This squadron of planes flies nightly missions to deliver your lab tests

The pilots of the “Quest Diagnostics Air Force” scramble while you’re sleeping.


May 1, 2020

Photo: Quest Diagnostics

The coronavirus pandemic left most planes stuck on the runway, but it made missions even more critical for one company’s fleet: the “Quest Diagnostics Air Force.

They scramble while you’re sleeping

Unless you lull yourself to sleep by staring at the maps on FlightAware.com, Ars Technica says you’d never notice these flights. 

But each night, as air traffic clears the skies, there they are: small planes bearing the call-sign LabQuest, marked with the identifier LBQ.

These mavericks sound like they trained at Top Gun… 

… because getting the samples to the Quest labs on time happens fast

The flight runs (there are 88 daily landings) aim to get samples to labs by 2am. Quest tries to turn over the planes 20 minutes after they land, which means they’re often fueled and loaded at the same time.

Scott Borton, Quest’s senior director of national air logistics, told Ars that the routine looks “like a NASCAR pit crew when we land.”

Soon, Quest’s pilots could be flying laps for you

This week, the company started selling coronavirus antibody tests directly to consumers online.

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