Up to this point the types of medical flights we have been making have been to transport patients from rural locations to a city hospital. This is helpful of course and the patients are grateful to get to the hospital but we are seeing the need to be able to provide care while in transit and are looking for an airplane with the capability to provide air ambulance services.
The kind of airplane we need is one that can carry more weight while traveling quickly from point to point. There is equipment made in the USA by MedPac that is a self-contained unit with loading ramp, stretcher, Oxygen, 110 inverters, suction pump, and an air pump.
This equipment will not fit in the current Cessna 340 because the cabin is too small so we are looking for a bigger more capable airplane called a Cessna Conquest 441.
With the on-site clinic at Red Advenir being close to completion we anticipate being able to bring some patients directly to our clinic for care. What a blessing this could be to many more people than is possible now. Once there is a recovering patient we will be able to speak the words of salvation to them and their families, and they in turn can bring the message back to their villages as well.
We need not only a bigger airplane and medical equipment but also need fuel tanks located on the airstrip so we can re-fuel on base without having to make another stop at the nearby airport for fuel.
Our vision includes making trips to remote villages on a pro-active basis to provide medical care and evangelism on a recurring basis. In this way we will become more acquainted with their needs and they will become familiar with the gospel message through medical missionary work.
We ask that you please pray for God to provide the airplane, equipment, fuel tanks and the operational funds to expand the capabilities of the medical mission work here in Bolivia.
Turbo 182 Delivered
We finally have been able to fly the Turbo 182 to Bolivia. The goal has been to import it so it will be a Bolivian registered airplane. Why do that? Because then we are able to fly to remote airstrips that have no control tower. This gives a greater reach into the remote villages and ranches we currently cannot get to in order to provide medical missionary services.
There were so many hurdles to jump over to get this plane approved and flown down – I don’t think there’s enough space to write it all down here, but, to give you an idea the US requires the airplane to be brought up to “export airworthiness’.
So the airplane was inspected, repaired, upgraded, and finally approved for export. Then, the Bolivian requirements are for notarized copies of the bill of sale, registration, airworthiness certificates and logbook entries showing the airplane is in compliance with inspection updates.
After about 6 months of this it was finally approved!! Then, the clamp holding the exhaust to the turbo failed. We waited for parts to get that fixed. After that, it’s annual inspection status expired. Yet another 2 weeks went by and more dollars to have it inspected.
Once that was done we needed to install a ferry tank and get a fuel flow instrument installed so we could make the long non-stop over water flight from Florida to Puerto Rico. Since hurricane Maria and Irma took out the Bahama’s and wrecked havoc in the Caribbean islands we had to make it non-stop.
So the fuel flow instrument got installed in Florida the day before the actual flight. There was only one flight to test the accuracy of the new instrument, and it was off to Puerto Rico.
As you can see in this picture, Puerto Rico sustained damage from hurricane Maria. This used to be the hangar and operations area for one of the local suppliers of fuel. Well, they had fuel there, but no Wifi for me to file a flight plan and manifest information to Customs and Border Protection in order to exit the USA.
So, I taxied over to Customs and Immigration in order to officially export the airplane. That went smoothly but they had no internet either. Again, back in the plane to taxi over to another location where we usually got fuel. They didn’t have fuel but fortunately they had WiFi. Praise the Lord.
Now it was on to Grenada to spend Sabbath with the family operating the radio station there on the island.
We had a wonderful Sabbath together and the church family there was so friendly and passionate about truth. They had a very good lesson study and Pathfinder group.
Sunday morning it was time to fly to Guyana South America and meet up with David and Becky Gates, Daniel Baquero, Lincoln and David Flores the missionary Dentist from Peru.
We had three airplanes and 5 pilots!! David and Becky flew the twin down to Bolivia while Lincoln, Danial, and David Flores and I flew to Manaus Brazil. We spent the night at the missionary base with Leon and his wife and daughter on the Amazon river.
We appreciate your thoughts and prayers for the process is not easy. We pray continually that our characters will reveal Christ’s love and kindness to the people we meet during the frustrating and exhausting challenges we deal with during these trips.
God is so faithful to look after us by His protection and guidance.