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Haiti rescue missions

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The damage in Haiti is unbelievable. Like a nuke went off there. The world is reacting. I work for DHL and we already mobilized our disaster rescue team, which is world renowned. We put people on the ground (ordinary employees from all departments and all volunteers) that are trained, uniformed and ready to work. We are not alone. In fact our DRT people do not have DHL logo anywhere on their uniforms. They are there to help not to brand. Our aircraft are also at UN disposal regularly and are flying now to Haiti since we have a very strong Latin American network.Anyway, this is not about DHL. I wanted to know more about the logistics challenges in and out of Port Au Prince since there is no jet fuel on the island. Flew one B757-200F mission from MIA to MTPP and flew another 757 Charter out of PAP to Atlanta. Anybody know any real flight plans into and out of MTPP? I can guess that if a 747 from Europe flies into there, it better fly from Haiti to Puerto Rico or some other place close to refuel as there is no avgas in Haiti at all due to destroyed infrastructure.Many very interesting flights can occur ranging from propliners between islands to heavy jets.


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...Anyway, this is not about DHL. I wanted to know more about the logistics challenges in and out of Port Au Prince since there is no jet fuel on the island. Flew one B757-200F mission from MIA to MTPP and flew another 757 Charter out of PAP to Atlanta. Anybody know any real flight plans into and out of MTPP? I can guess that if a 747 from Europe flies into there, it better fly from Haiti to Puerto Rico or some other place close to refuel as there is no avgas in Haiti at all due to destroyed infrastructure.Many very interesting flights can occur ranging from propliners between islands to heavy jets.
The Dominican Republic is on the same island, so there is jet fuel on the 'island'. MDSD would appear to be the most logical fuel alternate (tho I'm not aware of the condition of the other airports in Haiti).flightaware.com would get you some recently used flightplans into MTPP from the U.S.Regards.Ernie.

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The US Coast Guard immediately responded with 3 cutters off Port Au Prince, and a 4th at Gitmo. I think there is an idea that MUGM would be used as a staging / trans-shipment point. Did a quick look and couldn't find any AFCAD for it so you might be stuck with the default.USCG has sent some HC-130, I assume from Station Clearwater but maybe E City too?Of course once USS Nimitz gets on scene you have that as an option for your rotorcraft.

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An Atlanta reporter flew into the Dominican Republic with CARE and traveled over land to get to Port au Prince. While there are planes on the ground in Haiti, remember that they can only land in daylight right now as there is no electricity to power navaids at last report.


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.While there are planes on the ground in Haiti, remember that they can only land in daylight right now as there is no electricity to power navaids at last report.
hello,planes do land at night at the airport. the runway lights work as they are powered by generators. navaids do not work requiring pilots to land completely by sight.

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Do you think it makes a difference that the last METAR data is from 1-12 at 21Z?

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Do you think it makes a difference that the last METAR data is from 1-12 at 21Z?
I'd be willing to bet you that the USAF already has a field-portable TACAN and/or MLS system installed on genset power at Port-au-Potti. Our C-17s can land just fine on NVGs without lights.That said, the amount/kind of aid those people need has to come in by ship...I haven't heard what the ports or the roads out of 'em are like. With the road infrastructure crumbled, it's almost a moot point what you can get into a major transportation node...you still have to get it from the airport/seaport to the disaster area.The sad truth is that Haiti looked like a nuke hit it BEFORE this happened. I think the quake really just redistributed the rubble. No amount of aid is going to help a people that can't help themselves even on the best of days. We need to pave the place over, paint it green, and start over. This is a long-term black hole we can't afford to pour unlimited amounts of national treasure into right now. It isn't going to help in the long term--that's the brutal reality I see from too many years of studying this stuff.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO

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It should be noted that the C-17 and C-130 crews are trained to land in areas during the dead of night on fields and the like, as it's part of their operational procedure. Landing on this kind of situation for them isn't as hard as it would be for an airliner pilot.


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hello,planes do land at night at the airport. the runway lights work as they are powered by generators. navaids do not work requiring pilots to land completely by sight.
While our military can operate without the need for lights or even navaids at night, those in the civilian sector will. Now there very well may be generators running airport lighting now, when the earthquake first happened, they certainly did not have lighting according to the first news reports from the airport. Now, being what, 3 days later, there most certainly be those aforementioned generators operating.

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The sad truth is that Haiti looked like a nuke hit it BEFORE this happened. I think the quake really just redistributed the rubble. No amount of aid is going to help a people that can't help themselves even on the best of days. We need to pave the place over, paint it green, and start over. This is a long-term black hole we can't afford to pour unlimited amounts of national treasure into right now. It isn't going to help in the long term--that's the brutal reality I see from too many years of studying this stuff.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO
Disgusting!With a cynical attitude like that I sure hope that you or anyone like you are not in charge of making international decisions for who is or who is not worthy. Thank God you are retired and out of reach of levers and buttons that do anything in the real world. Anyone ever heard of the ugly American?I am a lot more impressed with what I just heard from a news conference given by the Canadian government which is once again pouring talent and treasure into Haiti and working with the coalition of the willing that includes the USA, Britian, France, Germany, Japan, China, Iceland, etc. etc. etc. Fortunately, there are better examples of humanity, 3 of which are Presidents of the United States, which I just heard speak from the White House, who do not have such a high opinion of themselves and a low opinion of others. Each of them are willing to put it all on the line for the lowest of the low, no matter what it takes, and how many times it takes it.Don't let those who rate others differently to what they rate themselves discourage you from giving sacrificially to help those who are working in Haiti to make a difference. If you allow lack of hope to paralysis your better instincts, then you too are a victim of an equal calamity, don't you think? This entire community is built on self indulgent fun, so we can afford to set our joysticks aside for a few minutes, and give part of our excess to those who will make better use of it.Spirit Flyer

