4 May 2022
Cirrus specialists at London Oxford Airport, CK Aviation, recently organised a convoy of ten aircraft to airlift medical supplies to Ukraine.
Charlie Kimbell takes up the story: “We were approached by Rob Garbutt of LunarAid and Medical Aid Ukraine to see if we would use our Cirrus to fly medical supplies collected from UK hospitals to Lublin in Poland on the border of Ukraine.
“We immediately jumped at the opportunity to help such a valuable cause and do something charitable to help those suffering.
“On our first mission we brought ten aircraft together for the air lift – nine Cirrus SR22s and a DA42. Together we shipped over two tonnes of equipment to the Ukrainian border in record time.
“Medical Aid Ukraine run by the phenomenal Dr Sophie Housden collected medical equipment from UK hospitals, including trauma kits, defibrillators, electronic syringes and other essential material at Southend Airport.
“Each pilot was allocated a load specific to their aircraft and on arrival at Southend was hastily loaded, with any spare space being stuffed with soft materials like, gloves, gowns and tourniquets. The back seats were removed to increase volume and load capacity and it is fair to say I have never seen a Cirrus so full!
“A total of 13 hours of flying followed over two days, travelling further through Europe than we have been before, battling poor weather and icing conditions en-route. It tested the mettle and skill of every pilot taking part.
“More than a couple of hurdles were thrown into the mix with military activity causing temporary restricted airspace and diversions for three aircraft approaching Lublin.
“A really special thanks to Jeremy Taylor & Clifford Smith in N936CT, Henry Dilloway & Andrew Sinclair in G-IZZT and Dave Whalley & Woody Milroy in N122ZT who took the brunt of the disruption and missed a night in Poznan with the rest of us. You paved the way for a seamless delivery for the remainder of the pilots the following day.
“The following day, the solo John Zarno was the most intrepid, setting off early from Poznan to Lublin for the first drop of the day, closely followed by Isabel & I. It was a wonderful sight seeing the remaining six aircraft arrive one after the other to achieve the mission.”
N821CC John Zarno
N936CT Jeremy Taylor & Clifford Smith
N122ZT Dave Whalley & Woody Milroy
G-IZZT Henry Dilloway & Andrew Sinclair
G-FPRD Fiona Pearson & Rick Drury
N819X Stuart Moore & Sanjit Sekhon
N508RA Adam Kakembo & Peter Hamelinck
N852CD Graham Boulger Snr & Jnr
G-OPFR Wayne Precious & Neil Scarbrough
G-KOCO Isabel Rutland
“Special thanks to Antonina Szala of Aero Poznan for your hospitality and looking after us all in Poznan.”