amazing aviation

Can I tell you how awesome our Aviation department is? We all rely on them so heavily. My first experience riding in one of our little Kodiaks was the first time I came to Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. I remember that bumpy ride, and I remember the cool and steady pilot who got us through the turbulence and landed safely at my new home.

At the dedication of our 4th Kodiak aircraft

In the last few years, I’ve learned that there are a lot of people who work really hard every day to make sure we have trusty aircraft to get us where we need to go. So I thought I’d write a post letting you know how awesome they are!

Since I am a support worker (that is, someone who works in support of Bible Translation, not directly involved in the translation), I mainly just use Aviation as a means to get to/from our Capitol city of Port Moresby so that I can get to other countries. Flying is the only way to get in and out of Port Moresby.

Don’t worry… before he started the plane, the pilot told me “hands off!”

Recently, though, I worked with Aviation when the Finance department (where I work) had a small crisis. Normally when we need cash on hand, we have a security transport service bring the cash from another city a few hours away. When a local bridge fell down, we couldn’t get anything in or out of Ukarumpa. And we needed cash! So we ordered some from a bank in another city, and I flew to that city to pick it up. It was a sight to see… the security transport brought the cash to the airport, out on the tarmac and into the plane where I then counted it all!

One of our awesome pilots taking a break while waiting on some cargo.

Also while the bridge was down, our store ran out of beef.  We like our beef!  So our Aviation department stepped in and offered to pick some up – they carried 900kg (that’s almost 2,000 lbs!) of beef up to our store.

One of the many, many amazing views the pilots get to see on a regular basis.

There are lots of other things Aviation does besides transport us missionaries. They also do several runs a week for local coffee growers to get their coffee to the rest of the country! They fly to Cairns, Australia, about once a month to pick up things we need not available in country. They are also used whenever we have need of a medevac, to take the patient directly to Cairns.  And they are available for other missions and commercial work throughout the country (which helps to subsidize translation work).

So next time you’re able, say thank you to our Aviation staff! 🙂

Aviation staff hard at work offloading some coffee

One of our great pilots in his office

The controls are crazy! So fun to watch them work.

This might be my favorite photo of all time… taken at the dedication of the 4th Kodiak aircraft.

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