25 July 2012

Hospital aid

Mercy Air recently flew a team from the UK who support a particular children's project at a hospital in Durban. They come out to work with another organisation near Nelspruit called Hands @ Work, but take the opportunity to fly to Durban with us because it saves them a two day round trip drive which they otherwise wouldn't have time to do.

Fueling in Nelspruit we parked by an old DC4.
We have done this trip for them three years in a row now.
Our pilot didn't visit the hospital with them but he and his wife spent some time with their son who lives there with his wife.
 So, no dramatic photos of the hospital visit - which apparently went very well, but a few of the flight instead.

 Just before boarding.
Looking forwards...
 ...and backwards. We always think it a compliment when our passengers sleep during the flight.

 The weather at 10000ft on the way was cloudy - but only beneath us.

Mercy Air team.

Samaritan's Purse

Last week Mercy Air did a flight for Samaritan's Purse to Inhambane, Mozambique.

Samaritan's Purse are a large Christian relief and aid organisation who arrange and promote community self help projects around the world. Our flight was to take donors and staff to visit a number of their programs in the south east of Mozambique.

There were seven passengers so we took both planes.
The day after we arrived we accompanied the group on their visits. We drove almost 400km and were often greeted by singing, dancing and lots of happy faces.
At each place the group left a food package as an additional thank you gift.
Some of the projects include cattle and some form of trailer so the recipients can work the fields and transport the produce to market to help sustain their work. At one place they wanted to officially hand over the cow but she had other ideas and ran to the end of her tether almost taking a few of the villagers with her.
We felt it was safer to just  present the trailer instead.
And then complete the paperwork with the cow looking on.

Inhambane is a pleasant and typically tranquil African coastal town and we did get a bit of a rest while we were there.

Thank you,

Mercy Air team

International Helping Hands

The previous blogs activities were interrupted one day as Mercy Air got a call to help someone in Mozambique. It wasn't a medevac as such but they had to return to South Africa for urgent medical treatment and we had less than 24 hours to arrange the permits and clearances.
Fortunately at this time of year the weather is pretty stable and so the actual flight was fairly straightforward although we did need to return from Johannesburg in the dark.

The flight was actually for a Dutch lady working at an orphanage in Marromeu. Accompanying here was a co-worker and one of her adopted children.
The flight was for the lady in the back.
The most direct route took us about 50 nm offshore.
Blue sea and a blue sky and a few clouds to show where the join was.
A long day with over twice the length of the UK flown but only 5 landings.

Mercy Air team

Helping Hand

Recently Mercy Air helped another operator in Nelspruit with some local flying as one of their pilots was on three weeks leave.

It made a pleasant change to what we normally do as most of the flights were less that 30 min and involved transferring people from the nearby international airport to various game lodges. Some of the days involved being in the Kruger Park for 06:20 so that the passengers could make the early scheduled flight to Cape Town.

20 mins before sunrise on the way to Sir Richard Branson's private game lodge for a pickup.
One lodge we landed at had a 1200m long airstrip...
 which was just as well as at the time the other end was occupied by a Giraffe.

We flew about 20 hours in three weeks but did almost 50 landings including one at a large military airfield which required over 6km of taxiing.

Mercy Air team