Friday, January 15, 2010


Seaplanes are sometimes a great necessity in disaster zones, especially those communities that are close to the seashore. Take the unfortunate massive Earth Quake that struck Haiti recently. The amount of aid pouring in, through conventional Aircraft, is huge. But, since the Airport facilities are small, only a certain number of Aircraft can operate in and out at any given time. This is hampering bringing in massive aid that is required urgently. The quake destroyed the control tower also and that compounded issues. The US Air Force has taken over the Airport now I have heard. They know what they are doing. President Obama's immediate actions have helped a lot and it needed someone with his command to get the machinery moving quickly. Can't say the same for his clueless predecessor.

I am happy to report that the Seaplane Pilot Association of the United States has stepped in to help. They are appealing to the Seaplane community to bring in small medical supplies, water purifying tablets and other essential supplies. Seaplanes will be able to land in certain designated sea lanes near the shore and deliver aid to communities that are nearby. This may help mitigate the problem to a certain extent and in any case, be able to distribute aid to far flung places. I commend the Seaplane owners and pilots who are pitching in to help in this time of need in Haiti and that they are volunteering their Aircraft and services for this.

Now, the same solutions can be applied in other areas. Remember the far flung ocean communities that suffered Earth Quakes recently and Tsunami before that in Indonesia? Remember the Cyclone that struck Myanmar and SE Asia? Remember the annual cyclones and tropical storms in Asia and other parts of the World? Coastal communities were worst hit. These are the area, that a seaplane/amphibious Aircraft can operate and hence would be an ideal platform for disaster management agencies to consider. Of course, not all times can seaplanes operate especially is there is a lot of floating debris but the airplanes can be used for dropping supplies and even jettisoning life rafts to those who had been swept out to Sea.

Let's hope Haiti comes out of this trauma although it may take a dozen years for mental scars to heal, what with the tremendous loss of life. Let's support the International Communities efforts to help Haiti. We know this all too well in Asia, this author among those who was in the middle of the Tsunami on Gan Island in the Republic of Maldives at that time.


YOSEE said...

Haiti's tragedy is heart rending. Even though the whole world is ready to offer help, the damaged infrastructure is confounding efforts. The fact that seaplanes can be of help in such frustrating situations offers a glimmer of hope.

Lets pray that survivors receive succour soon.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Yosee, I forgot to mention the contribution of Helicopters! They have been providing vital services with their ability to hover over an area and drop the supplies. There has been problems to operating in Haiti at this time, Machete wielding masked men have begun attacking supplies and distribution has become difficult. Haiti always had this massive drug/gang/crime problem that was preventing from anything happening. After a couple of days of lull, these gangs seem to have taken over again, making delivery of aid very difficult and the advise given now is to let armed soldiers/UN workers under guard to do the same. Unfortunate that even in times of crisis, we hear of humans acting inhuman in some cases and heartwarming stories of human endurance and persistence in finding survivors in the rubble are also coming out side by side.

Swaram said...

Ohh a ray of hope indeed! Kudos to all those pilots n owners who hv pitched in and to Obama who takes such valued decisions in time.

I luv ur blog Capt. for this reason too .. u give us a lot of imp. info which may nt be found on many other sources. Thanks for sharing :)

U were in the Maldives @ that time? God bless!

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Swaram. I write so that some of my readers enjoy it, people like you encourage me to do it. I've not been active in Blogging since December last year, time constraint is my normal excuse. I tweet because that's micro blogging and can even do in between work.

As for Haiti, there are many people with goodwill who are volunteering their services, hats off to those unsung heroes who at the end of the day have the satisfaction of having possibly saved lives or contributed to some human good.

Yes, I'm one of those that can actually wear a T-Shirt that says "I'm a Tsunami Survivor!" and I'd mentioned it in one of my blogs previously. Thanks for your kind wishes.

Chuck said...

A great story about a large seaplane actually helping in Haiti is here:

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Chuck: Many thanks for the link! I'm fascinated with the Albatross.