All photos and text are property of Dave Forney and may not be used without express permission.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The End of the Podless Era

We're approaching the end of the podless era...that is to say our Kodiak will soon be seen sporting a new belly pod (or ECC - External Cargo Compartment).  Our Kodiak has been the workhorse of our fleet over the past year and a half, but we've been longing for a cargo pod and it's finally about to be installed.

Next week we've got a couple of guys coming from our MAF U.S. headquarters to help us install the pod.  It's a gargantuan task--requiring hundreds of man hours to complete.  But hopefully three weeks from now all of these pod-less Kodiak pictures will seem dated and obsolete.

On Friday I took the pictures directly above and below.  These may be the last pictures I ever take of our PK-MEB without a pod.  Once it's on, it'll stay on.  And boy are we looking forward to it!

We've learned how to load and use the Kodiak to it's maximum potential without a pod.   But there are many times and many loads where we can't fully max it out--not because it's not capable, but because there's nowhere to put the "stuff" without the aircraft going out the aft CG (becoming too tail heavy).  The pod will fix that!

Our Kodiak is now the highest-time Kodiak in the world.  As such, we're leading the charge on finding it's strengths and weaknesses.  Although it's been a stellar performer, and our most-requested airplane from our users, it hasn't been without a few hitches.  But we've been able to work with Quest to help them identify, address and fix a some of these issues, which will benefit not only us, but all of their customers including other mission organizations.  It would be difficult to imagine a tougher proving grounds that what we offer up here--and you can bet we'll be absolutely maximizing and "testing" the potential of the External Cargo Compartment once it's installed!  (Below, a field repair by our awesome maintenance specialists in remote Mahak Baru).

So it's the end of an era--but the beginning of a new one.  That's the good news.  The bad news: now I'll have to go out and re-do all of my favorite photos of the Kodiak.  B/c after you see it with the pod installed, all of these other shots will make it look like a naked chicken.  And that's just unacceptable!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

PalangkaRaya Base Visit

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of visiting our Palangkarya base in central Kalimantan.  We currently have two amazing families serving there, with another one on the way after completing language school later this year.  They currently operate two Cessna 185's on floats, serving many people who live throughout the vast area of central and southern Kalimantan.

On Monday I had the chance to ride along with Sean on a "typical" flight day.  Some aspects of what they do are similar to what we do with the "normal" wheel planes in Northeast Kalimantan.  But much of it was totally different.  Below: the Indonesian staff are preparing to load and fuel the plane early in the morning.  You may notice that even though it's under the hangar roof, it's actually still floating on the river in a cutout area that allows it to park comfortably out of the weather.

Here's a few shots from throughout the day.

I was really impressed by the professionalism of their operations.  But it was doubly awesome to see the genuine relationships they've developed with their Indonesian coworkers and the people whom they serve.  Oh, and lets just be honest--the float plane flying--well that's just a ton of fun!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Prayer Day and Easter Skit

On Wednesday we participated in the MAF world-wide day of prayer at the hangar.  

After having a few hours focused on prayer and worship, we spent the last part of the afternoon hanging out as a team--playing volleyball and ping pong.

Because we're usually hard at work fixing or flying airplanes or running the office, we often don't have much time to just hang out together.  So these are really fun opportunities to grow closer as a team.

Then, later that night the kids had their Easter program at the hangar as well.  Hannah is in the light blue on the far left.  Hudson is the only boy wearing blue.  Britton is the second in from the right.

All the kids did great.  Of course, we were especially proud of our three!  In addition to his roles in the play, Britton also did a musical duet with his friend Isaac.  This is the first time he's played in "public".  We're very thankful for Mary, who's been giving him guitar lessons.  He did awesome!

And Hannah has been taking Piano lessons from Mary as well.  She and Hattie played a duet on the piano.  And she also was amazing!

This weekend we, as Christians, celebrate Easter.  We remember Christ's death and celebrate His resurrection!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nature Scavenger Hunt

As I said before, there was a scavenger hunt to look for insects, and the kids found an amazing variety of  things.  

Heres some of what they found.  

Gecko egg in a hole in a tree.

Jumping spider, no bigger than a large pea.

Strang critter that looked sort of like a moth, but acted like a grasshopper.