August 3, 2013

Palangkaraya (From the Phone No.6)

Last month I was able to travel to Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan with two other MAF guys. In Palangkaraya MAF has a 'float' base, in that their two Cessna 185 airplanes fly off the river. Not only that, their hangar floats too!
MAF Palangkaraya is Tarakan's sister base, as we are part of the same Kalimantan program. They have quite a neat set up here. Both the office & floating hangar are the product of some serious efforts from people in the previous years, and make MAF's ability to operate here much easier!
Below is the plane affectionately known as "Charlie Brown" (as the last two letters in it's registration are CB). It is float-less as one of it's floats was damaged fairly bad by a big ol' log that was hidden just below the water line in the river. Actually, it was the plane shown above "Charlie Delta" that hit the log, but they switched the floats from one plane to the other because Charlie Brown was getting an engine change. As yes, complicated like day time television!

In fact one of the main reasons we came to Palangkaraya was to get a lesson on fiberglass repair. A Rep from the company that makes the aircraft floats came to Palangkaraya just to help repair the float (that is, in the proper airplanes are a bit more involved that fixing an old canoe).
Below is evidence how hard we were working! Tim made sure we kept on task, he's a bit old school.
It is amazing that they don't damage floats more often here with the amount of debris that goes floating by the hangar everyday!
I am totally new to this area of Borneo, and here rivers are a big part of life. If you look on a map of Southern Borneo, you see numerous rivers meandering throughout vast areas of flat land. From the hangar, it is neat to just watch what might happens to go floating by!
 Below, Sir Isaac Rogers buzzes the hangar as he leaves for a day of flying.
 More to come on Palangkaraya!

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