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Help to Baton Rouge arrives via land, sea, and now air

With much of Baton Rouge and the surrounding area underwater last week, it was the "Cajun Navy’"– regular folks in their own boats – who came to the rescue for many.

But help has also been arriving through the air.

On Saturday, pilots from Gulf Coast Aviation, in collaboration with Lakefront Airport, flew $300 worth of supplies to the Baton Rouge Ryan Airport to help flood victims.

GCA Owner Robert Claypool, Office Manager Alex Reyenga, pilots Matthew Cahn, Blake Wedig and Dean Scott – along with Lakefront Airport Assistant Director Chanse Watson – flew two Cessna 172’s to airlift the supplies.

“We thought we would only have one [plane] because of some maintenance problems, but they worked around the clock to get it ready for us,” said Cahn, a senior at Newman who began training as a pilot in 2012.

Cahn said they’re hoping to do another airlift this Saturday, weather permitting, “and if we can’t fly, we’ll drive.”

Others in the aviating community have taken note.

“We got a message from one of the other companies out at the airport,” said Cahn. “They said, ‘Hey, we want to help you out. We’re going to send a memo out to the control tower, to the restaurant, to all these guys to get donations,’ and they were going to try and do what we did.”

Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.