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...Fortunately, there are better examples of humanity, 3 of which are Presidents of the United States, which I just heard speak from the White House, who do not have such a high opinion of themselves and a low opinion of others. Each of them are willing to put it all on the line for the lowest of the low, no matter what it takes, and how many times it takes it.
You don't seriously believe that is what is going to happen do you ?This will be no different than most other natural disasters, at first everyone will promise and pledge everything.Then in a few months when its not on the news every day, everyone will go back to their normal lives,the donations will dry up, and the Hiatians will be back to fending for themselves.Most of the money sent there for rebuilding will likely dissappear into the hands of corruption.I'm afraid Bob may not be far off from the truth, as distastefull as it is.Unless they find a huge Oil deposit in Haiti sometime soon , history is bound to repeat itself.Regards.Ernie.

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Well SpiritFlyer, I spent my last three years in the AF as the USAF attache in Chile, and one of the big issues I worked over and over for the USG was to encourage Chile's ongoing peacekeeping commitment to Haiti. I've spent much more of my life actually working this problem that you ever will even devote to thinking about it, so I'm not particularly moved by your shirt-sleeve self-righteous indignation.The Chileans are giving it their best with the limited resources they have, but the discussions I had with their returning peacekeepers did not reflect any sense of hope that things had changed, might change, or even could change there despite years of trying. That's the sad truth, and unless you've actually been there, you can't possibly understand.Reality, as I see it, is that every bit of the aid given to Haiti will be absorbed (much of it diverted to enrich the corrupt) without making a dent in the real long-term issues, and as Ernie suggests, it'll be back to the usual hopeless grind soon thereafter. I know it makes people feel good to help, but it's sort of like going to heroic measures to save a death-row inmate that's just going to be executed next year.We see this misguided sense of charitable accomplishment every day in well-meaning but strategically inept programs like the World Food Program. They race to the scene of the latest famine, throw grain around to the hungry and pat themselves on the back for keeping the folks they fed from starving, and completely fail to understand that simply feeding the hungry only makes the NEXT famine even bigger and more egregiously awful on the human scale. It's going to take birth/population control, rooting out of corruption, agricultural discipline, and so much more to fix those problems...and none of that can happen when the people you're trying to help can't organize themselves or break the cycle of corruption.It's really easy to feel good about yourself for sending in a little cash when Christiane Amanpour is on CNN making a big splash with pictures and 24/7 reporting on of the devastation. When you take the time to study the problems and the history in detail, that warm fuzzy feeling is a lot harder to come by. If you want to *really* help, you can get off your large pink rear end and GO to Haiti (I've been there and done that), the Congo (been there too), Rwanda (ditto), or Sudan, put that big pink derriere at risk, and throw yourself into trying to make a difference. When you go back home a few weeks or months later, you'll have a better sense of the immense magnitude of the challenge and much more frustration at how a people can perpetuate their own misery so.The practical reality is difficult, messy, smelly, and unhappy. It may not be politically correct to tell a drunk that the cirrhosis that's killing him is his own doing. It's also not PC to suggest that a country like Haiti can't help itself even on the best of days because of the way it's people live and the things they tolerate amongst themselves day to day, but it's no less true.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO


