Lynden Air Cargo is back in Papua New Guinea. "We are operating out of the capital city of Port Moresby and the city of Lae to support Exxon," says Captain Charlie Wallace. For the past several years, Lynden Air Cargo has been involved in Exxon's Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project to construct a gas plant and pipelines on the island. Lynden's Hercules aircraft are delivering heavyweight construction materials and other equipment. Charlie is pictured with Captain Eric Feige (far left) and Flight Engineer Bill Kenney (right). "This picture shows the flight crew with a local tribeswoman in full traditional garb," he says. "It's always exciting to be working in new locations and meeting local people."
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Lynden’s specialized high-capacity equipment was one of the advantages Canadian Lynden Transport offered when the Supreme Group was looking for a company to haul structural steel beams from Alberta, Canada to Alaska. The Supreme Group is the largest privately-owned steel construction company in Canada with locations in Edmonton (Acheson), Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vancouver and a U.S. location in Portland, OR. The company was awarded two U.S. military projects to supply the structural steel beams at Clear Air Force Station in Central Alaska and an airplane hangar at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Fairbanks.
"Our equipment really sealed the deal as we can safely haul more weight," says Account Manager Sandra Darke. "We also have a mix of Canadian and U.S. drivers and, of course, Alaska is our turf and expertise. We have completed approximately 100 loads for the Clear project since September, including a few loads of nuts and bolts from suppliers in the Lower 48 up via QuickTrans." Materials for the hangar will require approximately 80 loads and construction should be completed by June. According to Sandra, the projects have presented several challenges.
"Our operations team has to communicate and coordinate with five different origin locations and we are required to spot trailers for loading in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and three locations in Edmonton," she says. "Our Edmonton team has done an amazing job keeping all the loads organized and meeting Supreme and the builder’s specific needs. The Lynden Transport team in Fairbanks has kept close contact with the builders to hold some loads and deliver as they need them."
Lynden Air Cargo is expanding its scheduled service points in Alaska to include St. Mary’s and Emmonak. Beginning April 30, Lynden will offer year-round scheduled air freight service on Tuesdays and Fridays to better serve customers and to support local industries in the Western Alaska region.
“We have traditionally served these areas with charter service to support seasonal fishing operations, but we are now proud to offer regular and reliable airfreight service all year,” says Lynden Air Cargo President Rick Zerkel. “Lynden Air Cargo has been delivering freight in Alaska for many years, and we know the challenges and terrain. We handle oversized loads and small packages alike with our scheduled service and flag stops to points in the Alaskan Bush. We can arrange the right flight to get cargo delivered to practically any village or city in the state.”Lynden Air Cargo’s scheduled service to St. Mary’s and Emmonak will begin and end in Anchorage. In addition to fish and general cargo, Lynden will carry bypass mail in and out of the two areas in its commercial C-130 aircraft.
Lynden Air Cargo also offers scheduled year-round service from Anchorage to Bethel, Nome and Kotzebue and flag stop service to other remote points in Alaska. Flights to Bethel are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday and to Nome and Kotzebue on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. More information on these services can be found at www.lynden.com/lac, or by calling 907-243-7248.
Lynden Air Cargo has increased its presence in the world market to include places like Papua New Guinea, Africa, and Antarctica. Because of its unique capabilities and its close proximity to Canada and the Northwest Territories, Lynden has been successful delivering oversized cargo to remote mining operations throughout the region.
Last year, Lynden Air Cargo received the Alaska Governor’s North Star Award for its long history of assisting in humanitarian relief and environmental disasters worldwide. Lynden was recognized in the Transportation and Humanitarian Exchange categories and was one of only four companies to receive the honor. For more than 30 years, the Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence have recognized Alaskan companies and organizations engaged in successful international business and activities.
Lynden pioneered service to Alaska in 1954 and today serves customers in every sector of the Alaska economy, including energy, mining, seafood, retail, military and government. Lynden Air Cargo’s fleet of aircraft supports multi-national oil and gas exploration and production companies on Alaska’s North Slope through weekly scheduled flights and oversized cargo worldwide through charter flights. Lynden aircraft have responded to fires, earthquakes in Haiti, supported a peacekeeping mission in the African Congo and, most recently, mobilized relief flights to help those affected by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria in the Caribbean.
Lynden Transport and Lynden Air Cargo recently completed a joint move with a customer to transport a generator valued at $1 million from Kenai to an oil field near Prudhoe Bay. The photo was taken on the tarmac at the Kenai Airport and shows a winch being used to secure the generator onto the plane.
