I am thrilled with all the new pilots and other volunteers who have made the decision to jump in here and make a difference so thank you!! I have been busy answering hundreds of wonderful emails from folks all over the country and am just now getting back to being at a point where I can read the board again
Long distance requests have been discussed by various members here and by those who have participated in multi-leg flights either as a pilot or from a rescue perspective. There is much to consider if you make the personal decision to be a part of this type of transport.
We need to remember that this is a learning process for all of us. Rescues are used to dealing with ground transports which have several legs of travel scheduled. Yes, these are often long and tedious trips BUT it is not as big of a conflict if one person is running late or a thunderstorm pops up, etc. Often times they just call the next person in line via their cell phone and let them know they will be 30 minutes late or so.
With pilots and rescues working together for distances as far as this request it gives us pause. This is a self run board and each pilot and rescue make their own decisions. However there are things you all need to consider.
What if one of the pilots has a mechanical issue at the last minute and cannot meet the pilot who is scheduled to arrive in five minutes? What if an unexpected weather front comes through? Where would the animals be taken to, who would care for them, who is there to help out that pilot? We have seen a long distance transport where a leg of the flight was delayed due to a late start and the last pilot in the leg ended up having to spend the night. These are all things you need to consider. I have watched pilots on transports via flightaware and seen them turn back to base for whatever reason. It was a good reason and always erring on the side of safety first!
If you choose to do a multi leg flight then I highly suggest that rescues find acceptable and approved emergency temporary fosters for these animals along the entire route and imparticular at each end point for transfer. Then if a pilot needs help, someone can be called. Please consider these points and discuss with each other what you would do if something changes along the route to interfere with the transport.
Thanks for listening,