Tuesday, November 24, 2015

From the Logbook...Changes...

For those of you who follow our lives via our blogs, you've noticed that my posts have become fewer and fewer.  The main reason is that I LOST my camera several months ago.  I don't like making a blog post without a picture.  I know that most people visit my blog for the pictures, not the awesome literary content.

The second reason that I haven't blogged much is due to the fact that I haven't flown much in the past 5 months.  Since July 2015, we have been unable to fly due to either a lack of government permission, or heavy, seasonal smoke from forest clearing.  Thankfully, the smoke is gone, but we still lack government permission to fly.  This has been a tough few months in the flight department; and most importantly for our users at remote and interior locations.

However, I do have some good news, although it means some big changes for us.  Several months ago, when everything was still "normal," (before I lost my camera and we were still flying) and after over a year of prayer and discussion with our MAF leadership, we made a decision to return to the USA in December of 2015.  In February 2016 I will start work at a new job.  I will be working for Spokane Turbine Center, located in Spokane, WA.  We are very excited to make this move and transition, although leaving Indonesia, a place that we have invested in heavily and grown to love, is hard.

I'd ask that you pray for us as we make this change.  Making international moves is hard.  

I'd also ask that you pray for MAF-Indonesia.  As of right now, two of our three programs are without permission to fly, without much clarity as to when flights will be able to resume.

In the future, I hope to replace my camera gear, and maybe I'll begin blogging again at that time.  But for now, we are busy enough in the transitions of life that blogging will be taking a temporary backseat.  Thanks for reading everyone!

Monday, October 19, 2015

From the Logbook...Backwards Patient

We provide a fair amount of medical flights.  Usually, we are called to rush to a village and bring said patient to the nearest medical care.  Unfortunately, not all medical type flights are full of much hope.

A few months ago, we were asked to take a gentleman back to his home village where he could spend the rest of his few remaining days.  He had already been hospitalized in our city, and after months of medication, the was no longer anything else the doctors could do to eliminate his bone cancer.

Despite the tough circumstances surrounding this flight, we were honored to be able to serve this man and his family through this difficult experience.

Unloading the patient and his family was a little interesting in this village.  I couldn't find a good dock to use, so I tied up the airplane to some floating rubber.  The rubber is taken from the sap of rubber trees and then it is molded into "bales" and floated down to market and sold for industrial uses.  Let me just say that it doesn't support the weight of a big westerner very well!  It's not uncommon for me to get wet feet at some point during the day.  Ah, the life of a float plane pilot!  It's awesome.!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Big Welding Project

As we've made preparations for the soon to be coming Kodiak on Aerocet floats, we realized we also needed to re-enforce a few areas on our hangar structure.  Since we will be hoisting the Kodiak in and out of the water, the hangar engineer felt safer if we had some metal pieces welded into a few strategic places.  Because of the importance of these welds, we actually had some experts come and do the welding for us from our home office in the USA.

We had to get creative to get the welders into the hard to reach spot over the water.  We ended up using a small bridge and hoisting it up with the airplane hoist.

It looked a little funny, but it was actually well thought out and safe.  And don't worry, the guys were actually wearing safety harnesses, should they fall.

After the major structure welds were done, we had some extra time to build a battery cart as well.  The battery cart is important for many reasons with a turbine equipped airplane.

Not only did we make a sweet battery cart, but the knowledge to do so was also left behind, providing the fuel for many more projects in the future.

After we had made all of the various pieces of the cart, we put some paint on it and reassembled it.  It turned out really nice.  Now we just need an airplane to plug it into!  Hopefully it will be here by years end.

Monday, October 05, 2015

From the Logbook...Naan from Above

Several months ago found me needing to land in the village of Tumbang Naan, and our other airplane was already there.  This takes a little coordination because our docks aren't always big enough to accommodate more than one airplane at a time.  Can you see the airplane in the photo above?

As I circled overhead the river, I was looking for many things; debris, river current speed, where I'm going to park, how I'm going to "un-park," and any other obstructions that might pose a hazard to safety.  The river looks wide in thh pictures...trust me, it's not when you are going 60 MPH!

We played musical airplanes and MCB departed the dock and I was moved to the front of the dock, flying MCD.

