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STICK SHAKER: Sea Turtles Demonstrate General Aviation Supremacy

kim6Don’t tell the pig that got booted off a US Airways flight this week, but stranded sea turtles on the shores of Massachusetts have figured out that general aviation is the way to go. Earlier this week I received news from Chris Willenborg (Massachusetts), that rescue efforts to save stranded sea turtles were going well as private pilots stepped up to transport the species to warmer climates to the South.

“Thank you for all your generous offers of help transporting sea turtles during their “State of Emergency,” said Leslie J. Weinstein, Manager & Founder of True-Lock LLC in Boise, Idaho. I have been overwhelmed with the huge outpouring of support shown by the aviation community.” So far, the group has successfully transported approximately 420 turtles to places like Gulfport, New Orleans, Galveston, and Panama City. Weinstein says she also has to work around the Endangered Species Act, which restricts the number of sea turtle’s an aquarium or rehabilitation facility can have.

Some of the rehab facilities have been able to secure a temporary permit to increase the count of turtles at their facility. To complicate things, in the past couple of days, older turtles weighing more have become stranded. This of course creates a problem with adjusting the weight and balance of each flight.

All flights departed from the Norwood Memorial Airport near the Boston Aquarium. The turtles are packed 1 to 2 per box and are about the size of dinner plates and 4-5 pounds each. They were shipped in banana boxes that measure 19 x 12.5 x 8.25. There was no water involved with the transport of the turtles, but the transport temperature was to be maintained between 70-75 degrees F.

In comparison, a passenger on a US Airways flight leaving Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport brought a pig on board Wednesday as an emotional-support animal. We won’t comment on the emotional-support aspect, but apparently the crewmembers decided the animal had to leave because of its disorderly behavior – not a surprise considering he was flying coach. The lesson, at least for turtles and pigs – Fly GA!


Categories: News
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