Damaged missionary plane crucial to outreach in Papua New Guinea.

By June 6, 2006

Papua New Guinea (MNN)–Wycliffe Associates’ newest plane recently suffered a lightening strike at 20,000 feet over Papua New Guinea.

The damage to the plane made landing at the airport in Ukarumpa (where the plane is based) a risky and dangerous ride for its passengers.

President Bruce Smith. “Unfortunately, there was tremendous damage to the wing and to the engine on the right side of the plane, and it put the airplane out of commission. We’ve been in the process of helping them to develop the funding needed to repair this unanticipated damage to the airplane.”

Smith says the King Air is a specialized airplane, designed to carry many passengers and heavy loads over long distances.

Since there is very little ground transportation infrastructure in PNG, air transportation is the number one means of ferrying people, supplies, and cargo. With mountainous territory, complicating matters, in medical emergencies, the King Air is critical support.

It’s one of the few planes in PNG that operates on jet fuel where most planes moving people and cargo run on commercial aviation fuel, “avgas,” which in short supply.

The plane just returned to service, at a price tag of over 300-thousand dollars. They’re still working to raise the remainder of the $50,000 repair costs.

Smith explains why they need help with the funds for this critical repair: “This is THE key resource to get missionaries and to enable translators to work in the most remote parts of the world that basically, without this resource, they do not have access to Bible translation.”

He goes on to say, “It’s an essential working tool, you’ve got to have that kind of support in these remote parts of the world.”

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