Bay area pilots deliver supplies to Florida Keys, first crew to arrive

Posted at 9:57 AM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 12:40:56-04

Terry Power has had a few days to recoup after delivering disaster supplies to the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma hit.

Power, with help from Operation Airdrop and Tampa Bay Aviation, took five shipments of supplies that varied from water, food, chainsaws late last week. 

"The plane itself holds 450 pounds worth of cargo," he said, all of it besides him and a co-pilot were supplies. 

RELATED | Local pilots fly to Key West with supplies after Irma

Operation Airdrop is a group of volunteer pilots that started after Hurricane Harvey, people volunteering their time to help deliver relief in timely fashions. 

Power says the group confirmed his shipment was the first to arrive in the Keys after taking off from Clearwater Airpark. 

"We were the only airplane on the entire field when we landed in the afternoon," said Power. 

Power did flights through the weekend before wrapping up to return to his day job as a retirement plan consultant withThe Platinum 401K, LLC.

However, Bay area pilots aren't done helping yet, owner of Tampa Bay Aviation Laura Taylor plans to deliver another round of supplies on Thursday. 

Taylor and her husband own the aviation company that conducts flight training, private charters and aerial tours. 

She tells us the supplies they were given went to the roof of where they were storing the donations from Bay area residents. 

"It's incredible," she said. 

Taylor plans to take the supplies Thursday morning to another part of southwest Florida that was hit hard too. 

The crews have all been paying for resources out of their own funds, "it's costing at a minimum $1,300 to do a roundtrip to the Keys just to bring the basic supplies," she said. 

Taylor said they aren't taking public donations of supplies, but will accept donations of fuel to help transport the supplies. 

To learn more, go to Tampa Bay Aviation.