KEY WEST, FL – January 22, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Moved by the images coming out of Haiti, Steve Burns, President of VP Racing Fuels, and his wife, Sandi, have stepped up to assist a mission being coordinated by Key West, Florida pilot Freddy Cabanas. A reknowned aerobatic performer for 30 years, Cabanas will be flying supplies directly to the starving island nation with a departure from Key West scheduled Saturday morning, January 23.
With VP Racing Fuels covering the cost of their fuel, Cabanas and his son, Raymond, along with Todd Stuart and Les Weston, plan to fly two planes from Key West to Haiti, a nearly five-hour flight by propeller plane with a stopover in the Bahamas. Each plane will carry nearly 800 pounds of Pedialyte, pre-mixed baby formula and other food for “orphans” of the devastating earthquake. Burns and his wife, Sandi, together with Sandi’s parents, J.A. and Sue Ann Garcia, have donated an additional $2000 to help cover the cost of the supplies.
Cabanas, current General of Key West’s “Conch Republic Air Force,” will be flying a Beechcraft Baron donated by Paul DePoo, owner of Island City Flying Services of Key West. Stuart, former Senior Partner at Goldman Sachs and beneficiary of Cabanas’ flight instruction, will be flying his own Aero (Shrike) Commander.
Cabanas is very familiar with VP, having competed since 2005 in the Unlimited Gold Race category at the Reno Air Races, where he uses VP’s Air Race racing fuel. Since the January 12 quake, Cabanas has been trying to contact pilots he trained while in Haiti two years ago. He hopes to run into them at the airport while he is there, but his time is limited. U.S. and Canadian military officials he contacted for the supply drop have given him just a one-hour window at the airport.
“We truly appreciate the generosity of VP Racing Fuels and all the others supporting this mission,” Cabanas said. Added Stuart, “We are as close to Haiti as one can be in the United States. Hopefully we can make a difference. Every little bit counts.”
Photo caption: Freddy Cabanas, Todd Stuart, Sandi and Zander Burns help prepare for flight to Haiti.