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Lynden Air Cargo celebrates 25th anniversary

Posted on Fri, May 13, 2022

My project - 2022-05-09T170529.698Ethan Bradford is one of Lynden Air Cargo's most senior employees still on the job. "I am very proud and thankful to be part of the Lynden family to support 25 years and 200,000 hours of Hercules aircraft operations for Lynden Air Cargo," he says.

The company is now the largest civilian operator of Hercules aircraft in the world and is known for flying disaster relief missions and supporting the oil and gas, construction and mining industries.

"Our airline startup team brought on in the first few months of 1997 (see photo above) were faced with many challenges to get our FAA 121 Operating Certificate," Ethan explains. He is now Vice President of Technical Operations, but started as a Chief Inspector. The challenges included conforming the first two L382G aircraft from Safair in South Africa, setting up all the required training, maintenance programs, operations control, ground equipment and then coordination with the FAA on approving manuals and conducting proving runs to get a 121 certificate.

"At around this same time, we received our 137 certificate for oil spill response," Ethan says. "I commend everyone who was involved in the birth of the Lynden Air Cargo airline."

"I don't think any of us realized what we had signed up for: long hours and few days off while we were building this airline," says Roberta Avila, Manager of Crew Operations. "No one did just one job, we all worked together to accomplish the tasks that were required to get the L382 and the L188 on our certificate. One of my proudest moments was when we were granted our operating certificate for 'the little airline that could.' It was truly remarkable, and the adventure was just beginning."

Although some of those hard-working people have retired, passed away or moved on, some are still with Lynden Air Cargo today, contributing to safe and efficient operations around the world. They are: Gregg Thompson, Maintenance Station Manager who started in 1995; Joe Anderson, Special Projects Coordinator in 1996; and in 1997 Captains Jonathan Sluka, Tom Lindberg, Jason Wells, Pat Madland and Burr Maly; Clint Swanson, Flight Engineer; Roberta Avila; Ken Welch, Logistics/Purchasing Manager; and James Schneider, Director of Maintenance.

"I can quite clearly recall in the first few months of my employment with Lynden Air Cargo asking myself, 'What have I done?'" James recalls. "Now, 25 years later and looking back, it's 'look what we've done, and look where we've been.' The acquaintances we've made and long-term relationships we've established worldwide have been an amazing slice of the Lynden experience."

Tags: Lynden, Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Air

Cross-border air bridge supports auto industry

Posted on Fri, Apr 01, 2022

My project (34)-1Lynden flew to the rescue of American and Canadian auto makers this winter when protestors blocked the streets of Ottawa, protesting against vaccine mandates for truckers and other COVID-19 precautions. Members of the Freedom Convoy blockaded U.S.-Canadian border crossings including the busiest and most important, the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, MI. Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Toyota shut down or scaled back production at plants due to parts shortages and the lack of truck transportation.

According to Commercial Operations Manager Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo was called upon to facilitate an air bridge to fly parts between Ontario and Detroit at the request of brokers Global Wings Express and Ascent on Demand. Crossborder flights are mainly used for emergency transport due to cost, but many auto manufacturers had no choice as the protest continued.

"We were mostly hauling truck engines for one of the major auto makers," he says. "Interestingly enough, our aircraft were already on contract hauling car parts from the Mexican border north to Detroit and the South Carolina area when the call came in for the Canadian border assistance."

Mobilizing quickly, the first Lynden aircraft started flights within 12 hours of the initial request. By then, air cargo movement at Willow Run in Ypsilanti, MI, had increased considerably as the same planes were taking off and landing every three hours loaded with auto parts.

"There were plenty of obstacles to compete with on these trips, including congested ramps, delays in paperwork processing, truck availability for cargo delivery to airports, delays for entry and exit custom/immigration approvals," Dan explains. "Lynden Air Cargo flight crews and the operations team persevered and accomplished all but one of the requested flights before the bridge reopened."

"The auto part supply chain is still struggling with limited truck availability," Dan says. "After our nine flights during the blockage, we have continued to run auto parts from the U.S.-Mexican border north to Detroit and into Canada."

The flight crews included Captains Brent Ellender and Aaron Dial, First Officers Michael Theriot and Curtis Schuermann, Flight Engineers Gary Maynard and Jeff Brown, Loadmasters Jacob Amarok and Kevin Boyles, Flight Mechanics James Brookshire and Travis Blaszak, and Flight Control Agents Kyle Zerkel, Rebel Tjomsland, Dolores Liberty, Mandy Hulet, Chris Anton and Cornelis Steyn.

