Thursday, June 6, 2013

Base Jumping!

YEP!  We're doing it!  BASE JUMPING!!!


Well... what I mean is this....

(moving our base of op's from Libreville to the Bongolo Hospital's airstrip)

Not this....

(setting every bit of intelligence aside and jumping from tall objects)

During the month of May, our new chief pilot/director of maintenance, Rob (on loan from SIL- Cameroon), has been getting settled, along with Binto (wife & doctor), at their new home on the mission at the Bongolo Hospital.  Additionally, we have slowly been shuttling down all of our equipment, tools, and inventory from our "base" in Libreville to our new base at the Bongolo Hospital airstrip hangar.  Here are some photos:
The Bongolo was originally constructed in 2001.  Today, it's one of about 13 public airports that are open in Gabon.  Our airport worker, John, just added a fresh coat of paint on our runway markers to gear up for an upcoming airport inspection.

The hangar is starting to show its' age. As we move in to the hangar full-time, it's clear that some major projects are needed to help it to be a proper home for N207FD.

Speaking of which... You may have noticed the aircraft parked outside of the hangar.  Here is the reason- the plank of wood supporting the hangar door track is completely rotted!  Project #1!

First- remove the track. It came off in two sections.  Rob's Suzuki made a nice platform to work from.  We were thankful for the mostly overcast day that quelled the heat... mostly.

After the track was removed, we pulled out the battery powered chain saw (comes in handy!) and cut down the plank in 3 sections.  Now... off to the mill to search for the new wood planks... 

A 20 minute drive from Bongolo is a nice sized wood mill.  We purchased about $130 in wood planks.  Here is the mill cutting into the large, hardwood we purchased called Okane.  Not sure if OSHA would sign off on this operation.  Notice Rob standing to the left, plugging his ears.

I guess you could say, we had our work cut out for us... (couldn't resist)

Things are slowly getting organized in the hangar, thanks to Rob's hard work.  Once the hangar doors are working again, we'll start to define the other projects which will include storage creation, office construction, sink/wash area, workshop shelves/cabinets, solar panel upgrades, and more. We'll need your help to make it all work, so we'll also communicate how you can join the effort.
Thanks for your continued prayers and generosity to help make a great new home for our aircraft.  "Base Jumping" to the Bongolo hangar opens up new possibilities to better serve the transport needs of the hospital.  Additionally, getting the aircraft away from the harmful sea-side air will assist the health of our airframe and equipment.

Stay in touch for updates on our new base!

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