Bone flies off to join Ukraine rescue effort

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An intrepid Apalachicola pilot who has twice circumnavigated the globe has added a third feather in his pilot’s cap - aiding the rescue of refugees from Ukraine.

John Bone left Friday to join the Ukraine Air Rescue Group, departing from the Apalachicola Regional Airport for Germany in his Cirrus SR22, N140BV. The plane will be based at the historic Bonn-Hangler Field located just south of Cologne, Germany.

Bone, a CIrrus Standardized Instructor Pilot, will have as his primary mission to fly medical supplies into Rzeszow, Poland, and Ukraine refugees back to various locations in Germany for medical attention.

With the installation of a 66-gallon Turtlepack in the aft cabin, the SR22 will make only four stops from Florida to Germany: at the North Bay/Jack Garland Airport in North Bay, Ontario, Canada; at the Iqaluit Airport that serves Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada; at the Reykjavík Airport serving Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland; and at Bonn-Hangler Field in Germany. The Turtlepack will be removed after arrival in Germany.

Ukraine Air Rescue was founded by private pilots in March 2022 after the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army. On its website, it describes its goal “to fly medicines and medical supplies to the Ukrainian border quickly and unbureaucratically using private aircraft. From there, helpers take them directly to where they are needed, for example, to clinics. On the return flight, we bring people in need of help back from Ukraine to safe countries.”

Among the success stories it describes are a June 1 effort by seven pilots with four airplanes, from airports in Hangelar, Marl and Mainz, to transport relief supplies weighing about one ton. On their return flight they took three people back to Germany, including a child with cancer. 

On May 10 and 11, an airplane from Elstree in England) transported about 100 kilograms, or about 220 pounds of medical supplies to Mainz, and then these relief supplies and about one ton of other relief supplies, provided by the Blue-Yellow-Cross, were brought to Rzeszów. The flight was completed by three planes from Mainz and one plane from Augsburg, that brought about 600 kilograms of medicine. Through this relief flight three hospitals could be supplied and thus further lives were saved, read the website.

The website recounts several trips over the last few months that included the transport of urgently needed medicine, such as insulin and surgical equipment; and ambulances bound for Kiev from Heidelberg.

On one trip, four people were transported to Germany, some of them severely disabled and in need of urgent medical care, including one person from Butcha. 

“Another successful flight of Ukraine Air Rescue to alleviate the dire supply situation in Ukraine!” wrote the website.

John Bone, Ukraine, rescue, pilot, Apalachicola

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