It was one of our most challenging air rescues. Pilots Jonathan Plesset and Brad Childs headed out to help 18 dogs that needed rescued. What started as a routine flight quickly turned critical when a massive ice storm popped up and changed the day.
With less than 80 miles to go the weather suddenly changed and the guys found themselves with ice quickly forming on the wings of the PAART Plane. Within seconds the plane was rapidly becoming unsafe so a quick call on the radio and a 180 turn later they landed safely in an abandoned cargo airport. Our friend Jane, who flew up from Arkansas, was meeting us at a different airport. Jane’s plane had icing protection and she was able to fly through the storm to meet us at our new location.
18 dogs were now in our arms as we waited to see if the ice storm would pass. After a few hours the call was made to our mission controllers to find drivers to come rescue us. PAART Landpilot Carolyn Jochymek dropped everything and rushed to the airport to get the trucks ready to roll.
With time running low Brad and Jonathan made the decision to fly south to try and get around the storm. These 18 dogs needed to get to Pittsburgh and they were determined to make it happen. A few hours later they made it through and landed back at Allegheny County Airport where Sue Krul from Animal Care and Welfare, Inc was waiting to take these animals to her facility for adoption. Sue also was ready to make the drive to save us and we are grateful to her and to Carolyn for standing by.
It was exciting day to say the least and we are happy that the pilots and the animals are safe. Great piloting guys! Awesome demonstration of safety first!
This mission is dedicated in memory Brad’s dog Jake who passed away last week. We love you Jakey!