Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dirty Airplanes

Bolivians keep their airplanes very clean considering that you can count all the paved runways on one hand. Thankfully my hangar manager loves to wash airplanes...
Poor guy I really kept him busy this last week.

January 25 was the election day down here and the constitution was changed. We were not allowed to travel at all so I stayed at the school and helped with projects there. Monday morning we went to town and David Gates was there waiting for us. It is like Christmas when he comes. He always has things long awaited, and timely wisdom for problems. The school in Guayara is being flooded with new applicants and the directors are looking for solutions. It appears that they will started a secondary program at the orphanage in Rurrenabaque. That means there will be lots of missionary transportation in the next few weeks before school starts.
I spent the day giving the 182 a much needed oil change and check up. It is running great and already has flown about 100 hours in Bolivia. David brought an overhauled magneto and new fuel transducer for the Mooney. I spent the afternoon and the next morning getting it all installed and test flown.
Tuesday afternoon we sallied forth again with the Brazilean doctors and landed at Ingave. We were able to get a boat to go down the river and visit the indigenous village but there was almost nobody there. They were all out picking Brazil nuts. The doctors did treat a few people and we made it back to Ingave and then Riberalta in good time without pushing sunset. The next morning I took Ruan to Ingave and then I took the doctors to some strips that were new to me. We landed at Mara Villa and found the people very receptive. They knew about David Gates and REDADvenir and told us that thanks to God they were all healthy. We went on to a large village called Sena, and discovered that they had no imidiate needs either. After stopping back at Ingave to check on Ruan we hopped a couple minutes by air to two other villages close by. Monte Bello and Candelara. At both places were very happy to see us and excited to have the doctors come see them. We picked up Ruan in Ingave and flew back to Riberalta. It was my last day flying the doctors and I did more take-offs and landings then any other day so far. It was a good finish for their trip. I hope they´ll be back.
When I got back to Guayara I walked around cringing at the thought of Chichito seeing the 182. Unfortunately I can´t post a picture right now. I had cow manure on the pilot´s side of the tail and under the left wing. That was the clean side....The right side had cow manure in an artistic spray pattern all up the passenger door and down the side of the airplane. It is about the 3rd time I have come back with manure. The other times it has been red mud. Chichito said I deserved a spanking ;) At least the airplane isn´t accumulating dust.....
And Praise God the engine keeps running.


EEK said...

how does the cow manure get on the planes... do you fly through squirtilizers? :)

Brandon said...

I was wondering the same thing about the cow manure. I would think it dangerous to fly through squirtilizers, and therefore recommend not.