AFD Group Donated Aircraft Responds to Sulawesi Disaster
AFD Software donation providing emergency assistance to Indonesia.
In 2008 the AFD Group, announced the donation of a brand new Kodiak Bush Aircraft for use by Christian charity Mission Aviation Fellowship in Borneo.
The new Kodiak aircraft visited the Isle of Man in October 2009 on its journey from the manufacturers in the USA to Asia. A major open day was held at the Andreas Airfield – and many of AFD’s staff, as well as members of the Manx Community were able to view and fly in the aircraft – then registered as N97 10M.
Since arriving in Indonesia, and being re-registered as PK-MEB, the Kodiak has carried out hundreds of flights in East Kalimantan, Borneo – providing a vital lifeline to many villages where overland travel is all but impossible – and saving many lives when accidents and medical emergencies have occurred.
Following the recent terrible disaster in Sulawesi, PK-MEB has now been deployed to provide emergency assistance. Peter Neal from MAF’s Kalimantan programme flew to Balikpapan on Monday to pick up MAF’s Disaster Response (DR) specialists (Rick Emenaker, Wilbert Rietveld, and John Gorneflo) as well as their 1.2 meter rapid-deploy ‘VSAT’ dish, which will be an invaluable communications tool.
Once landing permissions had been received, Peter flew PK-MEB on to Palu (one of the areas of Sulawesi worst-hit by the earthquake and tsunami) on Tuesday morning, arriving just before midday local time. Since then, MAF has been communicating with, and providing coordination services for, a number of partner organizations – including Ethnos360 Aviation, Helivida, and ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA).
Already, survey flights around the Palu area have begun to reveal the extent of the devastation – homes have been flattened, bridges have been swept away, and massive landslides have blocked the road networks.
Alison Dorricott speaks on behalf of the entire AFD team when she says “All our AFD Staff Team are delighted that their hard work and energy in donating this aircraft is now further providing help and assistance to those in such great need – it just goes to show how we on a small island in the Irish Sea can make a vital difference for others on islands so far away”