Tags: Lynden, Lynden Air Cargo, Canada, Drivers, United States, Charters, Air, International, Automotive and Marine Parts

Lynden makes important deliveries in hard-to-reach places

Posted on Mon, Feb 28, 2022

My project (8)Lynden Air Cargo participated in two lifesaving projects this winter on opposite ends of the globe. Two flights were chartered to La Paz, Bolivia to supply Bolivian residents with Covid vaccines donated by the U.S. Government. Lynden's Hercules aircraft was one of the only planes capable of landing at the high-altitude airport; elevation 13,325 feet.

Each charter carried 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccines packed in dry ice with real-time temperature loggers to protect the temperature-sensitive drugs. "This project involved multiple Lynden crews and coordination with several departments as well as the customer," says Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Commercial Operations Manager. Additional charters are scheduled this month.

More than 7,500 miles away in the remote whaling communities of Point Hope and Kaktovik, a Lynden Herc delivered four 40-foot "hi-cube" containers to store frozen whale meat from the annual hunts in the villages. "Their size makes them extremely difficult to load and offload, so it required some novel solutions to accomplish the delivery," explains Dave Beach, Lynden Air Cargo Commercial Operations Manager. Lynden's Joe Bates and Cory Myren worked with the Alaska Marine Lines team to modify tractor dollies into mobile platforms for transfer. "Our partners at AML did an exceptional job," Dave says. "We found a way to help these communities when the only other delivery option was to wait for the next barge season.

"Lynden was key to making this important delivery happen for us. The flight crew watched for breaks in the weather and flew during small windows of opportunity," says Jenny Evans, Grants and Operations Manager for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. "It is so meaningful to our communities and to ensuring food security for our villages."

Tags: Lynden, Lynden Air Cargo, Alaska, Charters, Temperature-Controlled, Air, International, AML

Freight gets white-glove treatment from Lynden

Posted on Thu, Jan 13, 2022

Lynden Los Angeles TeamRachael Ray is a big name in the cooking world, and her husband, co-host and business partner John Cusimano is also a well-known musician and founder of the band The Cringe. The couple recently renovated a villa in Tuscany that serves as a new home and studio for Cusimano. Lynden Logistics was asked to transport valuable musical instruments, mixing equipment and household items for the band and the show from Los Angeles to Genoa, Italy, this past fall.

“We wanted this air and ocean project to be a shining example of our value-add business,” explains James Bisho, Lynden’s Los Angeles Service Center Manager. “Although the equipment was in manufacturer packaging, we still had the items crated professionally to ensure that nothing was damaged or missing. Zero defects was the mantra, and everyone at Lynden did their part to make this happen. At our suggestion, Sam Jett, who is managing A/V and logistics for the villa project, came to our warehouse and meticulously went through his list of items for customs clearance in Italy. Being such a high-profile move, there was no room for error. All pieces were loaded into a sealed ocean container for added security.” With backlogs at seaports, the project was not without its challenges, according to Lynden Logistics Business Development Manager Maggie Parks. “The ocean carrier was delayed and the container was rolled on many sailings, but it finally made it into Genoa,” Parks explains. “Our goal was for John to simply unpack his gear in Tuscany, plug in and play, and for Rachael and her guests to have what they needed when they needed it.” Above photo from left, John Hollan of Fastforward Crating, and from the Lynden team James Bisho, Sam Jett and Maggie Parks.

Tags: Lynden Logistics, Air, Ocean, International

Lynden Air Cargo completes campaign in Afghanistan

Posted on Fri, Oct 15, 2021

AfghCrewLynden Air Cargo completed its campaign in Afghanistan in June after flying six flights and over 68 flight hours for the U.S. military. "We operated out of Bahrain for just under a month providing scheduled service and hauling Cargo Returning West (CRW) out of Bagram, twice a week," says Flight Engineer Mike Schuler. One Lynden crew was dedicated to Afghanistan flights while other crews served Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. "The June Afghanistan campaign was a short one compared to the ongoing services we are providing around Kuwait," Mike explains. "No day was the same. We adapted and performed in true Lynden Air Cargo fashion despite changing and often challenging circumstances."

"This was a volunteer campaign, and we really appreciate all the crew members who accepted this duty," says Michelle Fabry, Director of Safety. "The security situation required good communication with the crew prior to every flight to ensure each mission could be safely operated. They did an excellent job."

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Safety, Charters, Air

Lynden crew circles the globe in under two weeks

Posted on Tue, May 11, 2021

View from the Hercules cockpitView from the cockpit, left to right: Hudson Bay, Canada, the Niger River, Niamey, and Tabubil, Papua New Guinea.

A Lynden Air Cargo crew completed a full circle of the globe in under two weeks in February. "This doesn't often happen in our fleet, but it's a testament to how much of the globe we can cover in a short period with one crew," says Dan Marshall, Charter Manager. "It was no small task with all of the COVID-19 restrictions on top of typical logistical challenges that had to be overcome with each country. It makes this an extra special accomplishment."

