In an Indonesian province where swampland sits just 200 feet above sea level with numerous rivers running through it, a 30-year-old, 20,000-plus-hour Cessna Caravan on Wipline 8000 floats has faithfully delivered supplies; transported medical, ministry, and government staff; and served other critical needs. The Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) floatplane is the only one for thousands of miles, creating high demand, but it's worn out.
A brand-new Caravan on amphibious Wipline 8750 floats will soon head to Papua to replace it. Donors helped purchase the airplane and floats—the 100th set of Wipline 8750s produced—displayed in MAF livery at the Wipaire booth during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 23 through 29.
MAF said the Wipline 8000 floats on the old Caravan had "been a great tool." The new Wipline 8750 amphibs will allow the aircraft to carry 400 additional pounds without increasing the fuel burn or operating expense.
"We do what we do because we want to help people spiritually and physically," said MAF president David Holsten, who served in Indonesia with his family for 18 years and just took the helm of the Nampa, Idaho-based organization in June.
A professional ferry crew will deliver the aircraft to Papua. "It's a little like Christmas when it shows up," MAF Vice President of Ministry Advancement Barb Bowman said. "You can imagine."