Pilot’s Son As Reporter On Medevac

On Saturday morning I woke up expecting a normal morning. I was getting ready to go to the beach with some friends, when dad asked me if I wanted to go on a medevac with him; I said yes.

We rode to the hangar and started getting the helicopter ready for the flight. My job was to pull out all of the plugs and protectors on the helicopter while dad made a flight plan. We were going to a place called Paramba, which is about an hour’s flight away from Palu, to medevac a woman who had not stopped bleeding after giving birth. Dad warned me not to be surprised as the woman would probably be very weak and pale.

Once the helicopter was ready, we started up the engine and took off. After we were in the air dad announced my job for the flight: I was going to be the camera man and I had to get photos of the flight, the village and loading the woman into the helicopter.

I was very excited because it was my first time flying in Sulawesi. The view was amazing; I saw green mountains, turquoise waters, beautiful coral reefs and lots of little islands. We flew inland a bit towards the village of Watusongo where we would be landing and refueling. As dad was flying over the top of the village, he realized that this was the wrong village! Watusongo was actually over the next hill; “the villages look very similar” he told me. We landed and jumped out of the helicopter, then we rolled out a drum of fuel. When the people came over, I was bombarded with a bunch of questions like, “where are you from?” And “do you have any siblings?” I did my best to answer all of them until we got back into the helicopter and took off.

There was a wall of cloud exactly where we needed to go which was strange because before we left, they said it was clear. It looked like there was no way we would make it from where we were, but dad said that we should go as close as possible before we turned around. We flew right up close to the cloud to see if it was open, and sure enough it was. When we got closer to the village it started to rain a bit. We landed and kept the machine running and we jumped out to load the woman in. After she was in the helicopter we took off and started back to Palu. Once we got back to Palu we got out and put the woman in a handmade wheel chair, then we rolled her down to the waiting taxi and they drove her off to the hospital.

This experience showed me how beautiful the island of Sulawesi is and how important it is to have a helicopter here.

Ezekiel Weber (13 years old)