Info for GA Relief Flights

Vector4fun

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For those of you folks intending to fly GA relief flights to the SE in the comming weeks:

God Bless you and fly safely. I've already volunteered myself for next week, BUT!


Decide before you takeoff with your buddies if you're going as a flight or not. We've already run into this problem. Four airplanes take off a mile apart, all want to hang together, all want/need Flight Following. When we have two or more aircraft in "formation", that is within a mile or so of each other, all squawking separate codes, we get a bunch of "Beacon overlap" and other problems with your returns. The dadgum Conflict Alert goes off constantly, and we can' even read your tags properly. We get spurious returns and altitudes because the radar can't always separate the replies. If you want to go as a group and stay within sight of each other, then by all means, but brief and fly as a FLIGHT. That is, One guy is Lead, One guy talks, One guy Squawks.

If you don't want to go as a flight, then please space yourselves out a couple miles. ATC will appreciate it!:cool:
 

JimNtexas

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I flew into Baton Rouge last night with a load of food donated by a church here in Austin, and left as an Angel Flight carrying "excess baggage" to Dallas. This was the luggage of people Angel Flight had evacuated with more than could be carried in the oridginal flight.

KBTR was a busy, busy place. I never saw so many helicopters even when I was an ALO at Fort Hood. I never saw a C-17 parked at a civilian passenger terminal before.

Besides many civilian airplanes, every service was represented. There was a "plain white" Gulfstream with no n-number that had with a long antenna sticking out the back (Hey I was an EWO for 20 years, I notice these things). The department of homeland security had a Bae-146 there.

At one point a motorcade came onto the ramp, cops in front, cops in back, flashing lights, a limo, several black suburbans. I figured it was Dick Cheney. Turned out it was Payton Manning, the football player.

As someone here warned me, I had to wait a long time for 100LL. Next time I go I'll stop in east Texas or Western Lousiana and fuel. They are worried about running out of 100LL at KBTR.

The counter at the FBO was a zoo, but the pretty MILFs handled the tired and impatient pilots with grace and charm. They always had a smile. ETA: Phones don't work well in Baton Rouge. Both cell and landland phones get circuit busy most of the time. If you come in VFR, cancel in the air, and don't expect to be able to call out.

I met a lot of very capable and take-charge people there.

Returning to Austin at 2am with me were airliners from Alaska Airlines and United Airlines carrying evacuees. They were camly discussing with the tower the various medical emergencies they had on their hands.

On the airport were large bus convoys arrving to take our distressed neighbors to shelters.

The whole experience made me very proud to be even a tiny part of American's aviation community.
 
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sky37d

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I signed up with http://www.vacationrentalsforfamilies.com/to do relief flights.
No word from them, yet, however, they have sent a bunch of planes into Baton Rouge. Are you saying you were an independent flight, not associated with Angel flight or any other organization??
 

erj-145mech

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Jim, were you stationed at Bergstrom? When I lived in Killeen in the mid 70's my neighbor was with the 23rd TASS at BSM, but was PCS's to Ft Hood as a FAC. DId you get any ca ca about the TFR at BTR?
 

JimNtexas

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sky37d said:
I signed up with http://www.vacationrentalsforfamilies.com/to do relief flights.
No word from them, yet, however, they have sent a bunch of planes into Baton Rouge. Are you saying you were an independent flight, not associated with Angel flight or any other organization??
I've been in Angel Flight for several years, but AF said they had all the help they needed. A group of local Baptist pilots hooked up with Baptists in Lousiana through something called the world relief orgainization, so my mission to KBTR was with them. I'm a Unitarian, but I heard about them from a local mailing list and they were happy to have the help.

Once I got there I found that Angel Flight had set up an office in the FBO there. I told them that I was here, and could I help. They had this pile of bags that eariler flights couldn't accomodate so I flew those to their office at Millionaire in Dallas Addison.
 

JimNtexas

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erj-145mech said:
Jim, were you stationed at Bergstrom? When I lived in Killeen in the mid 70's my neighbor was with the 23rd TASS at BSM, but was PCS's to Ft Hood as a FAC. DId you get any ca ca about the TFR at BTR?
I had a brief tour at Bergstrom in the early 80s at HQ12AF (now the Hilton Hotel).

My last assignment was to III Corps at Fort Hood as an ALO in 1993 and 1994.

The TFR wasn't a problem. I went VFR with center flight following because there were a lot of buildups, I wanted to maneuver around in Central Texas. When I got close to Louisiana I told center I was a relief flight and could they confirm I was good to continue to KBTR. They said no problem for relief flights.
 
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Vector4fun

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Good on you Jim!

I hear BTR averages 450-500 ops per day usually, but they counted 1400 ops on Thur and 1600 on Fri. They must be beat.

I'm off Tue Wed and trying to pick up a mission myself if I can.
 

Fly_Chick

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Vector4fun, if going as a flight in Class Bravo, what does the second plane put in the squawk? 1200 or something else?
 
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