GA Relief Aiding Puerto Rico After Maria
September 28, 2017
By David Tulis
Operation Airdrop, the volunteer GA effort spearheaded by Texans John Clay Wolfe and Doug Jackson, secured a Douglas DC-8 four-engine commercial jet to transport critical supplies to the devastated island.
The jet bound for Puerto Rico Sept. 27 was the latest volunteer effort to get off the ground since Wolfe and Jackson formed Operation Airdrop in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which flooded their native Texas. At last count, the organization credited more than 200 GA pilots for volunteer flights that assisted Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma victims in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, before Hurricane Maria—a Category Five tempest at the time—flattened the U.S. islands. The DC-8 “can move some serious freight” confided Wolfe, who was excited to report some good news for beleaguered islanders.
“Today we had our first flight land in Puerto Rico with our crisis team on it,” Wolfe told AOPA. “We got a large donation from Major League Baseball Hall of Famer [Ivan] 'Pudge' Rodriguez, who played for the Texas Rangers.” He noticed the group of aviators “because of our relief efforts during Harvey last month and 'Pudge' wanted to do something" for his homeland.