As part of an exciting new way to conduct damage surveys when storms hit the Ohio Valley, volunteer private pilots are flying over storm damage paths to acquire a more comprehensive overall assessment. Although the idea of an aerial damage survey is not new, the concept of volunteer private pilots aiding in the assessment with aerial photos and video is. Recently, two pilots from Elizabethtown, KY flew over the path of a supercell that tracked across Ohio, Grayson and Hardin counties. They were able to help confirm three separate tornado touchdowns in Grayson and Hardin counties, along with determining that a tornado did not touch down in Ohio county. Click this link for more detail on their flight.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assocation (AOPA) recently wrote an article about the fresh approach to damage surveys in southern Indiana and central Kentucky. The article was featured in AOPA Online and can be found at this link.
If you are a private pilot interested in volunteering to help with aerial damage surveys in your area, contact Brian Schoettmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is an aerial photo shot on April 29, 2011 of tornado damage to the Harin County Fairgrounds.