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Well SpiritFlyer, I spent my last three years in the AF as the USAF attache in Chile, and one of the big issues I worked over and over for the USG was to encourage Chile's ongoing peacekeeping commitment to Haiti. I've spent much more of my life actually working this problem that you ever will even devote to thinking about it, so I'm not particularly moved by your shirt-sleeve self-righteous indignation.The Chileans are giving it their best with the limited resources they have, but the discussions I had with their returning peacekeepers did not reflect any sense of hope that things had changed, might change, or even could change there despite years of trying. That's the sad truth, and unless you've actually been there, you can't possibly understand.Reality, as I see it, is that every bit of the aid given to Haiti will be absorbed (much of it diverted to enrich the corrupt) without making a dent in the real long-term issues, and as Ernie suggests, it'll be back to the usual hopeless grind soon thereafter. I know it makes people feel good to help, but it's sort of like going to heroic measures to save a death-row inmate that's just going to be executed next year.We see this misguided sense of charitable accomplishment every day in well-meaning but strategically inept programs like the World Food Program. They race to the scene of the latest famine, throw grain around to the hungry and pat themselves on the back for keeping the folks they fed from starving, and completely fail to understand that simply feeding the hungry only makes the NEXT famine even bigger and more egregiously awful on the human scale. It's going to take birth/population control, rooting out of corruption, agricultural discipline, and so much more to fix those problems...and none of that can happen when the people you're trying to help can't organize themselves or break the cycle of corruption.It's really easy to feel good about yourself for sending in a little cash when Christiane Amanpour is on CNN making a big splash with pictures and 24/7 reporting on of the devastation. When you take the time to study the problems and the history in detail, that warm fuzzy feeling is a lot harder to come by. If you want to *really* help, you can get off your large pink rear end and GO to Haiti (I've been there and done that), the Congo (been there too), Rwanda (ditto), or Sudan, put that big pink derriere at risk, and throw yourself into trying to make a difference. When you go back home a few weeks or months later, you'll have a better sense of the immense magnitude of the challenge and much more frustration at how a people can perpetuate their own misery so.The practical reality is difficult, messy, smelly, and unhappy. It may not be politically correct to tell a drunk that the cirrhosis that's killing him is his own doing. It's also not PC to suggest that a country like Haiti can't help itself even on the best of days because of the way it's people live and the things they tolerate amongst themselves day to day, but it's no less true.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO
Sadly I have heard much the same as you have been saying here in these posts. My best friend is a Chief Petty Officer Flight Engineer on c-130's and has been in the CG for 17 years. all of it in the Caribbean and south FLA. He told me horrors before the Quake and now is saying the basic same as you are here. Still, that should not stop us (USA) from helping. We should help as much as we can.!PS? look at Bing Maps , they allready have updated sat images. Incredible....all the A/C at MTPP

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Bob,Thank you for your service to your country and international partners. Your service must be even more appreciated as it encompassed some of the worst events, in some of the worst times of the past half century. For that, you deserve the greatest of respect and I salute you from my heart.I know that it is tempting to consider efforts to better mankind to have been rendered largely in vain. After all, mother nature, at her worst, can not compete with the disasters brought to man, by man. Has seeing this happen over and over again, with your own eyes changed you? Has it turned you from being a believer in change into a bearer of scars, your own and others? Idealism reduced to cynicism is the worst of all possible states to find oneself in, for it is more than just an attitude, it is a force in itself. There is nothing more contagious, and little that is more destructive, than the deep seated belief that enthusiastic and energetic effort will not result in inevitable improvement in the affairs of men.The world is full of those who have interpreted their life experiences as having been fraught with failure in the big issues of righting wrongs and raising rights. Belief in the futility of faith in something better always being achievable is indeed a deep black hole from which nothing escapes.A disbelief that relief of Haiti can bring about a better tomorrow would be an immediate self-fulfilling prophecy, resulting in a complete reversal of the efforts and hopes of those who are trying to make a positive difference. If that happened a part of us, the best part, would die right along with them. So whether you or I am right or wrong about the future prospects of Haiti doesn't really matter. As long as most others stand for defying the odds, whatever they are, the better the chance of overcoming and snatching a new Haiti out of the grave of the old. It is a choice that brings a chance at life instead of yielding to the certainty of death.That's enough getting mixed up in this for me. It's easy to project wrong motives and lesser ideals in others, and I am sure I have cast you in the wrong light, for which I apologize. Stephen

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I know that it is tempting to consider efforts to better mankind to have been rendered largely in vain. After all, mother nature, at her worst, can not compete with the disasters brought to man, by man. Has seeing this happen over and over again, with your own eyes changed you? Has it turned you from being a believer in change into a bearer of scars, your own and others?
Stephen;I don't at all believe that it's not worth working and even fighting to make the world a better place. But in a world where resources are limited, I have come to believe that we should do the most good that we can with those limited resources. It's the same sort of logic when an alcoholic on the UNOS liver transplant list is placed at very low priority or even taken off the list entirely...if the disease that ails you is by your own hand and is a condition that you can't control, then we first help those who have not engaged in self-destructive behavior and who are likely to actually recover from the disease when given the benefit of those precious limited resources.My world view, after seeing a lot of the worst of that world, is to put my charity dollars and hours towards problems that are likely to be fixed, and to first help people that are not largely responsible for their own afflictions. I believe that Haiti's chronic problems are not likely to be fixed (based on decades of well-intentioned efforts by thousands of people and governments from around the world) and that my limited charity money is better spent looking for a cure to leukemia, ALS, breast cancer, etc, and helping the thousands of severely wounded American kids coming home from two long-term wars against islamic terrorists. Maybe someday Haiti will rise to the level where I can put them on my personal charity priority list, but there are a lot of other causes where I feel we can actually see results and where the victims aren't suffering at their own hands.Frank and unemotional discussion of high-level priorities when responding to tragedy like this is difficult and often misinterpreted as cynicism. The human urge to do something--anything--often leads us to try against all odds...nothing wrong or ignoble with that, but we generally don't go back after the smoke clears and consider the greater good we might have done elsewhere with that money. With regards to Haiti relief, I really believe that six months from now, those charitable contributions will be long gone with no lasting good to show for it. Someone, somehow has got to hit the reset button there.Anyway, thinks for the kind words and for lightening up the rhetoric.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO

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ATP Gulfstream II-III-IV-V

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