ABOUT “WINGS FOR CONSERVATION”
This book tells the story of the maiden flight of the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EX, call sign CC- AOL, from the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kansas, July 2015 to Fundo Vodudahue in Chilean Patagonia in July of 2015.
Purchased by Nicolas Ibanez Scott for his team’s conservation projects in the Patagonia wilderness, CC-AOL flew more than 7,000 nautical miles to get from its place of manufacture to its home-base hangar.
Piloted by Chilean Rodrigo Noriega and with Australian photographer Chantal Henderson on board, the journey saw CC-AOL snake its way along the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. This large-scale vision of habitat connectivity transcending national borders inspired CC-AOL’s route.
Following this path took the Cessna over the Bahamas and Mexico in the Caribbean, and across Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Panama Canal in Central America. Missing the Cotopaxi volcanic eruption by only a few days, the aircraft touched town for the first time in South America near Quito in Ecuador, which, at 9,200 feet, was the highest altitude landing of the trip.
From Ecuador, CC-AOL continued to fly south and climbed over rugged Andean peaks and Peruvian volcanoes to altitudes of up to 19,500 feet, which meant oxygen was required in the cabin.
After tracking over the extraordinary patterned deserts of the Atacama, CC-AOL landed at its ultimate destination, Fundo Vodudahue, 21 days after leaving the United States. Midwest. The journey included 25 take-offs and landings in ten different countries.
The photographs in this book strive to reflect natures diversity along the route. The threats to landscapes, wildlife, and scenic beauty are often starkly visible from above, as creeping development fragments intact habitat.
These threats are prompting conservationists to take bolder and more creative actions to protect biodiversity.
Initiatives such as the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor in Central America and the Alerce 3000 effort in Chilean Patagonia are examples of projects that will help nature and humans flourish together.