Captain James Wallace was joined by Mason Gaines, Jimmie Mizell, Ronald Pine and James Love for the noteworthy flights. The trip began in Kelowna, B.C. after installing external fuel tanks used for longer Trans-Pacific flights. From Kelowna, the crew flew to Maui, HI and from there to Nauru, a tiny country in Micronesia, followed by Brisbane, Australia, to Tabubil, Papua New Guinea (PNG), to Port Moresby, PNG, to Darwin, Australia, to Bali, Indonesia, to Gan, Maldives, to Entebbe, Uganda, to Niamey, Niger, to Las Palmas, Gran Canaries, Spain, to Bangor, Maine, and the crew made its last stop in Anchorage. The "live leg" for the flight was from Brisbane to Tabubil, PNG to transport a critical switchgear to replace one that had shut down the Ok Tedi Gold Mine. The gear was too tall to fit in any other aircraft capable of landing at the remote runway there. The flight gave the Lynden crew the opportunity to swap out an aircraft that was due for a heavy maintenance check in Niamey, Niger.

"Our customer helped us obtain landing permissions on Nauru for a tech stop between Hawaii and Brisbane," Dan explains. "All of our normal airports denied entry due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Captain Wallace and his crew overcame so many hurdles with pandemic restrictions, including hotel lockdowns, to deliver a challenging load to a very remote destination in PNG."

The Lynden flight operations and crew operations teams found unique solutions, always staying ahead of the aircraft with hotels, catering, fuel, and anything else they needed to keep pushing forward. The maintenance team provided the critical external tank installation in less than 24 hours in Kelowna to maintain the initial schedule as close as possible. "This is the first time in recent memory that a single crew has fully circumnavigated the globe with our own aircraft," Dan says. "In addition to the flight crew, our operations and maintenance production teams got all the pieces to fall together to make this trip successful."

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Project Logistics, Air, International

Lynden Air Cargo completes first campaign in South Sudan

Posted on Thu, Apr 01, 2021

Blog crop-1South Sudan is the newest country in Africa after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011. Since then it has been plagued by civil wars, ethnic violence and unrest. In 2020 the government and opposition forces signed a peace agreement, but the operating environment remains challenging.

Lynden Air Cargo's aircraft N409LC and crew arrived in Juba, South Sudan, last December to fly supplies to Rubkona Airfield near the town of Bentiu where the United Nations' largest refugee camp is located. It was the first time a Lynden Air Cargo aircraft and crew was based in South Sudan and the first time operating into Rubkona for the World Food Programme. Rubkona has very little infrastructure, so the Lynden plane landed on a dirt airstrip with visual flight rules operations only. Over the next three weeks, the crew averaged two flights per day for a total of 25 relief flights. The last flight was completed in January.

In advance of the crew arriving, Lynden Air Cargo Director of Safety Michelle Fabry and Project Manager Corné Steyn flew to Juba to meet with airport officials, vendors and the representatives supporting the World Food Programme. The threat level remains high in the area, so each flight required a security assessment and release prior to takeoff.

"We had contingency plans in place in the event that conflict erupted with pre-determined locations to divert and relocate as necessary and backup communication devices," Michelle explains. "I was most impressed with the positive attitudes, teamwork, and patience displayed by each crew member, even after multiple delays in getting started, COVID restrictions, and anything else that came up. Our team completed the campaign safely, without incident, damage or injury. We truly appreciate their extraordinary efforts."

Lynden Air Cargo's crew included: Captain Warren Woods, First Officer Isaac Ufford, Flight Engineer Chris Allen, Loadmaster Leo Lopez, Mechanic Milton Beaver, Mechanic Tim Buchholz, and Project Manager Corné Steyn. Some members of the crew are pictured above.

Captain Warren Woods had words of praise for his entire crew. "I'm amazed at the team I was allowed to work with, many sharing their vast local knowledge of Africa," he says. "Leo Lopez is not only a Loadmaster; he is a magician. He gets things done with limited resources, and his dedication to getting the job done safely is very important on campaigns like this. He earned the trust and respect of all the customer handlers, aircraft loaders and security personnel at Rubkona."

According to a member of the World Food Programme Aviation Unit in Rome, "The cooperation was brilliant between the two UN agencies and Lynden Air Cargo. World Food Programme is looking forward to future cooperation, as Lynden has proven once again to be a reliable and professional operator."

