In the rainy early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 – about six hours before Hurricane Irma churned into the lower Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm – 62 flight instructors at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University piloted a fleet of small airplanes to two locations in Alabama.
The pilots, navigating 44 Cessna 172, 9 multi-engine Diamond 42, 8 Piper Arrow, and 1 Beechcraft Baron aircraft through a thick band of rain, were grateful to be hosted by Auburn University and Atlantic Aviation.
A new video conveys the urgency and complexity of Embry-Riddle’s fleet relocation effort right before Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key on the morning of Sept. 10.
Time-stamp 0:05 –
A flight instructor is shown checking his plane in the dark and rain at 3:22 a.m.
Time-stamp 0:15 –
Voice of Dr. Ken Byrnes, Chair, Flight Department, Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach Campus: “We’re evacuating the entire fleet here at Embry-Riddle ..."
Time-stamp 0:35 –
Dr. Byrnes on camera, discussing the complexity of the logistics involved in relocation.
Time-stamp 1:00 –
Dr. P. Barry Butler, president of Embry-Riddle: “Our flight instructors are flying our aircraft. They’re all very experienced individuals. They’re incredibly professional in what they do …
Time-stamp 1:30 –
An airplane takes off in the dark. Red, green and white lights glow in the rain.
Time-stamp 1:37 –
Dr. Byrnes again: “We plan to have the fleet back by Tuesday …we’re watching where the storm is going and it will be in the Auburn area as a tropical depression. So, we’ll have to coordinate departing Auburn and getting back here in a timely manner. If we can’t safely do it, we’re not going to do it.”
Time-stamp 2:10 --
Embry-Riddle thanks Auburn University and Atlantic Aviation.
Time-stamp 2:18 –
About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies.
Hurricane Irma Aircraft Fleet Relocation