The Saga Continues


Well 5 weeks ago I was very close to finishing the initial stage of the flight checkout here in Papua.  5 weeks later (now) I’m very close once again however a new obstacle has appeared as it were.  But before I get to that lets take a quick look at what I’ve had the privilege of being apart of the past 5 weeks, which have been far from wasted time, so not to worry. The shift of gears from flying back to the hanger was closely connected with our base assignment of Merauke.  This assignment comes with a very specific aircraft.  Meet PK-MAO.

MAO as some may already know will be my future ride in which I will have the honor to use in serving the people of Papua while reflecting God’s love and light.  In following the picture MAO is missing a few pieces one might think.  Every 100hrs our aircraft undergo an inspection of one kind or another.  This one happens to be phase #5 inspection and it was felt that it would be good for me to get to know MAO a little bit better.  So for the first 2 weeks of my time off the flight line and in the hanger I got to know MAO a bit more intimately you might say.

At the conclusion of this inspection I got to go along for the RTS (return to service) flight.  Which was my first experience riding along in an amphib plane.  It was an enjoyable experience and I’m looking forward to moving over to the left seat in the future and trying my hand at amphib flight ops.  Next time I should bring my fishing pole though.
Okay so now that the inspection on MAO is complete I was gearing up to return to the flight line.  But hold on, its become apparent that the line up of aircraft coming in for inspection was getting long and the hanger could use an extra set of hands.  So another 2 weeks go by helping maintenance reduce the pressure of the heavier inspections that had come due back to back.  4 weeks later I’m back in the air and on the flight line once again in hopes of getting through an MAF PFR (proficiency flight review) and then flying solo shortly after that.  Here are a couple picture my IP (instructor pilot) took this past week.
Working with the strip agent, checking the tickets & money.

Scanning for misbehaving gauges.
Got to love those smiles!

Taking a moment to wear the flight attendant hat while giving a passenger briefing, before departure.  Ya I know there are better looking flight attendants out there.  This is one of the many hats other than pilot we get to wear here while serving with MAF. 
I’m happy to report that after a 4 week break from flying, that the flying this week some of which had some pretty big challenges went very well.  And it looks like maybe next week a PFR will be on the schedule for me.  However the speed bump mentioned earlier which can also be a item of prayer.  It has been determined that my FAA IFR (instrument flight rating) is not current.  Now normally this won’t be a big problem as we have qualified staff here to conduct an IPC (instrument proficiency check) which would revive my IFR rating.  The problem lies in that Papua doesn’t have a reliable precisions IFR approach available an item which happens to be required to conduct a proper FAA IPC.  To have a current IFR is important as our programs default when weather becomes an issue is to resort to IFR.  In summary this means that even if I’m able to get the PFR behind me there won’t be any solo time for me until a solution is found.
Despite this minor delay I’m happy to report our family is doing well. The kids now only have 3.5 days of school left and are excited for summer holidays.  Julie has also started the tedious task of packing and sorting as we begin to prepare to move next month back down to MAF’s guesthouse on base.   
Thank you for your prayers and support through MAF, we wouldn’t want to be doing this alone without you!

I’ve found some cool pictures of MAO at work to close out this post.  God Bless Tuhan Memberkati

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