2022 04 14 CalDART Annual Membership Meeting: See highlights from the CalDART Annual Membership Meeting. See the CalDART President Paul Marshall’s review of 2021 and targets for 2022 here. See the Executive Director of the Air Care Alliance tell us about public benefit flying organizations across the USA and their support for disaster response here. Jim Gates of Torrance DART tells us about the Dixie Fire Airlift he organized on behalf of school children burned out of their homes in Greenville, CA, as requested by UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) of SoCal VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster). The airlift was complicated by IFR conditions, a Fire TFR near the community in need, and smoke column penetration. Jim provides a thorough treatment of the planning, hazard and risk mitigation, challenges, routes, IFR issues, lessons learned, and pictures from the day. See Jim’s presentation here. Shaun Heaps of BC Aero relates the compelling story of the two-months-long relief airlift he organized in the mountains behind Vancouver BC when the area was stricken by historic rainfall and flooding in November and December. 3 major highways in the area were washed out, isolating numerous communities. Even the Trans-Canada highway was out of service. They saved lives and reduced misery, conducting 728 flights with 83 pilots moving 400,000 lbs of supplies using both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. His pilots saw communities in panic at the airport fence. One helicopter pilot by chance saved a couple who were recording their last will and testament on their cell phones after being stranded for 3 days on a short section of washed out highway beside a raging river with no supplies, thinking that help would never come and their end was near. See Shaun’s presentation here.
2022 01 01 CalDART Becomes Independent Corporation: CalDART becomes an independent 501(c)3 corporation after divestiture from CalPilots. As CalDART grew and became more complex, the leadership of CalDART and CalPilots began to be distracted by each other’s issues and were having difficulty completing their core missions. They decided it would be simpler for each to be an independent corporation so that their precious volunteer time could be fully focused in mission accomplishment. CalDART thanked CalPilots for helping it through significant start up challenges and for publicizing CalDART to its membership, and CalPilots thanked CalDART for helping expand its membership.
2021 08 17 Dixie Fire UMCOR flight for Greenville School Children: Jim Gates of Torrance DART answered the call when SoCal VOAD’s UMCOR asked us to airlift supplies from Southern California to Greenville to allow the burned out kids to be set to go back to school. Read the Operation Recap here.
2021 02 23 CalDART Annual Meeting: CalDART’s Annual Meeting featured: Randy Rapp (Deputy Chief, Tactical Air Operations, CAL FIRE) presented Fire Traffic Areas; Board elections were held, Ron Lovick (CalDART Gov’t/NGO Liaison Officer and San Diego CalDART Executive Officer) presented Operation Medical Shield activities and lessons learned, Josh Swigart (San Diego CalDART Co-Chair) Flight Operations in the Yurok Crescent City PPE Airlift, Paul Marshall (CalDART President) on 2021 Plans. Watch meeting and presentations here.
2021 01 12 Yurok Indian Klamath River Airlift: CalDART flew donated PPE and medical gowns from Direct Relief in Santa Barbara to the Yurok Indian Tribe on the Klamath River near the Crescent City Airport. See the newspaper article here, and listen to the radio station story here.
2020 09 23 Oregon Firefighter Airlift: CalDART put together a 1-day airlift of 23 planes flying 4873 lbs of KN-95 masks, steel trundle beds, hand sanitizer, and a variety of other items to fire fighters and impacted communities near Eugene Oregon in the midst of historically severe wildfires. Direct Relief of Santa Barbara supplied the operation, and Reach Out World Wide managed the distribution in Oregon. See the 2 minute video here.
2020 05 18 CalDART flies donated face masks from Palo Alto CA to Walla Walla WA: Pilot Brian Dear and his son Sebastian fly a load of donated face shields to a community in need as requested by their city’s emergency management center. Read the story here.
2020 04 30 CalDART flies Ventilators from San Diego to Sacramento to assist with emergency deployments: Read the story here.