A few minutes later, MCB was taking off, making a bunch of spray and noise and she gained speed in order to fly.  Float planes are so cool!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Isen Mulang (pt. 2 of 2)

It was fun to see all of the different cultures from the surrounding province.  MAF actually flies to many of the villages represented, or very near so.

Each area was well known for a certain thing.  Some were gemstones, another was fruit, and yet another was rice and grains.  Look at the intricate decoration on the hornbill beak in the photo above!

There was even an aquatic aspect to the Isen Mulang Festival.  Many boats were made and elaborately decorated.

This dragon was even made to shoot water from its mouth.  It was really cool.  Some of the artistry that went into the costumes, floats, and boats was stunning.  I'm not sure how they did it, or how long it took.  One thing was evident though, the people were very proud to represent their culture and heritage.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Isen Mulang (pt. 1 of 2)

It's been a long time since I've made time to blog.  There are countless factors, mostly just a busy life.  But I've still been taking photos.  Hopefully over the next few weeks I can catch up on a few of the happenings in the last few months.

Every year around May, our city of PalangkaRaya has a large cultural festival called Isen Mulang.  It is comprised of people from all over the surrounding province dressed traditionally in clothes appropriate to their village.

The colors and sights were a lot of fun to witness.  Over the years, I had seen small get together's with this type of dress.  But this year was the first year I actually went to the parade.  I'm usually out flying.

I don't know the significance of any of the clothing and adornments.  However, I do know there were a lot of feathers involved and many beaks from hornbills.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

From the Logbook...Easter Trip (pt. 3 of 3)

For some time now, our oldest daughters have expressed trust and faith in Jesus and they desired to be baptized.  I knew the perfect place.  It was an honor and an unforgettable memory to baptize my daughters in the heart of Borneo surrounded by 60 other believers from the local area.

After a quick and memorable baptism, we were able to get a quick family picture.  The whole experience of enjoying God's creation, and being able to top it off with my children's public profession of their faith in a living, loving, and active God will surely go down as a highlight for a long time!  God is good!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

From the Logbook...Easter Trip (pt. 2 of 3)

After our Good Friday services concluded, we took a 30 minute drive to a nearby water fall.  Yes, you can drive to this village...but our 1.5 hour flight from PalangkaRaya is a 4 day drive in a 4X4 truck over CRAZY roads.  Not my idea of fun.  True to local style, everyone wanted to come.  We took two trucks and had over 50 people total.  I'll let you do the math on how many people each truck had!

We were 5 minutes into the journey to the waterfall climbing up a steep and muddy slope when we got a flat tire.  Our drivers were prepared and 15 minutes later, we had it changed and continued our journey to the water fall.

The hike to the waterfall from the road was awesome.  Thankfully the local government has made a very nice wooden walkway to access waterfall.  Otherwise, it would have been a near immpossible trail to access the waterfall.

Once we arrived at the waterfall, the fun began, and boy did that cool water feel good!  This waterfall is actually a set of three falls; we were at the largest of the three, the one in the middle.  We had a blast swimming in the pools, hiking all over the place, and generally just enjoying ourselves and our time with the people from Tumbang Olong.  This water fall has always looked amazing from the air when we fly over, but it was even more stunning up close and personal.  God's creation is amazing!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

From the Logbook...Easter Trip (pt. 1 of 3)

For a few years now, we have been waiting for the timing to be right to make an overnight ministry trip to the village of Tumbang Olong for Easter services.  Finally, everything worked out and we were invited to take both airplanes, and all of our MAF pilots and families for Good Friday services.  It's always fun to have two airplanes, and all of my pictures for the next few days come from my photo taking colleague, Mr. Rogers.  Thanks!  In the photo above, he took a picture of me and my family flying off of his port side.  Flying floatplanes is fun!

Here is our parking spot for the night.  As float plane pilots, you never really relax, even when the airplane is parked.  You're always worried about the river level changing, a rope breaking, someone or something running into your airplane, a float being punctured, etc, etc, etc.  Thankfully, nothing happened and our airplanes were in great shape when we prepared to return home the following day.

Mr. Rogers and I both were invited to share with the local body of believers.  Mr. Rogers shared the night before and then I shared the following morning.  It was a great time to hang out with the people and see such a different lifestyle.  Our kids did great and had a blast running all over the place, being part of butchering a pig, starting a cooking fire, etc.  Life in the village is raw on many levels.