With three Kodiaks in Papua New Guinea arriving far more rapidly than we expected, our urgent attention turns to the remaining setup so the program runs smoothly, efficiently, and above all, safely.
KEEP THEM FLYING
Building a parts inventory for our three new Kodiaks will ensure that mechanics have what they need on hand, reducing downtime for the aircraft. The experience of others flying Kodiaks in Papua New Guinea and similar places shows us that we’ll need to stock not just parts for routine maintenance but also items needed for repairs. For example, rugged airstrips and tropical heat take a toll on equipment, so we’ll want to have — among other things — tires, starters, batteries, bearings and nose gear parts on hand.
The old Cessna 206s, which our pilots have been flying, were much simpler aircraft and normally operated under “Visual Flight Rules.” Transition training and experience are essential to getting our pilots certified to operate the more complex — yet far more capable — Kodiaks, including proficiency for flying by instruments instead of sight under “Instrument Flight Rules” on a regular basis. Good training will prepare them for the unexpected and make them safer pilots.
FLYING WHENEVER NEEDED
Day after day, our Kodiak pilots are flying into and out of small airstrips where the only instrument is a windsock. Their primary airport in Goroka also lacks controls for instrument landings. But in case of a medical evacuation, they will need to be able to fly to Australia and to perform safely in emergency conditions. Using a flight simulator will be part of standard proficiency training to keep our pilots certified for instrument flight, keeping them at the top of their game and ready for emergency flights. It also allows our pilots to get regular experience in severe weather or dangerous situations such as engine failure — conditions we would avoid in a real aircraft, but must know how to handle. In addition, a simulator will save a lot of money in aircraft wear and tear in the long run.
YOUR GIFT HELPS OTHERS TOO
Other mission aviation organizations will be able to use our flight simulator to keep their pilots certified and ready for instrument landings and dangerous conditions as well. Our Kodiak parts inventory will be available for purchase by other missions who operate Kodiaks just as they do for us, should the need arise. So your gift will keep flight service smooth, efficient and safe for hundreds of missionary families in Papua New Guinea.
As the Lord leads you to help with these needs, please give to aviation projects.
Download the May 2016 Partner to Partner newsletter where this article originally appeared.