The year is 2008, the United States Government along with the State of Alaska, US First and Wildlife Service (USFWS) , Alaska Maritime National Wild Refuge (AKMNWR) , and a New Zealand based company prepared to finally get rid of rats from Rat Island. It has gotten its name “Rat Island” in 1780 when a Japanese vessel crashed inhabiting the island with the Norwegian Rat which had a devastating effect on local seabirds. What was the way to kill thousands of rats on a large island with no local airports? Only Answer…
Helicopters. That’s right if you thought something else I have bad news. Anyways back to the story!
Our Jet Rangers packed their bags and began their trips to the Aleutian islands. Their trip would take a little more then 1300 miles to get to these islands. Pathfinder received a 14 CFR 137 Certificate, which is Certification Process for Agricultural Aircraft Operators. We are the only operation in Alaska with a 137.
Our helicopters began this incredible journey from Homer to Rat Island .
Our helicopters made it to the operating base and prepare to drop 40 metric ton of bait containing the rodenticide brodifacoum.
Our helicopters would be based in the field on Rat island as they deployed this bait.
To support this mission a 100 foot long Research vessel was brought in to support fuel, and goods for everyone involved.
Crews kept dropping bait all over the island spending hours loading up the bait and dropping all over
Finally the mission to get rid of rats came to a close, our helicopters began their 1300 mile journey back to Homer. In 2010 the USFWS returned to rat Island and declared it a Rat Free Zone! The job was a complete success and wild life has returned to now Hawardax Island. Over all it was a 45 day mission. Took 6 days to bait the entire island and, rest were mobilizing and demobilizing the operation.