The MAF Blog: Worldwide Pulse

My First ‘Crash’ as an MAF ‘Pilot’

Posted on: January 30th, 2015 by Mark and Kelly Hewes  |  1 Comment

Mark Hewes and copterI became a pilot for MAF about two months ago. During my first solo flight, I was so nervous. My hands were shaking. My heart was thumping in my chest. “Here we go,” I thought, and pulled back on the control stick. I knew immediately something was wrong. My aircraft pitched to the side, toppling over, propeller blades slicing into the dirt.

Of course, I should mention that I was flying a remote-controlled quadcopter, not an MAF plane. And “pilot” is really stretching it—I’m a videographer with a tiny camera attached to a plastic helicopter. I took it up for the first time in our backyard, and that first tip-over was probably the gentlest aircraft crash in the history of flight.

Still, after two months of otherwise accident-free flying, I get nervous before every takeoff. I have a recurring dream where I’m flying over a lake and the quadcopter descends on its own. I try and try, but I can’t get it to stay in the air. It dips below the surface of the water, and slowly sinks to the bottom.

If I feel like this, I can’t imagine what actual MAF pilots flying actual MAF planes must go through. And yet, on flight after flight—with rough airstrips, bad weather, even the occasional pig running out onto the runway—I see those pilots in complete control.

I feel so lucky to get to sit next to those pilots and see them in action. A lot of the airstrips we fly into are, frankly, terrifying. But I have total faith and trust in their training, experience, and safety record. I know that each and every one of those pilots also has faith and trust, beginning each flight with a prayer to the ultimate Pilot.

A lot of people have asked if I’m interested in getting my pilot’s license after serving with MAF. I can now answer that question with a resounding “no way.”

I’ll stick to making movies with my little quadcopter.


Mark Hewes is a Field Resource Coordinator for MAF. He and his wife Kelly are currently serving in Papua, Indonesia. You can see footage from the quadcopter in their latest video:

1 comment :
  • Sylvia

    Good article! Good, creative ‘lead’ that had me on the edge of my seat! Thanks for your footage and reports on our MAF pilots!

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Blessings or Garbage?

Posted on: January 20th, 2015 by Jill Holmes  |  1 Comment

A friend/mentor of mine picks a verse each year to be the “theme verse” for that year.  After hearing a sermon last Sunday on Philippians chapter 3, I decided my theme verses for 2015 would be Philippians 3:7-8:

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing… [Read full post.]

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Let it Go

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by Ellie Scheer  |  2 Comments

I know what is probably going through your mind when you read that title: visions of ice princesses casting ice to the all too familiar Disney tune. Sorry if it’s in your head the rest of the day, but this post is about how Indonesia has taught me to let go… [Read full post.]

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Good Morning

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by Jim Manley  |  Leave a comment

I was MAF’s Ecuador Program Manager stationed in the Andean mountain city of Quito when a mission director asked for a special flight. Two days earlier he sent a large team down into Ecuador’s costal jungle to minister in a small town. “But,” he explained, “a government official summoned us to a critical meeting tomorrow morning…. [Read full post.]

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New Year’s Fireworks

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by Linda Ringenberg  |  Leave a comment

When we first moved to Papua in December of 2012, I was quite surprised to see fireworks being sold in the remote highland town of Wamena. Dozens of… [Read full post.]

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