What can one do with one airplane? If you ask the missionary, “you can get to UTIREG in three hours instead of three days! If you ask the medical evacuee, “you can get to the hospital in three hours instead of three days! If you ask me, “I can get help to you in three hours instead of three days!”
You get the point. The airplane is a huge part of the ministry here. It’s what connects the projects together and keeps the big wheel going. With it you have instant access to open skies and unlimited possibilities in carrying the Lords work forward.
What makes an airplane tick? Wings, fuel, a pilot? Yes, but really what makes an airplane tick is money. We currently fly a single engine, low-wing, four seat airplane. It’s a 1977 Mooney, a “J” model to be exact. The airplane was donated by retired doctor in the US to do just the work it does. N43CA is an
amazing machine that has the ability to cross hundreds of miles of impassible jungle while economically sipping fuel with its 200hp engine.
N43CA is the work horse the Lord has provided for now. The fuel cost to operate this airplane in Bolivia is quite affordable as a gallon of aviation fuel costs around $2.50 US. With $160 dollars you can make a round trip to the school from Santa Cruz, taking 3 missionaries and 200 pounds of gear. One hundred sixty dollars covers the travel expense of 3 passengers who will either teach or attend secondary school in Bolivia. They do have the 3 day bus option, if the road is dry.
The airplane also flies missions of mercy to bring back the injured or sick. With a few hours notice we can get patients to where they can receive adequate medical attention. These flights are also covered by donations.
Any amount will help defray fuel costs. It could be missionaries one day or supplies the next. If it is your desire to help with this need, please mark “FUEL” on your donation.
Oil change plus oil for 50 hours of flying, $140 dollars.
Any amount will help defray oil costs. If it is your desire to help with this need, please mark “OIL” on your donation.
The airplane needs a home. We currently rent a hanger in town for $150 dollars a month. It’s a place to store the plane, do maintenance, and keep the thieves away.
The hanger is a vital part of our operation. Any amount will help defray hanger rental costs. If it is your desire to help with this need, please mark “HANGER” on your donation.
The airplane needs TLC. Even though inspections and major repairs are done in the US, we do occasionally need to fix things here in Bolivia. Our full time mechanic has the knowhow to fix just about anything. Maintenance cost for the airplane ranges depending on what breaks or what supplies are needed.
Any amount will help defray maintenance costs. If it is your desire to help with this need, please mark “Maintenance” on your donation.
The aforementioned needs are directly related to the airplane and its operation. If you would like to donate towards the airplane and all of its needs just mark “AIRPLANE” and I will make sure the money goes towards the airplanes operating costs.
There is also a separate need for the runway project located here in Santa Cruz. As of August 2012, the runway has been approved by the Bolivian Government for use by Bolivian registered aircraft. Please email me if you would like to know more about this project.
Finally we are in need of a Printer/Copy machines for the aviation department. The pilots are always in need of printing and copying passenger manifests, flight permissions, and other documents. It would be a huge help to have such a machine available to make operations more efficient. If you would like to donate such a machine or help in purchasing one please mark “PRINTER”.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this blog. Please continue to pray for the aviation program in Bolivia. May the Lord continue to bless each of you!