"We usually do these types of moves a few times a year from Kenai and deliver to various sites in Prudhoe Bay," says Kenai Service Center Manager Andy Collins. "The moves often consist of very high-value pieces of equipment such as turbines or generators. They move via air due to the value and delicate nature of the cargo." The Lynden crew picked up the generator at the customer's warehouse using a 53-foot step deck trailer which provides a smooth air ride and the perfect transfer height for the rear door of the Hercules aircraft.
According to Andy, Ralph Hemphill was the driver on this project. "He did an outstanding job," he says. "The move was completed without a hitch. We also would like to give kudos to Lynden Air Cargo Loadmaster E.J. Peters for his help."
"Antarctica was the final continent on our checklist," says Lynden Air Cargo President Rick Zerkel. "Now we can cross it off." Lynden Air Cargo has joined a short list of operators that serve all seven continents by starting a new project in support of an Italian Antarctic Expedition team doing research on the icy land mass.
The month-long mission lasted from Oct. 30 through Nov. 30 and involved carrying supplies from Christchurch, New Zealand to Italian base Mario Zucchelli Station and Phoenix Field at McMurdo Station, the U.S. base in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica. According to Lynden Air Cargo Captain Pat Madland, Terra Nova Bay is about 2,000 miles and 7 hours from Christchurch, and Phoenix Field is 300 miles further south and about 8 hours flying time. "This was accomplished with an augmented crew to allow for rest," Pat explains. "We also carry a loadmaster and mechanic." The whole operation requires nine people on the ground in Christchurch.
"This high-profile project illustrates Lynden Air Cargo’s capabilities in remote locations," says Adam Murray, Director of Business Development and Marketing. "With 98 percent of the continent covered in ice, there are no cities or villages. This is another addition to our capabilities and we hope to provide this service next year and on an ongoing basis if possible."
The flight crew includes Captains Pat Madland and Thomas Lindberg, First Officer Josh Havel, Flight Engineers Bill Spencer, Clint Swanson and John Worley, Loadmaster Leonel Lopez and Aircraft Mechanics Travis Blaszak and Dan Spears.
"The cargo on the first two trips to Terra Nova Bay consisted mostly of helicopters. We carried two Squirrel helicopters on each trip. Since then, the cargo has been scientific equipment and food," Pat says. "Although it’s exciting to go to Antarctica, Lynden Air Cargo crews are used to flying to remote locations in challenging conditions. Antarctica closely resembles Greenland with its mountainous terrain covered with an ice cap. Much of the continent is around 10,000 feet high although we landed on sea ice runways at sea level. Most of our Lynden crews have been to six continents and it’s nice to add the seventh."
A 92-year old Tin Lizzie joins the wide array of noteworthy cargo to ride in the hold of a Lynden Air Cargo Hercules. The vintage Model T was discovered in the back of a warehouse in Nome, AK. The owners contacted Lynden recently to move it south to Anchorage.
Lynden Air Cargo answered the call on Sept. 8 to mobilize relief flights for Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria. "We began flights into the Caribbean on Sept. 17 once there was a clear identification of needs," explains Rick Zerkel, Lynden Air Cargo President. Lynden is currently under contract with Diplomat Freight Services (DFS) to provide continued air support for sites in the Caribbean.
"Logistics have been a challenge as there has been limited information on which airports are open and have uncontaminated fuel supplies," Rick says. "Some of the islands have completely lost power. Hotels have also been hard to find in some of these locations because they are still being used as shelters for families who cannot go back to their homes or sustained damage during the storms. We have also had to pause flying when Hurricanes Maria and Juan hit the Caribbean a second and third time – on occasion flying around the storms to get to any locations we could."
Lynden Air Cargo has been conducting flights through DFS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Red Cross and other supporting agencies and governments to bring in food, water, trucks, fuel and other disaster response supplies. "We anticipate we will be flying continuously for quite some time – there is no indication that it will be slowing down any time soon," Rick says.
As of late September, Lynden aircraft have flown to the following locations based out of Curacao, Aruba and Miami: St. Martin, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, St. Croix, Grand Turk Island and Providenciales Island (a part of the Caicos Islands). The company is especially grateful to their flight crew and flight operations staff who have performed admirably while working under constantly changing conditions with limited information.
