Gyrocopters for Nepal
Organized by: Josh Weinstein
Following the devastating earthquakes and aftershocks that have rattled Nepal for more than two months, some of the most-greatly affected villages are not receiving adequate assistance. According to United Nations World Food Programme Logistics Cluster access maps, more than 320,000 people are living in hard-hit regions not accessible by roads. This coupled with the high price of transporting resources by helicopter, another way to efficiently reach many of these communities is desperately needed.
There is an innovative and affordable solution to the previous challenge. Gyrocopters, a novel concept for disaster relief, can mitigate the resource-dispatching burden. You can assist in bringing gyrocopters to Nepal ASAP and provide critical assistance through supporting this fundraiser.
Compounding the problem to providing assistance to many earthquake-affected regions is their distance from supply centers, damaged or destroyed infrastructure, and remote mountainous terrain plagued by deadly landslides. Many areas are only reachable by strenuous days of walking carrying supplies or by helicopter for a costly but efficient delivery of resources.
As the monsoon rains pour down, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Humanitarian Snapshot, as of 7 July 2015, “...some 2.8 million of the people affected still require vital humanitarian assistance. With nearly 600,000 houses destroyed and another 280,000 damaged by the quakes, hundreds of thousands of people continue to remain in makeshift shelters.” Your support will enable providing resources to devastated communities where access is severely limited.
Most similar in flying qualities to an airplane, but with the added safety, ultra-short takeoff and landing, as well as agile maneuvering performance resulting from having a large auto-rotation rotor (giving it a helicopter appearance), these propeller-driven flying machines, also known as gyroplanes, can reach many of these in-need areas at an impressively affordable rate.
The gyrocopters being considered for this project can carry a pilot, one passenger (medic, injured person, engineer, etc.), and up to 200 KG of additional cargo. More relief materials can be transported with just the pilot on-board, and it has been confirmed that additional carrying capacity can be retrofitted onto the aircraft to ensure mission objectives are achieved.
Project Stages and Your Funding
The preliminary stage includes bringing the gyrocopter operator and logistics experts to Nepal for an assessment of the target regions, and to establish a detailed understanding of what equipment and logistics are needed. The team will meet with key officials about licensing and permit procedures, conduct site visitations to become acquainted with the flying environment, and fully scope the project.
The execution phase is to provide disaster recovery and rebuilding support to Nepal at its great time of need, including delivery of supplies and expert personnel, e.g. medics, engineers, and transporting injured people. The preliminary plan is a three to four week intensive mission to execute up to 5 round-trips per day of delivering supplies and transporting personnel to/from the affected regions with a gyroplane-base coordinating out of Nepal's capital Kathmandu. Initial estimations indicate about 90 deliveries are possible. Supplies will be provided by partnering NGOs and organizations who are struggling to reach their targeted populations with vital resources.
- $1,800: Round-trip airfare to Nepal for two person gyroplane team from Israel
- TBD: Accommodations, travel, food and other expenses while in-country
Implementation Costs (Roughly Approximated):
- $30,200: Includes shipping, fuel, insurance, maintenance, compensation, training, support services / equipment, permits and fees.
- RESULT: $70 per flight hour! (includes all operating costs, including fuel, maintenance, compensation, insurance, and fees)
The funds from this campaign will go to the preliminary phase and all remaining funds will support implementation. The goal is for the team to arrive to Nepal in October and November for assessments and scoping the initiative.
The Gyro Team
An experienced gyrocopter operator and his team, contacts in the Nepal Home Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority, a Chief Engineer who operates his business in a region severely affected by the disaster, and others have been engaged to get this project off the ground. The knowledge and connections of those involved coupled with the understood urgency is providing the momentum for this initiative. As mentioned above, NGOs and other organizations will be joining as well to ensure supplies get to the Nepalis who need them most.
Reemphasizing the Need for Your Support
Please consider supporting this pivotal mission which will become a model for disaster relief and recovery work. The Monsoon rains have begun, and getting support to those who have not received sufficient attention has not been more urgent.
To show appreciation, on behalf of the people of Nepal, those who donate $120 or more will receive a kirati dhaka-woven scarf as a gift.
For further details or questions, please contact Josh Weinstein at +1 (717) 968-7598 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Image Sources: General Aeronautics Corporation and Allan Christer, SMEC Chief Resident Engineer