The History of Mayday
In January 2001 Augusta Regional Airport (AGS) officials decided to add one more employee to the Airport staff! This new employee would become an integral part of the day to day operations of the Airport as well as a valued member of the Airport family.
Birds and wildlife can be very dangerous to aircraft and their passengers during take-off and landing operations at airports. Mayday, a 4 year old rescue border collie, was brought in to help control this dangerous wildlife on Airport property. Along with her handler, Tina Rhodes, Mayday received intensive training by Dr. Nicholas Carter at Dover Air force Base Bird Strike Control Program. Mayday was trained to chase birds and other wildlife off Airport property. She did this by responding to a series of whistles and commands given by Ms. Rhodes. According to historical data from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), planes averaged 14.25 strikes a year in the four years prior to Maydays arrival. This is compared with 14 from 2001-2010. Only one bird strike during her career caused damage to a plane, compared with the four from 1990-2001.
Mayday received minor injuries during her tenure as wildlife control employee. In August 2000 while making her rounds she was bitten by a snake but made a quick recovery. In December 2008 Mayday took a small leave of absence to have a benign tumor removed from her leg. Once she recovered she was back at work keeping the Airport safe. In 2008 the Airport implemented a new Wildlife Program to assist Mayday in her daily responsibilities.
Mayday retired at the age of 14 in December of 2010 and enjoyed her retirement by relaxing in the yard of her handler Ms. Tina Rhodes. Mayday passed away in October 2011. On November 30, 2011 she received the honorable Casie Ritchhart Memorial Award for her faithful years of dedication and service to the Airport. Ms. Rhodes accepted the award on her behalf.
"Mayday transitioned from a domestic house hold pet to a dog whose job it was to protect people" said Tina Rhodes, Maydays handler. "She was a wonderful dog, dedicated to her job and everyone loved her!"
Mayday Mascot Programs
To see the adventures of Mayday and Little Miss Mayday please visit their social media links below!
Mayday wants pilots and/or their passengers to take her on grand adventures as they travel the U.S. and the world! She will start her journey by departing from Augusta Regional Airports General Aviation Terminal via a private jet! Once the jet arrives at their destination she asks that she be introduced to the FBO staff where she can then be handed off to another pilot for a new adventure! Maydays goal is to visit all 50 states in the U.S. as well as 10 new countries visiting lots of interesting places along the way and making great memories! Mayday would love to have pictures and videos made of her adventures so she can share with her friends! Take a look at Maydays tag to see how you can share her pictures and videos with her friends back home! Too see where Mayday currently is and where she has been visit her links below!
Little Miss Mayday
Little Miss Mayday wants to make new friends to go on vacation with! She is asking all first through eight grade children from the CSRA interested in adopting her temporarily to write a one page essay stating why they think Little Miss Mayday should go on a vacation with them! Four students will be selected a year to take Little Miss Mayday on their vacation!
Your essay must meet the following requirements:
- Family must be leaving Augusta via Augusta Regional Airport
- Child or their family must agree to take at least five (5) pictures of Little Miss Mayday while on vacation. The pictures must show her on adventures with your family!
- You must agree to return Little Miss Mayday to Lauren Smith, Communications Manager for Augusta Regional Airport in the same condition in which she was received.
- You must write a one page essay with the following information:
- Where you are going on vacation
- Include departure and arrival dates and times of your trip
- Provide contact information including valid phone number and email address for parent or legal guardian
- Must say why you feel that Little Miss Mayday will have fun on vacation with you
- The letter cannot be longer than one page
Essays must be mailed or emailed to the following address:
1501 Aviation Way
Augusta, GA 30906
Attn: Lauren Smith
Essays will be evaluated and winner(s) selected by the Augusta Regional Airport Aviation Commission Marketing Committee.
The winner must agree to abide by the guidelines set by Augusta Regional Airport. Please review the guidelines below.