Flying for ZAWA: another angle

Guillermo Flying Mission Zambia Pilot, Guillermo Reddekopp, writes: Flying Mission Zambia is here to help Zambia but it has never before taken on a project like this one. FMZ was asked to assist Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to survey the animal stocks in the National Parks. Understanding that the work would take 3 weeks, FMZ accepted, with the reservation that planes would be withdrawn for normal scheduled mission flights and for maintenance.

It was soon clear that 3 weeks was insufficient time to fulfil the task. However FMZ pressed on to help the Authority complete the job, which finally took nearer to 8 weeks.

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The ‘Mammoth’ Task

Rick Rempel, FMZ pilot now stationed at Macha, gives his perspective on flying for ZAWA, Zambia Wildlife Authority

Count me if you can!Most of Flying Mission Zambia work consists of moving strategic people and equipment into, and out of, rural Zambia. But at the beginning of October, FMZ embarked on a whole new venture. ZAWA ( Zambian Wildlife Authority) made a special request for us to help them with their survey flights. The goal was to count the many elephants and other animals in the national parks and game management areas. They needed to get started immediately so they could finish before the trees leafed up and the rains began in Northern Province. 1 full-time mechanic, 3 planes and 4 pilots were assigned to accomplish this task.

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Impressions of Oshkosh

Oshkosh is a town in Wisconsin, near Lake Michigan. Every year, the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) organises the Air Venture show, which is generally known by the name of the town. For many years I have read reports and watched footage of the show on tv back in UK, so when I was invited to attend on behalf of Flying Mission Zambia, I said yes! It was an experience not to be missed.

Oshkosh 08This was my first time in America. What a big place! Big everything! Big Air Show! 20,000 or more aeroplanes flew in! There was almost every aircraft and aviation-related manufacturer there to display their products.

Flying displays took place every day at 3pm: top aerobatic teams and solo performances of all kinds. One week long, there were thousands of visitors each day. Many were themselves pilots, looking for new innovations.

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Linknet explores Luapula Province

Outline of Luapula ProvinceWe headed into what was, for me, unexplored Africa. Mansa is the main town in the province of Luapula. Luapula is the poorest province in Zambia. If you are a government or medical official, it is the last place you want to get assigned. And, if you do get assigned there, you serve the minimum amount of time and then get out of there. It’s a long drive from Lusaka. So it is a bit of a forgotten part of Zambia. If you find someone who has lived there long, it is because they have a heart for the needs and people of the region.

We flew there in the Flying Mission Zambia C206 to check out two things:

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Another airfield opens in NW Province

Loloma airstrip from above Tim Beer and his team of workers from Loloma Mission Station in NW Province have worked hard over several months to clear a strip of bush 1300 metres long adjacent to Loloma Mission Hospital (CMML).

Roger Green (Flying Mission Zambia Projects man) and UK volunteers Martin Hall and Stewart Foster joined Tim to finalise the strip for use as an airfield. Their first job was to help the Council grader driver to produce the right camber on the runway. Then they designed and built a roller from well pipes. This is now an excellent tool for levelling and maintaining the surface. They supervised the placement of concrete markers at the thresholds and at 100 metre points along the sides of the strip. Finally they made up a windsock pole and left directions for the name of the airfield to be formed from local stone so it could be clearly seen from the air by incoming planes. All that remained Continue reading “Another airfield opens in NW Province”

Don’s Great Good Friday

DonDon Amborski’s Good Friday actually began on Maundy Thursday. Leaving Chilongolo (FMZ base near Lusaka) early in the morning, he grappled with delays at Macha, a huge thunderstorm, then a severed power cable at a temporary refuelling station, as he flew his passengers to Livingstone. Consequently he was forced to stay at Livingstone overnight. He booked into a guesthouse but soon discovered that the power was off – until midnight, that is, when he awoke to find his room well and truly illuminated!

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Gift of the Gospel

In KaputaRecently, Flying Mission Zambia had the privilege of flying the Baptist Strategy Coordinator, Mike Howard, and Treasurer, Tim Shaw, to the far north-east corner of Zambia. James and Mary Margaret Adair live up there in the village of Kaputa, which is only 6 miles from the border with Congo. This couple have been placed here as part of the Baptist strategy to reach the “least reached” or “un-reached” people groups in the area. James and Mary Margaret have spent the majority of the last six months sorting out a house and working on learning the Taabwa language. They have also been learning the Bemba language, the trade language of the area. Continue reading “Gift of the Gospel”