We provided aid! In 1988 following severe flooding in Sudan, the Nile overflowed its banks flooding lots of farmland, whole villages, streets and railway lines. The ships on the Nile were washed up on shore. Nearly two million people lost their belongings, homes and food.
Our pilot Joel, who was situated in Kenya, flew our Long Ranger HB-XSP helicopter from Nairobi to Khartoum for operations in the flooded area. To provide aid as efficiently as possible, Ernie Tanner organized the operations together with the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross). A “Hercules” aircraft was chartered and used to fly tons of wheat flour and the Kerosene needed from Zurich to Merowe, a small airfield on the southern banks of the Nile.
The Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit also asked for our co-operation in distributing aid. A total of 100 tons of relief supplies such as wheat flour, woolen blankets, medication etc. were flown over the Nile every 15 minutes in nets as external (sling) loads.
Almost miraculously we obtained flight permits from both the Military and the Civil Authorities in just one day. Temperatures of over 50°C and a sandstorm made operations difficult. Large groups of hungry and desperate people waited impatiently for the aid.