Lynden Air Cargo has finished the installation of another Retardant Aerial Delivery System (RADS) in its aircraft N402LC (T133). Flight testing and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) inspections are complete and T133 is ready to join sister ship, N405LC (T132), for a second season of fighting fires on behalf of the Coulson group of companies for the USFS. As a sub-contractor, Lynden provides a crew and aircraft to dispense fire retardant until the season ends, typically in the fall.
"It's been a very wet winter and spring, which typically produces a lot of vegetation, or fuel, for fires in the southwest states," explains James Schneider, Lynden Air Cargo Director of Maintenance. "It will be just a matter of time before California, Nevada and Arizona start drying out and desert grasses and underbrush become fire hazards."
Each aircraft Lynden leases to Coulson in support of the USFS mission is staffed with a team of five Lynden employees: the captain and flight engineer for flight operations, and three maintenance crew members, consisting of a lead mechanic, senior mechanic, and driver; the mechanics are responsible for all maintenance activities while the driver is tasked with positioning the support rig (truck and 40-foot trailer) to and from any of the 100 some USFS Airtanker Bases scattered throughout the Southwest. Lynden's crew spent considerable time at the San Bernardino, Santa Maria and Porterville Airtanker Bases last year as they fought the San Gabriel and Reservoir wildfires in California. "Now that we have converted two aircraft to dual role mission capable, firefighter or all-cargo, we are providing twice the crew as the previous season to operate, maintain and chase the aircraft," James says. "Our mechanics are dedicated to keeping the planes in top condition and ready to go at a moment's notice. We put over 20,000 miles on our support rig in ten weeks last year moving from base to base fighting fires."
The firefighting effort is a huge investment of people and equipment for Lynden Air Cargo. According to James, few truly understand the effort required to maintain the planes during a frenzied fire season. "It is a high pressure situation with a sophisticated tank system to maintain on each aircraft, in addition to normal aircraft maintenance tasks. It's a tough schedule for the employees who are away from home, too. We're very proud of their hard work and dedication to the USFS mission to respond as needed when and where needed."
Last year, Lynden's T132 transitioned to Australia to fight fires there after the U.S. fire season was finished. The second Lynden aircraft, T133, will likely do the same this fire season down-under in the New South Wales and Victoria States.
Lynden Air Cargo’s L-100 Hercules aircraft is being put to use flying relief supplies to Vanuatu after Tropical Cyclone Pam devastated the South Pacific Islands March 13. Communications company Digicel Fiji chartered a Lynden Air Cargo plane from Nadi, Fiji, to the capital city of Port Vila within days of the cyclone. It was loaded with food rations and technical equipment to repair towers and networks to restore communications throughout the islands. Now working with the World Food Programme (WFP), Lynden continues to pick up more supplies from Brisbane, Australia, for air delivery to Port Vila in support of humanitarian efforts.
“We are coordinating flights as quickly as possible in cooperation with government authorities,” says Rick Zerkel, Lynden Air Cargo President. “With 65,000 people left homeless from Cyclone Pam, there is an urgent need for relief supplies. We are committed to helping in any way we can for as long as our services are needed.”
Lynden operates a fleet of six Hercules around the world specializing in remote site services and requiring minimal equipment for loading and offloading. The unique features of the aircraft make it ideal for flying aid into isolated disaster areas. Lynden Air Cargo has provided disaster relief assistance at some of the world's worst disasters, including the Haiti earthquake in 2011 and the Indonesian earthquake and Samoan tsunami in 2009. Working with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the Red Cross and the U.S. Military, Lynden has delivered emergency vehicles, portable hospitals, food, water and relief workers to ravaged areas across the globe.
Lynden Air Cargo is one of the Lynden family of companies, whose combined capabilities include shipping to Alaska, truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, barge service to Hawaii and Alaska, charter barges, worldwide air and ocean forwarding, third-party logistics, trade show shipping, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled and chartered Hercules L-382 cargo aircraft and multi-modal logistics. Lynden companies are repeat winners in the annual Quest for Quality awards presented by Logistics Management magazine.
“We were asked to fly from Anchorage to Seattle and pick up two engines to take to Cordova for one of their aircrafts that had experienced maintenance issues,” explains Jim Davis, Director of Marketing & Traffic for Lynden Air Cargo. “We headed out of Anchorage, got into Seattle about 2 a.m., departed at 4 a.m. and delivered the engines to an Alaska Airlines maintenance crew that was standing by in Cordova. Two days later we made a second night flight to retrieve the engines they had removed and take them back down to their maintenance base in Anchorage. It’s always nice to get positive feedback about our performance.” Lynden’s Hercules is shown making a night delivery in the photo above.