As a mechanic, I spend my days in Tarakan. It is the people at the hangar, the grocery store, the bengkel (auto/scooter repair shop), & around the neighbourhood that I interact with. My experience does not often bring me into first person contact with the people & communities who rely on MAF. So last week Amy and I jumped at the chance to take our family for a night in the village of Buduk Kubul, something we feel both us and the kids could really benefit from!
Luke & Si ready to roll!
Below, Charlotte quickly settled into a nice knap once up in the air. Helena sat on my lap just in front of Amy and peeked out the window the whole way there.
Below, Steve is taking the plane up to the end of the runway to turn around and take off. It is hard to tell in this picture, but this is one of those "one way only" runways, where you can only land and takeoff in one direction. The reason for this is obviously the wall of jungle at one end of the 400 something meters of runway. When wet, landing in places like here can be like a car in fresh snow with bald all-season tires!
We were actually ready to go 7am in the morning, but waited till after lunch before leaving, as it was imperative to ensure the runway had dried out from the morning rain. Just a couple months ago, the only other company that flies into some of these areas had a plane run off the end of the runway in place not too far from here, the main cause being a slippery runway. Thank God no one was hurt, but the plane still sitting, waiting for repairs.
More on our visit to Buduk Kubul...coming soon!