January 20th at 6.40pm, FCI received an urgent text message “We need manpower to load C130 goin 2 Haiti 2nite. Bring ppl willn 2 help.” Leaving the office at 7pm, several staff from FCI inhaled food and made off for Turnberry Aviation in Opa-Locka Executive Airport where we met up with several other packaging and loading volunteers, responding to text, Facebook and Twitter calls to action and Doctors from Medishare, Fax and Worldwide Relief, waiting for a flight to Haiti. We worked into the night stacking boxes of Shrink wrapping Palletswater bottles on palettes up to 9ft high and securing them with glad-wrap / cling-film, which ever term works best for you!
The fork-lift trucks made fast work of loading the C130 Hercules with 40,000lbs of H2O-stacked palettes from the Turnberry Aviation donated hanger facilities depository donation hub and Lynden Air Cargo started her engines. Donated anonymously, this small plane costs $60,000 for a round trip to Haiti and since Friday there has been one flight a day made by this aircraft alone. However, the gentleman operating the fork-lift truck said that if you totaled all the donated aircraft expenses, perhaps 5 Lynden Air Cargo Planeflights a day of varying size aircraft, it would total approximately $1 million a day. One volunteer Humberto, informed us that one 60-seater flight took only 30 Doctors on the last trip so free flights were being offered to anyone with a passport and 7 days clothing.
This impressive operation, launched from the equivalent of a postage stamp, is coordinated from Houston, where flights out of Opa-Locka Executive Airport were said to be scheduled 3 days ahead, due to the fact that Port-au-Prince Airport is inevitably backed up with arrivals and departures.
If you are a medical personnel and you would like to volunteer your services to help in Haiti, please call David Carter at 407 625 4655.