07 February 2007

Floods and maintenance

Christmas and New Year has come and gone and we are now back into the usual cut and thrust of daily life.

The rush seems to have started early this year with three back to back flights from this w/e.

The first is with a US doctor team who are doing a four day medical outreach through the Nazarene Church in SE Moz

The day after we get back we are off on another five day trip to take some pastors from a Baptist church in Cape Town to visit their missionaries in central Moz.

This morning we got a call from a Development/Aid/Relief agency in Moz who are trying to co-ordinate efforts to deal with what appears to be yet another potential disaster. They want us to do a survey flight along the Zambezi from the Indian Ocean to the Zambian border. Water levels on the Zambezi are already way above the alert levels and quote - "this year's crisis could be worse than in 2000 and 2001, when heavy flooding swept through the country's central and southern regions."

Until the Mozambique Government officially announce that help is needed, little work can be done. In the mean time contingency plans need to be made, which for now at least, is where we come in.

We will alsol likely leave the medical outreach to do this flight this coming Sunday.

Recently we were flying in the area and took this picture.

Each of these trips are likely to be relatively rough. On the first we will need to camp and the missionaries for the second one purposely live on the rough side of town where there is no electric or running water. February is also pretty much the hottest time of year. We're expecting there to be what the weather bureau describes as 'high discomfort indicies' which usually amounts to 35-40 deg with heaps of humidity.

The rush has not come at the best time for us really. We have been using the traditional Christmas lull to carry out maintenance on a number of our aircraft. The Beech 18 requires two engines to be changed and will not be back in the air till mid March and the 310 needs a whole heap of work doing and will be out of action for at least another four months.

This is hurting us quite bad as there is a great need which we are finding it hard to meet at the mo. The solution for us is newer turbine powered aircraft, obtaining one is very much in God's court right now though as they also come with a meaty price tag.

Mercy Air team

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