residents concerned, but many people decided to stay in Houston due to the fact that the bulk of the storm is still nearly 150 miles southwest. On Thursday night, I started getting calls from people who hangar airplanes in areas that flood. They were looking for someone to fly the airplanes out to a safe place to leave them for the weekend. In fact, many airplane owner policies will actually cover the cost of relocation in the event of a major weather event. Considering my relationship with the airports in Waco, I figured that a temporary evacuation to Waco would be the best and most cost-effective solution for our customers. Therefore, I arranged with my other pilots to help fly the airplanes to Waco.

We all decided to take off from different airports and meet in Waco on Friday morning before the bands of rain made landfall in Houston. By 8am, the weather had already started deteriorating in the Houston area, with large stretches of rain drenching areas of Houston in a rapid circular motion. In fact, many of the airports in the area were reporting winds in dramatically different direction than their neighbors only 10 miles away. All 3 planes were able to take off uneventfully and fly VFR to Waco.

The FBO, Servion, at Waco TSTC graciously offered a low rate for storage for the airplane refugees. After tucking the planes away to their new temporary home, we got the crew car to go to Walmart. The stores in Houston had already been cleaned out. As of this morning, water cannot be found and the gas stations are shutting down after running out of water. I collaborated with some of my neighbors for supplies, so we made a supply run in Waco where people didn’t think the world was ending. After doing a weight & balance, we took all the supplies we could and headed back to Houston.

The interesting thing about hurricane weather is that it rapidly changes. As the bands pass over the location of the center of the storm shifts, you can end up with large dry areas in the midst of organized chaos. We were able to fly back to Houston VFR without ever encountering the type of bad weather we left from. Overall, it was a successful mission and we were able to get a few planes out of harm’s way as well as bring supplies back to Houston for others."

FMI: www.FullThrottleAviationLLC.com

 


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