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AirKatrina Launched by Ex-Military Pilots to Help Speed Evacuation Efforts for Critically Ill Survivors

AirKatrina Website Raises $40,000 in First 20 Hours to Put Gas Into Private Planes, With All Time and Planes Donated

First Airlift Saved Seven-Month-Old Baby Needing Transplant

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 09/02/2005 -- A group of ex-military pilots was formed today to fly medical supplies in and patients in need of "extreme medical care" out of the worst parts of disaster-stricken New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The veteran pilots, with years of special operations and air rescue experience, launched their efforts this morning to help expand traditional airlift efforts, which have become overwhelmed by the scope of the disaster. The first emergency rescue flew a seven-month old baby from Louisiana to South Florida where she underwent transplant surgery.

The pilots are donating their time and planes to this effort, and have been using the Internet to coordinate both the missions and the fundraising to make these flights possible. Each emergency flight requires $3,000 to $4,000 in fuel to airlift extremely ill victims to emergency hospital settings out of state. Donations are being taken online at www.airkatrina.com and a blog of the rescue activities has been set up at http://airkatrina.blogmaker.com.

"This is an example of Internet entrepreneurs quickly mobilizing to solve a major human crisis," said Rick Schwartz, a member of the World Association of Domain Name Developers (WADND.COM), which includes the website www.WorldJet.com which was used to recruit the pilots. The cost of setting up the site was donated and additional contributions have been made by other members of the Internet community, including DomainSponsor, a division of Los Angeles-based Oversee.net.

"Time is running out for those most in need," said Schwartz. "Fortunately, the Internet allows real-time donations to be converted into the precious gasoline to allow us to make many more trips to save lives." Schwartz reiterated that zero percent of the fees donated will be used for overhead, with all money (minus banking fees) going directly to gasoline.

For more information or to donate money to fund an airlift, please visit http://www.airkatrina.com.


 

http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=94406

 

Second Article in Newspaper 9/2/05 copied from Google by 4Law 5/10/05

 

 

 

News

Mercy flights seek pilots, planes

 

September 2, 2005


To help
Pilots with experience in military cargo aircraft, or people who have airplanes that can be donated to move medical supplies to hurricane-stricken New Orleans, should call Gary Kraser at WorldJet.Com, (305) 935-5507, or email him at info@worldjet.com.

The effort needs pilots type-rated in Lear 35, 36, 45 or 60 jets, Challenger 600, 601 and 604s, Gulfstream IV, IVSP or V types, or C-130s.

For more information or to donate money to fund an airlift, please visit http://www.airkatrina.com/.

 

By John Andrew Prime
jprime@gannett.com

A humanitarian effort trying to send medical equipment to hurrican-stricken New Orleans is desperately seeking pilots and airplanes.

"Right now I need someone to pick up 40 stretchers that weight 120 pounds apiece," said Gary Kraser, spokesman for WorldJet.Com, which is one of several sponsors of the web effort through the site http://www.airkatrina.com/. "The total weight is 4,800 pounds, which is like 35 to 40 people, and we'll need a good-sized airplane to pick them up at 5:30 p.m. today at the International Airport at Battle Creek, Mich."

The effort is based out of south Florida, which is no stranger to hurricanes, and initial efforts have been to find pilots and airplanes there. But pilots can come from anywhere as long as they're type-rated and, the backers hope, can volunteer their airplanes and fuel.

The effort was begun today by ex-military pilots, many of whom have years of special operations and air rescue experience, to help expand traditional airlift efforts that have become overwhelmed by the scope of the disaster. The first emergency rescue flew a seven-month old baby from Louisiana to South Florida where she underwent transplant surgery, according to effort spokesman Mike Terpin.

"The pilots are donating their time and planes to this effort, and have beenusing the Internet to coordinate both the missions and the fundraising to make these flights possible," Terpin emailed. "Each emergency flight requires $3,000 to $4,000 in fuel to airlift extremely ill victims to emergency hospital settings out of state. Donations are being taken online at http://www.airkatrina.com/ and a blog of the rescue activities has been set up at http://airkatrina.blogmaker.com/."

"This is an example of Internet entrepreneurs quickly mobilizing to solve a major human crisis," said Rick Schwartz, a member of the World Association of Domain Name Developers, which includes WorldJet.com, the site being used to recruit the pilots.

"Time is running out for those most in need," Schwartz said. "Fortunately, the Internet allows real-time donations to be converted into the precious gasoline to allow us to make many more trips to save lives."

Schwartz said none of the fees donated will be used for overhead, with all money except banking fees going directly to fuel.

The Shreveport Times

September 2, 2005

 

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050902/NEWS/50902009