In January of 2021, MAF’s airplane landed at an airstrip in the village of Pagamba, Papua, Indonesia. The airplane was quickly surrounded by armed men who identified themselves as part of a Papuan liberation group. After removing the pilot, passengers, cargo, and all other items that could be taken out, the nearly $2 million airplane was destroyed by fire.
After being detained by rebels for a day, local villagers guided the MAF pilot to another village for extraction by helicopter. The incident was investigated by the Indonesian government, leading to the capture of some of the rebels.
“I am pleased that this replacement airplane will continue to be used to serve the people in Papua. We are responding to God’s call to serve others and do not involve ourselves in the politics of a country,” said MAF president and CEO David Holsten.
“MAF has been serving the people of Papua since 1954, delivering medicine and medical personnel, teachers, pastors, Bible translators, and many basic items to meet the needs of people living in extreme isolation,” Holsten concluded.
The destroyed airplane is being replaced by another Kodiak that has less than 250 flight hours. The plane was purchased using insurance settlement funds and a donation from the family who purchased and donated the original Kodiak that was burned.
The Kodiak will be ferry flighted to Papua, Indonesia early next year.