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Making strides against poaching requires an anti-poaching force as sophisticated as the poachers themselves. That's why the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is proud to support the Kenya Wildlife Service's Airwing patrol. Flying patrol planes above Kenya's 59 national parks and reserves and over the country's borders, Airwing pilots monitor and pursue poachers. Like a state trooper's presence on the highway, when these planes circle an area, poachers disappear.
AWI is currently funding the rebuilding of a Piper Super Cub originally donated by Interpol, and is funding advanced flight training for pilots. US pilots will work to adapt USAF evasive and "unusual attitude" maneuvers to a slower, lower-flying light patrol plane, and travel to Kenya to train Airwing pilots on the new techniques.
Evasive maneuver training allows pilots to elude gunfire from the ground and unusual attitude training helps pilots control a plane under circumstances where the "attitude" (orientation relative to Earth's horizon) is atypical—such as in a stall-spin or steep spiral. Airwing pilots often fly very low to track poachers and may bank steeply, which causes the wings to lose lift and the plane to sink.
Protectors of wildlife and humans alike, KWS Airwing pilots also deliver vital supplies such as drinking water and food to ranger units on patrol. They are even called upon to find tourists who have suffered flat tires, run out of gas, or simply gotten lost in the vastness of a beautiful African park. Your donation to AWI helps us keep them in the air.