Pilatus PC-6 Donated to Do God’s Work

Pilatus Portert PC-6 equipped and ready to bring aid and the word of God to Indonesia.
On its first operational flight in Indonesia, the plane’s wings threw shadows upon the chiseled mountains of eastern Papua. Its wheels picked up grass from a narrow valley in the village of Omban, bordered by rain forests and bustling streams.
Its cabin hosted bags of peanuts and fresh vegetables; bundles of kayu masohi graced the plane with the wood’s creamy, coconut-like fragrance. The plane’s seats supported four Ketengban passengers, who would sell the produce to pay for invaluable resources: children’s education, basic healthcare, salt, matches.
That day, the plane departed from a grassy airstrip in the Maoke Mountains—and laid to rest its previous life of recreational flying in New England.
The aircraft—a Pilatus PC-6 valued at $1 million—was donated to JAARS by Marshall Carter in November 2007. Carter is currently the deputy chairman of the board of NYSE Euronext, the holding company for the New York Stock Exchange.
“The Pilatus Porter is a wonderful aircraft and has brought a tremendous amount of joy to me and my family … ,” said Carter, who owned the plane for nine years. “With its donation to JAARS for humanitarian purposes, the aircraft will now take on its most important mission ever.”
Today, the plane is operated by YAJASI, our aviation partner in Indonesia. The organization provides many remote communities with their only link to the outside world—enabling access to health care, quality education and resources for community development.
To gear up for its life in the Pacific, the aircraft first underwent 10 months of rigorous preparations at the JAARS Center in Waxhaw, N.C.
…equipped with everything it would need for flights in Indonesia:
* Advanced navigation and communication equipment, including a high-frequency radio and weather radar system
* Additional engine-monitoring device
* Search-and-rescue equipment
* Technology for remotely tracking the aircraft’s position during flights
* Rock guards to protect rear flight-control surfaces
* Tail-wheel guard
* Cargo tie-downs
* Bench seats
The aircraft was scoured from tip to toe, and even the most minute issues were addressed. Then came the finishing touch: a new paint job, matching the blue-and-white design of YAJASI’s other aircraft.
On January 10, 2009, the PC-6 arrived at a bustling dock in Jayapura, Indonesia. YAJASI personnel stood by as the 40-foot container swung off the side of a ship, silhouetted for a moment against the deep-blue, tropical sky.
Eleven days later, YAJASI dedicated the PC-6 for service—marking its transition from personal use to public service.
In its first weeks of operation, the aircraft carried new language workers to remote communities in Papua and brought together Indonesians for linguistic training. Pilots also used the PC-6 to deliver supplies, transport produce for community development and perform several medical evacuations.
In Carter’s words, “She came out of the factory in May 1998, and almost 11 years later she’s finally doing the work she was designed for.”
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