Oil spill keeps pilots almost as busy as war
The commander of the Louisiana National Guard's State Aviation Command says the Gulf oil spill is keeping pilots and crews almost as busy as war duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Col. Patrick R. Bossetta says that when all the pilots are counted, they're flying 40 to 50 hours a day.
The planes are carrying troops, sand bags and equipment such as fuel pallets and generators, and conducting aerial reconnaissance.
Preflight procedures begin before dawn, and aircraft usually return late in the evening.
Then there's maintenance work to get them ready for the next day.