Yesterday was the first flight for Rodney Dyrud, our new MAF pilot in Bunia. We were on the schedule to go out for our first training session, one of 5, to knock the dust off of a few months of not flying while in transit over here and a review of all the things that he learned at our bush flying “school” back in Idaho. But change is a way of life here and instead we had to clean up a little mess from the day before and go pick up some stranded people from SIL in Auzi and Aru. So we went took off with the idea of doing some training after this short detour, but it would be a good opportunity to get familiar with some of our area.
While descending into Auzi, we got a radio call from Joey, in the caravan, that there was a Medivac emergency in Ngilima and we needed to hurry over there to make a pickup. This was over an hour away from our position so we needed more fuel for that. We called Maki in Aru to bring fuel for us, dropped into Auzi to pick up one passenger and then flew on over to Aru for fuel and 2 more pax. After that it was off to Dungu, drop off our pax and pick up a doctor to escort the patient. We were then able to go to Ngilima and get the lady, who had been in distress for some time, and get her and her newborn baby to the hospital in Dungu. By this time it was late and we got back to Bunia about 10 minutes before the airport closed. Quite a change from our original plan and quite a first day intro for our new pilot! Oh, we saw this motorcycle on the way home from the airport.