27 March 2012

Cessna 210 Makeover

We used to have a Cessna 210 which for many years looked like this..
Then for a while last year we had a 210 that looked like this..
Now we have a nice bling Cessna 210 that looks like this..
This is a good thing.

Just like with any home decorating, things had to get quite messy before they start looking any better, and such is the case with our 210.

It spent eight months in the shop for a refurb that included new paint, interior, carpets, upholstery, and an avionics upgrade. It's first work outing is due for the middle of this month.

Mercy air team

25 March 2012

Accommodation in Mozambique

In a recent post we were working on a container that the helicopter uses for fuel storage in Mozambique.

Obviously the places Mercy Air go are often are pretty far away from the flight base in South Africa and it's not possible to return every day. Therefore a trips can sometimes last up to 14 days. Now, four containers have been positioned in Marromeu for the crews and mission teams.
For the past five years, Mercy Air has operated in the small town of Marromeu in Mozambique, on a regular basis. From there the Zambezi Delta stretches out over 10,000 m² to the Indian Ocean in the east. The area is very remote and doesn't have any infrastructure. That’s the reason the people who live there are dependent on support from the air.

With temperatures soaring to over 40 deg during the day and barely dipping below 25 deg at night, it is necessary to have comfortable accommodation for the crew. As there is no hotel or guest house in the whole area the Mercy Air staff were able to stay with a YWAM couple in their own house. But the couple have now moved away. We didn't want to give up our flight programe in the area and therefore we decided to position three living quarter containers along with another storage container in Marromeu.

Mercy Air has obtained and re-fitted these containers in South Africa.

One is for accommodation..
one a kitchen...
and the other has laundry and ablution facilities.

Last week two flat bed trucks arrived at the farm
together with a huge crane whose use was kindly donated by Lowveld Mobile Crane Hire.
It took the best part of a morning to load the containers
before they started their long journey across the border and up to Marromeu.

Mercy Air team

20 March 2012

Quest Kodiak joins Mercy Air fleet

Thanks to generous donors from the United States, the Mercy Air fleet has expanded by one more aircraft.The Quest 'Kodiak' is currently being refitted in the USA and prepared for service in Africa.
Mercy Air's old Beech 18

After the sale of Mercy Air's 50 year old Beech 18 aircraft a few years ago, we started approaching foundations, companies and private individuals for donations for a replacement turboprop aircraft. Those efforts have been rewarded as a Kodiak has now been added to the Mercy Air fleet.

It is currently being refitted in the US to bring it up to the specifications required to serve in Africa and to prepare it for the long ferry flight across the Atlantic.

Designed especially for the demanding environment of third world countries, the Kodiak has exceptional flight characteristics and load carrying capabilities and a modern Garmin 1000 avionics suite.
Kodiak cockpit

The Kodiak was produced by Quest Aircraft in Idaho (USA) and is a very robust and multifunctional aircraft. It is especially designed for rough, unimproved remote airstrips. The three tone plane is equipped with a powerful Pratt & Whitney turbine engine which runs on Jet Fuel, which is cheaper and more readily available in Africa. It has excellent short take of and landing characteristics but also good cruise speed and load carrying capabilities, being able to seat 10 people.

With this aircraft come new possibilities for Mercy Air. An operating distance of 2000 km will allow Mercy Air to provide cost effective services and relief on a regular basis to more mission stations. Very soon we will have the opportunity to fly larger teams to help people in need.

Mercy Air team