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Captain's Blog: Relief flights to Haiti - Captain Chris Caden shares his experiences

Posted on Wed, Jan 20, 2010

Captain Chris Caden is a Lynden Air Cargo pilot who recently flew to Haiti as part of the disaster relief logistics efforts. Captain Caden was kind enough to send several paragraphs and pictures describing his experiences in Haiti:

Captain Chris Caden - Haiti Relief Mission Report - 1/14/2010

Everyone at USAID has been super friendly to work with.Relief flights to Haiti - Hercules cargo plane

Upon arriving at IAD our crew was replacing the previous crew coming back from Lynden's first flight into PAP, lead by Capt. James Wallace. Loading of our Herc was already in progress when we got to the airplane.

We took off from Washington-Dulles Intl Airport (IAD) at about 4 am for our 4 1/2 hour flight to Port Au Prince (PAP), Haiti. When we began our approach to the airport it was very apparent that we weren't the only ones bringing relief supplies. Relief flight to Haiti - Lynden Air CargoThe earthquake had taken out all services at the airport, including radar and ATC (Air Traffic Control) capabilities, which created very difficult conditions for the authorities, but they handled the extraordinary amount of inbound air traffic to Haiti commendably. We were placed number 13 in a list of planes to land and held in a pattern overhead before we diverted to Puerto Plata (POP), Dominican Republic to get more fuel and give it another try. After obtaining clearance to take off and head back to PAP we encountered yet another delay that had us circling overhead PAP again, but we finally landed and offloaded our supplies.

Might I add that the main reason for the delays really isn't because of the lack of radar or modern ATC control, it's the lack of ramp space and movement. PAP's ramp, terminal and taxiway were built to handle a Disaster relief logistics - Haiti air terminalhalf-dozen flights per hour, and now with relief needs, are tasked with handling 3 times that much traffic. The best way I can describe it is a four-lane interstate highway being cut down to one lane.

The people from USAID met our plane once we parked and off-loaded most everything by hand. As you can imagine forklifts were in great demand with few and far between available. Everything from small helicopters to Boeing 767's were parked tightly on the ramp. The terminal building was abandoned with large visible cracks in the structure and the control tower's windows had all been shattered and busted Disaster relief logistics - USAID in Haitiout. The runway, taxiway and ramp all seemed to be in surprisingly good shape, thank goodness. We were on the ground for an hour and 45 minutes before we headed back to POP for fuel and our return trip to Denver.

I'd like to recognize everyone on the Disaster Relief Team in Washington, DC for all their efforts and coordination concerning our flight into Haiti, and I'd like to thank my crew, Randall Sanderson (FO), James Seefeldt (FE), Ted Pederson (MX) and Bob Lesko (LM) for their extraordinary efforts and professionalism. Without their dedication to the job, this simply would not have been a success.

Chris Caden
Captain/Check Airman L-382G
Lynden Air Cargo, LLC

Photos: 1) N405LC waiting in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. 2) Aerial view of PAP. 3) Terminal building and control tower in Port Au Prince. 4) USAID personnel offloading cargo in PAP.


To learn more about Lynden's Haiti relief flight involvement, please visit our relief flights information page.


Related Blog Posts:
Relief flights to Haiti: Experiences of Captain James Wallace and the Aircrew of 405
Relief flights to Haiti: Inspirational experience on the ground

Tags: International shipping, Hercules, Lynden Air Cargo, Relief Efforts, Disaster Relief, Pilot Experiences

Live Tracking: Relief Flights to Haiti

Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2010

Lynden Air Cargo has a Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft that is currently flying to Haiti with relief supplies (Jan. 15th, 2010). Through flightaware.com you can track this Lynden plane in real-time! The plane left Mobile, Alabama at 1:13 PST and is expected to land in Haiti at 5:28 PST. Below is a screenshot of the tracking map:

Relief flights to Haiti - online tracking

(click here or on the image to view live tracking)

To learn more about Lynden's involvement with the Haiti relief efforts, view our Relief Flights to Haiti information page.

You can also learn more about air cargo charter services offered by Lynden.

Related: Lynden's relief flight efforts in Indonesia and Samoa.

Tags: International shipping, Lynden Air Cargo, Relief Efforts

Relief flights by Lynden help with Haiti earthquake recovery

Posted on Thu, Jan 14, 2010
Lynden's air cargo aircraft are being used for the Haiti relief efforts. Herc planes have been used to bring in a rescue vehicle, portable kitchens, and other supplies. Learn more about Lynden's involvement in relief flights to Haiti by visiting our page dedicated to tracking related news and information pertaining to Lynden: www.lynden.com/Relief-Flights.html

View MSNBC news video (Lynden's Herc shown 1 minute in)

Related: Lynden's relief flight efforts in Indonesia and Samoa.

Tags: International shipping, Lynden Air Cargo, Relief Efforts

Relief Flights by Lynden help with Indonesia/Samoa recovery

Posted on Mon, Oct 12, 2009

Lynden Air Cargo, using several of their L100-30 Hercules aircraft, is flying water, blankets, beds and other emergency supplies into Apia, Samoa and Padang, Indonesia in support of relief efforts after an earthquake struck Indonesia Sept. 30 and then caused a devastating tsunami in Samoa.

Lynden Air Cargo - Samoa relief

Lynden Air Cargo - Samoa relief

"We will continue to provide relief flights as required to assist in the recovery efforts of the devastated areas. Our aircraft are ideally suited for this work and our crews and support personnel are rapidly responding to bring aid to those in need," says Lynden Air Cargo President Judy McKenzie.


Also: Video of Lynden Air Cargo

Tags: International shipping, Lynden Air Cargo, Relief Efforts

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