SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Across California, the aviation charter business has slowed way down. Truckee-based Mountain Lion Aviation, instead of letting their aircraft sit idle, are volunteering to help move much needed supplies to those fighting coronavirus.
“You know, our plane were just sitting there, so we wanted to do something,” said CEO Chris Barbera.
Mountain Lion voluntarily used its $4 million plane to deliver 150 gallons of hand sanitizer from Old Trestle Distillery, also in Truckee, to the San Francisco Police Department on Wednesday. The Truckee Airport donated the fuel for the flight.
Off-duty Duty SFPD Officer Anthony Garrett says the Police Officers Association will distribute the sanitizer that was delivered Wednesday.
“It’s going to go to everybody in the department,” Garrett said.
It took less than an hour total from the time the aircraft took off from Truckee, flew across the Central Valley and landed at San Francisco International Airport. Landing and ramp parking fees were also waived by Signature Air Services.
“For now, if there’s any need in the medical fields, getting medical personnel around, medical supplies, like the hand sanitizer, anything like that in around our region, that’s what we’re looking to do,” Barbera explained.
And it’s not just the charter companies helping; private pilots like John Sawatzky are offering their aircraft, too. He can’t take passengers due to social distancing, but he can help deliver cargo.
“I reached out to you folks to see if there was some way you could put me in touch with somebody that needs, whatever, some hand sanitizers, mask or medical equipment flown from A to B,” Sawatzky said.