Monday, March 9, 2009

Pilots accept local mission



Vital transport: Pilots like Brad Sinclair help the Mission Aviation Fellowship bridge the gap of isolation for people living in remote communities. He is pictured with a GA8 Airvan, CARE International staff and children in East Timor. A similar Airvan will be on show at Camden Airport this weekend.

Camden Advertiser

ILIANA STILLITANO

IT'S a long way from Cambodia but missionary pilots will take time out from their flying schedule to visit Camden Airport this Saturday for Discovery Day.

The pilots fly for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a Christian ministry that provides air transport for people living in remote communities of Papua New Guinea, North Australia and Cambodia.

They will talk about life as missionary pilots.

There will be free flights for the first 20 children aged 8-12, a free sausage sizzle, jumping castle, colouring competition, face painting and a paper aeroplane competition. There will also be a display of old and new aircraft including the Fellowship's GA8 Airvan which is flown throughout Papua New Guinea, Arnhem Land, Aceh, East Timor and Cambodia.

MAF NSW Area Representative Tom Teale-Sinclair said the Airvan was used to transport staff to more than 2500 destinations around the world more than any other airline.

``We're a lifeline for isolated people,'' he said. ``The situation is different in each country we work in but we're a means of access to health and education services as well as disaster relief.''

The MAF has also transported royalty.

When Australian-born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark visited Uganda last year as patron of the Danish Refugee Council, she flew with MAF.

Discovery Day starts at 10am with an opening address by MAF pilot Andrew Jenkins.

A barbecue will follow at 10.40am, joy flights at 11.45am and a series of forums will be held throughout the day until 4pm.

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