Andy came along and shared driving duty with Dwight on this trip, and Joao came along as far as Maputo where he had to go defend his thesis to wrap up his degree and to source some school textbooks. It was pretty smooth sailing as far as trips through Mozambique go, and we were thankful for that.
There have been some fairly big changes made in Mozambique’s Civil Aviation Department in terms of aircraft operators, and they wanted to update our file and reissue permission to fly in country. This has been in the works for a few months already, which is why the mission’s Cessna 182 has been on an extended vacation at Mercy Air.
I hope it’s well rested though ‘cause things are about to change.
A 2-day trip down, 1 day to get paperwork sorted, and then it was time for the guys to fly to Maputo to pick up the official to conduct the inspection. Apparently there were quite a few pages that had quite a few boxes to tick, but it all got done and we have the green light to bring the Cessna home again.
Processing legal paperwork is never fun, but it’s all a part of what must be done. It’s rather like climbing a staircase--you do it a step at a time!
Next in relation to flying is finalizing the details for the mission’s landing strip. A tractor and back-hoe are currently on a ship somewhere on the ocean, and once it docks, we will have a few important tools to help finish the runway. A donated hangar is being loaded into another container and all going well it should be here by October and set up in November. Then there is planting grass and getting the strip covered with that, and last but not least, the final legal paperwork so the strip can become operational. So yes, there are still several steps to go. One at a time.
This week also marks a sad event for us, the passing of a dear and well-loved friend and member of our extended family who had a heart for people, and for flying as well. (Check Royden & Ruth's blog.)
Ed Lepp will be remembered by all those who knew him for his kind and gracious spirit. He overcame many difficult steps to recovery after an aircraft accident, and regained his pilot license and flew right up until this past year. Ed’s family has set up the “Ed Lepp Aviation Memorial Fund” for those who would like to honor his life in this way and help us with some of the steps we still need to take. If you are interested in participating click here, then select “The Ed Lepp Aviation Memorial” on the fund selection list. Click here to see the project that the memorial fund will be assisting.