Wedding in the Mountains of Papua

My assignment was to fly a pastor to visit a remote ministry post so that he could bless a newly married couple there. The village of Karikuluk lies at an altitude of almost 8000 ft. Since a helicopter’s power decreases with altitude, it is important to reduce the load accordingly. For this reason, I was doing this flight without chief pilot. 

A day before the flight, the passengers and their luggage were weighed. After calculating the overall weight, I was able to carry five people on this flight. As we approached Karikuluk the passengers told me that this was not the area they wanted to visit but another village with a higher elevation. At first I was annoyed because I was carrying a lot of weight and the calculation was not right for the higher place. But then I remembered what our chief pilot had taught me: If I wasn’t sure if I had enough power to land safely, I should hover in place at the same altitude outside of ground effect, in midair. If this works, then I have enough power for a safe landing. And so it was, I thanked God that the helicopter landed well. 

Although I was angry about the situation at first, God gave me strength to calm down and reflect on what I had learned. I am grateful that God let me see the joy on the congregation’s faces when the pastor blessed the newlyweds.

Dyro, pilot