Big Island pilots respond to Maui crisis

Private pilots load their planes for to take relief supplies to Maui. (Brian Powers/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Within hours of learning of the devastation wrought on the Maui town of Lahaina, phones were ringing among the general aviation pilots of Hawaii. An often under-appreciated yet vital part of the emergency infrastructure of Hawaii, private pilots and aircraft owners throughout the state began organizing flights of lifesaving supplies of food, medicine, clothing, water and whatever else the victims of the fire were in dire need of.