The other day I rode along in the Kodiak as a passenger. One of our newer Kodiak pilots was planning to do checkouts at four of our interior strips along with our chief pilot. I was lugging around 25 lbs of camera gear with a plan to capture some of the action in both video and still shots--seeing as how most of our MAF footage of the Kodiak is outdated now that it has a pod.
But things didn't go according to the plan. In fact, that's a huge understatement! I think the Chief Pilot summed it up best when he said something to the effect of, "Well, that had to be one of the least productive days of flying in all my years here." It seemed like virtually everything that could have gone wrong did--the weather, the airstrips, the camera gear, the loading, etc. etc. We only got one of the four checkouts done, and that one only barely happened, and I almost got left behind. But that's a story for another day.
If you're especially perceptive you may have noticed that in the vast majority of pictures showing people gathering and/or carrying barang (stuff) from the airplanes (on this and other posts) the people doing the carrying are most often women. That's because it's typically considered the womens' job (among many other things!) here to do so. The women never help to actually unload the plane--that's always done by the men and the pilot. However, I almost never see the men actually carrying the stuff to the village (which can be quite far away in some cases). That's almost always the women. The lady below is preparing her pack laden with supplies from the flight to carry to the village.
People gather to watch the plane, and to greet the arriving passengers and say goodbye to the departing ones.
I chose to do all the shots in B&W on this post, b/c it sort of seemed fitting for the mood of the day. But don't feel too sorry for us. Even on a "bad" day we still have a whole lot to be thankful for. We all made it back safe and sound (minus my camera) and that's always a good starting point. It's really a blessing to be able to be here serving the people of Kalimantan, even when things don't seem to go to well!