Pilots sought for SC disaster drill

May 16, 2012

Nonprofit aviation service organization AERObridge is asking pilots in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia to participate in a full-scale hurricane disaster exercise in South Carolina on June 5. AOPA and other aviation associations work in partnership with AERObridge to ensure that general aviation stands ready to assist in times of need.

AERObridge needs pilots with general aviation and business aircraft to take part in the 2012 South Carolina State Hurricane Full Scale Exercise, in which the group will conduct aerial reconnaissance, and airlift equipment and supplies in support of relief operations. The drill provides an opportunity for AOPA members to make a difference by demonstrating the utility of general aviation aircraft when disaster strikes.

“This is just a simulation, of course,” said Marianne L. Stevenson, AERObridge’s president, in a news release. “But we’re asking GA pilots and companies with business aircraft to participate in this simulation to help show the strength and value of GA in emergencies.”

Pilots may register for the exercise by clicking the “join us” link on the AERObridge website.

The annual hurricane disaster exercise is directed by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. In all, 18 state and federal agencies, and eight nonprofit organizations plan to participate.

The exercise is held at the beginning of the hurricane season “to give government and private relief organizations a realistic way to practice their plans in advance of actual need,” AERObridge said.

Washington, D.C.-based AERObridge operates through donations and volunteers, and describes its mission as assisting in times of catastrophic emergency by coordinating participation by donated aircraft to provide a “powerful, immediate response to disaster.”

For more information, contact Stevenson at 951/491-9827 or by email.