MD Helicopter launches flight support for COVID-19 humanitarian missions
Mesa, Ariz., May 14, 2020 – MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) begins flying humanitarian aid missions in a company-owned MD 520N supporting the fight against COVID-19.
An MDHI pilot flew the first mission in one of the Company’s helicopters to the Navajo Nation, whose border is approximately 150 miles north of MDHI’s Mesa, AZ base of operations. The Navajo Nation covers 27,000 square miles that can be logistically challenging for transport of goods due to terrain and obstacles throughout its vast expanse. During the COVID-19 crisis, large quantities of relief aid accumulated in the Phoenix area awaiting distribution. The urgent situation called for a helicopter solution to deliver the desparately needed aid to multiple locations much faster than ground transport could provide. MDHI accepted the opportunity to assist our neighbors to the north.
Relief goods were accumulated at MDHI’s Mesa base, loaded into an MD 520N helicopter, and flown to Chinle Municiple Airport deep in the Navajo Nation, where the aid was delivered to relief workers. The entire mission covered approximately 500 nautical miles, included 2 fuel stops, and lasted roughly 5 hours. “MD Helicopters has been a proud part of the Arizona community since its birth over 20 years ago” said Chris Jaran, the Chief Operating Officer of MD. “We have always stood ready to help our neighbors and contribute to the welfare of our community.” Jaran continued, “Our helicopters are flown by first responders and military units all over the world, and we are pleased to join the efforts of Arizonans to address humanitarian needs here at home in these challenging times.”
MDHI will continue flying relief aid missions in support of the Navajo Nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.