Sunday, November 8, SAMAIR Peru suffered a significant loss: a floatplane destroyed by winds.
Around 2pm a strong storm rolled in from the east. One of the wind gusts picked up the roof over the floatplane and slammed it back down, crushing the airplane and damaging it most likely beyond repair. There was other significant storm damage around the aviation base but none as catastrophic as the destruction of our plane.
Since 1992, our floatplane 0B-1467 has been serving the missionary force and tribal communities of the jungles of Peru with service into and out of some of the most remote parts of the Amazon jungle.
These flights have included carrying Bible school students back-and-forth from villages, transporting missionaries to and from ministry venues, and providing air ambulance services for medical emergencies. She can even boast being the birthplace of a baby boy during one such medical flight, as well as being used to rescue two missionaries who had been missing deep in the heart of the Amazon for over a month.
These and many other examples are why this floatplane is so important to the people of the Amazon region of Peru. As I write this, there are multiple ministry teams depending on us to provide critical transportation into some very hard-to-reach places.
Our ability to respond to emergency medical requests has now been cut in half, which is critical as we have the only missionary floatplane operating in the country of Peru.
We are compelled to find a way to continue to serve.
We are not sure how we are going to accomplish this. However, we do know that God is great and that he can overcome all of these setbacks that we have suffered. It has been amazing to see the outpouring of love and concern coming from so many different quarters as we have been getting phone calls and emails from literally all over the world expressing dismay and support following the loss of this airplane. Obviously many lives have been touched through the ministry that OB-1467 made possible.
Our immediate goal is to temporarily convert one of our two wheel planes over to floats to fill the gap until we can replace the OB-1467 floatplane. We will have to operate with a minimal fleet for a while until we raise the needed funds to purchase a replacement aircraft. We also need to replace the destroyed floatplane hangar.
- Pray for wisdom as we make big decisions regarding plans going forward, including assessment of costs and wise budgets.
- Please pray that we will not need to ship parts from the US to make this float conversion, which will allow us to get a floatplane back in service much quicker. This will depend on if the damaged floats are repairable with what we have here. We won’t know until we are able to safely extricate the aircraft from under the collapsed roof. Pray for safety as our team works in these coming days to free the airplane.
- Also pray that the Lord will provide financially as we seek to raise funds to replace OB 1467. Due to sky-high insurance costs, our insurance coverage was minimal and we estimate it will only cover about 25% of the replacement. If you feel compelled to respond with a donation, visit SAMAIR Peru’s ministry page at www.southamericamission.org