05 June 2009

A long way home

Recently one of the Mercy Air pilots did his longest ever flight.

Monday morning he was up before dawn to eat breakfast and pre-flight the plane for the days journey. A short five minute flight later he was at the local international airport just before it opened to fuel up and clear customs and immigration. His first destination was two and a half hours away in the coastal town of Beira where he met a Canadian film crew who had been in Mozambique for two weeks and now wanted to go to Malawi to complete their work.

The crew were part of a church in Toronto that has a media ministry (www.livingtruth.ca). They film the work of local churches working in needy areas around the globe and then broadcast it on commercial channels worldwide, helping to raise awareness and money.

On this occasion they were on a follow up trip to assess and document the impact that their visit a year earlier had had. Then they had helped raise money for Hands@Work, an organisation that Mercy Air knows well as we have flown them many times in the past.



Their schedule was very tight and the cost in time and money of using a regular airline to get from Beira to Lilongwe would mean that they would have to change planes numerous times and lose a whole day and a night in transit. All this was made harder by the fact that they had a huge amount of film equipment. Using Mercy Air enabled them to get where they wanted in 2 ½ hours, save that day and a whole load of hassle - all for about the same price.

Not much of a hands on action mission shot, but the best we could come up with is this photo of us all at 11,000ft somewhere over northern Mozambique on our way to Lilongwe.

The two guys in the back are the cameramen and Charles Price is the pastor/presenter on the right.

Unfortunately the pilot only stayed one night with them in Malawi otherwise it would of been good to have gone with them to see the work first hand. He departed the next morning on his own for South Africa. We have recently upgraded the aircraft he was flying and one of the benefits is more payload and greater endurance – the latter enabling him to fly for over five hours, 1500km, and still land with 1 ½ hours fuel left in the tanks.
The bottom right hand figure is the flight timer in the plane when he landed, 5h 06m.

Thank you.

Mercy Air team

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