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Monday, April 30, 2012

It Is Here!

After a 16hr road trip from the port of Tamatave, the truck carrying the container with the airplane in it arrived at our hanger on Saturday night. (You may remember this post Airplane In A Box) It has been a long journey, and we have been waiting with anticipation for this day to arrive. We did a switch at the hanger and took our older 20 foot container that we had been using for fuel storage to our vehicle maintenance garage and are going to put the 40 foot container that the airplane came in in its place. By the time that we were done doing all the moving it was too late to open up and see into the new container--that and I didn't have a hacksaw with me to cut off the security bolt. So on Sunday Josh and I returned with hacksaw in hand to see what it looked like.

Today (Monday) we started to unpack everything and now have a hanger covered with boxes full of parts and pieces, as well as a lot of the spare parts and some tools that we had ordered. I'm sure that it will be a few more days until everything looks a little more normal and a little less chaotic. Right now our bigest setback is the fact that we still don't know were the maintenance manuals that I ordered over a month ago from Cessna are. We can't start the reassembly until we have the manuals so pray that they get found or arrive soon, I'm working on sourcing another set to borrow for a while but it would be good if ours arrived.


Little brother sitting under the wings of his Big brother.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Emergency Medevac

Last night I received a phone call from Josh (our pilot) that there was a missionary couple in a remote area who was having pregnancy complications; she was having some quite serious contractions at 32 weeks and their midwife lives here in the capitol city, which is a 3-4 day drive away and there is no one else in the village to help them. It takes 1.5 hrs by air to get to the village. By the time we got the call last night it was already too late to go get them and we had to wait until first light. So we fueled the aircraft, prepared it for a stretcher, filed the flight plan and then came back home and set our alarms for 3:45am.

The plan was to take off around 4:30am, with her midwife on board and we planned to arrive at the village just after sunrise and bring mother and family back to Antananarivo for proper medical care. However just before takeoff we found out that the mother had already given birth to a 6 week premature baby girl around midnight with her husband on the phone to the midwife. So we took off and landed as planned, loaded momma and her beautiful newborn baby girl, as well as the rest of the family (3 other young children) into the airplane and started home. After our arrival and starting oxygen, the baby started to breath much better, and we kept the airplane low to keep oxygen levels as high as possible. Pray for mom and baby as the baby continues to develop and grow, I'm sure these next few weeks won't be easy for them but they are now in a place where they have the proper equipment and care and she is doing much better.

This is a good section of the main road out to the village where they live. 

It was such a privilege to be able to go and help in this way as well as see some more of Madagascar from the air.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preparations For The Aircraft

There is a lot that goes into getting a new aircraft in the program: a lot more than even I originally realized. Not only is there the actual physical hurdle of just getting it here, but there is all the paperwork, spare parts, special tooling, etc. that needs to be arranged as well. I have had a few sit down meetings already where we were trying to figure out all the logistics involved: how to get the container from the port to here, how to get the container off the truck once it gets here (safely since it has an aircraft in it), what to do with the container once it's empty, how do we arrange the aircraft in the hanger so that they can be easily taken out and in without hitting things, etc.

Well if you ask enough questions eventually you start to come up with answers and from there you make a plan and start to work. This is something that I have always enjoyed doing, I like to think about all the steps involved with doing something and making a plan, then getting to work.

Over the last few weeks we have shifted into high gear as the arrival date has crept ever closer and we started some of the bigger steps involved with the arrival. We had a generator in the hangar that we had to move outside in order to make more room for where the tail of our new aircraft will be parked. We also had to do some digging so that there would be room to put the container once it is empty of its precious cargo. We will be moving the 20 foot container we currently have here at the hangar and replacing it with the 40 foot one that the aircraft is coming inside of. The old container is going to our vehicle maintenance garage for more storage space.

Wesley couldn't help but ask for a ride, not that I could blame him, I would have too.

All ready and nice and level too.

Along with all of this also comes the great news that the container has arrived in Toamasina and we are expecting to see it before the end of next week. Praise the Lord.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Glimpse of Tana