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Charters, Project Logistics, Air, Community, International

Lynden Vice President Dennis Mitchell joins Airforwarders Association Board

Posted on Thu, Dec 17, 2020

My Post - 2021-11-22T133811.778Lynden Logistics Senior Vice President Dennis Mitchell was elected to the board of the Airforwarders Association (AfA) on Nov. 16.

The AfA serves as the voice of the air forwarding industry and represents nearly 400 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain. The association's members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations. The AfA helps freight forwarders move cargo in the timeliest and most cost-efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship.

“Dennis is a highly respected member of the AfA that was selected by our membership for a board position. His skills and expertise in the transportation industry will help guide the AfA in its ambitious agenda toward continued success,” says Brandon Fried, AfA Executive Director.

Mitchell will be sworn in on Jan. 5 to serve a three-year term as one of eight AfA board members. Lynden Logistics Vice President Laura Sanders also served a 12-year term on the AfA board from 1999 to 2012. Lynden Logistics has been a member of the AfA for more than 25 years.

Mitchell brings 26 years of Lynden experience to his board position as well as background as a business owner. He owned his own customs brokerage firm from 1986 to 1994 prior to joining Lynden in Anchorage. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Supply Chain Management from the University of Alaska and is a licensed customs broker. Mitchell is also the former chair of the board of directors for the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.

Tags: Freight Forwarding, Lynden Employees, Lynden Logistics, Air

Lynden Air Cargo flies Paws Across Pacific

Posted on Fri, Dec 11, 2020

My Post - 2021-11-22T130247.400Hawaii's animal shelters had been overcrowded since the Wings of Aloha transfer program that provides off-island adoptions was paused due to the COVID pandemic. Air Charter Service, Wings of Rescue, Greater Good Charities and The John R. Peterson Foundation came up with the perfect solution: the largest pet rescue flight in history. But they needed a plane. A big plane. One large enough to carry nearly 600 dogs and cats collected from five shelters across Hawaii.

Enter Lynden Air Cargo and its flight crew. On a Wednesday in late fall, dozens of staff, volunteers, and foster families worked day and night to prepare the animals for the long journey to Seattle where they would receive a second chance in new homes. Dubbed the Paws Across Pacific flight, it took months to coordinate.

"Thomas Howe of Air Charter Service reached out looking for a unique solution to a unique requirement, which we felt was right up our alley," says Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Charter Manager. "We were able to fly our C-130 aircraft from Oakland, CA to each location to pick up the animals and reduce the loading and unloading that other operations would require by using a spoke/wheel approach. We linked the four locations together and then launched from Hilo direct to Boeing Field in Seattle."

Island by island, kennel by kennel, hundreds of shelter animals made their way into the massive Hercules. Most of the animals were already adopted upon landing in Seattle and around 120 of the cats and dogs continued their journey to shelters in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The flight was covered by national media and provided some heartwarming good news for many people who are overwhelmed by pandemic updates.

"It was a pleasure to be involved in this monumental transport of pets," Dan says. "Our crews reported that the Greater Good team was one of the most organized and efficient groups we have ever encountered. Thomas Howe pulled it all together and ran an excellent operation coordinating between all the groups involved, and we heard positive feedback about Lynden and our flight crew."

Amy Mills, an employee at Seattle Area Feline Rescue, sent a message about the project to Lynden's Facebook page. "I was on the receiving end of this flight. We were a destination shelter for some of the cats," she writes. "When the plane taxied to the hangar and I saw Lynden Air Cargo on the side, it was an added bonus to the day. (Lynden patriarch) Hank Jansen was a neighbor of my grandparents in Lynden, WA. Lynden Transport will always catch my eye and make me smile. Thank you for helping all these pets and the people who work so hard to protect and care for them."

Lynden Air Cargo has transported many animals over the years, including whales, horses, bison and Icelandic ponies.

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Hawaii, United States, Charters, Air, Community

Birthday delivery for a special Lynden Air Cargo fan

Posted on Fri, Dec 11, 2020

Bode with Lynden Air Cargo packageBode Hostetter is a huge fan of Lynden Air Cargo's C-130 Hercules aircraft. Knowing a charter would be visiting their remote Alaska village of Noatak, his parents reached out to Lynden to see if they could purchase some Lynden items for Bode's fourth birthday. "I have a 4-year-old boy that just loves seeing the Lynden Herc flying to Noatak," writes Brent Hostetter. "I am curious if you sell merchandise or something with a picture of the herc?"

"We were glad to help celebrate Bode's special day," says Dani Myren, Lynden Air Cargo Customer Service Manager. Dani sent a birthday package on the next charter flight including a T-shirt, hat and a model of a C-130. "You and the crew made his day," Brent writes. "He did not stop playing with that model all evening yesterday. I had actually been trying to find that model online for him."

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Alaska, Air, Community