Miracle for PMA
Dear friends of PMA,
For the last year, PMA has been looking at options to upgrade our aircraft so that we can better service the outer islands of Yap State and also when the borders open we could have a better aircraft to provide a link between Yap and Palau. The aircraft we have been focusing on is the Beechcraft King Air B200C. This aircraft still only carries 9 passengers but it goes 100 knots faster than our current Queen Airs, carries more cargo and runs on Jet A fuel which is available at all airports.
In the last 4 months we have been doing more heavy research on this aircraft and our President Nob has partnered with a grant writer to help us find grants to pay for these planes. And aircraft like this is selling on the market for around $1.5 Million. Plus, we would need spare parts and special training for the turboprop engines.
Last week, I was inquiring about an aircraft I heard was for sale by Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is a very similar Christian non-profit organization like PMA. Their CEO is Franklin Graham who is the son of the famous evangelist, Billy Graham. Because of their network in the U.S. they are very well funded by donors. They also do a lot of work all over the world in terms of disaster relief and emergency response. You can check them out at samaritanspurse.org. They have many aircraft, and their aircraft are very well equipped and maintained.
When I inquired about the plane, I was surprised to hear that they had two for sale on the market. They forwarded me to their broker, and he sent me the attached brochures. This was on a Tuesday. On Thursday, I got back from a flight and checked my email, to find an email from Franklin Graham. He said he had heard the we were interested in his King Airs, and asked two questions: 1. Does our team have experience with Turboprop aircraft, and 2. Do we have the financial resources to maintain these planes?
When I responded to him, I wrote a long letter. I said the answers to his questions were both NO. But we were working on grants to cover the training, and in our research, comparing the King Airs to the Queen Airs, we felt that we could operate them at a similar rate. We exchanged one other email where I was telling him about our plan to install certain modifications and upgrades depending on how much grant money we got. Then on Friday afternoon, he responded with: “You don’t need a grant, our
God is rich.”
I responded that I know that God is rich and He is able to provide what we need if this is truly the direction that we are supposed to go. We have always believed and had faith that God would provide when the time is right. But we also believe that we must do what we can to let other people know of our need and also pursue grants if possible.
On Saturday morning I got a call from our President, Nob Kalau. He told me that he had just received a phone call from Franklin Graham. Franklin said he was going to give us a deal on the planes, but we would have to pay in full before we would receive delivery. Franklin then said, “You can have the first plane for $1 and the second plane for $1.
I could not believe my ears. This was unreal. Then Franklin told him, “That’s not all,” and he proceeded to lay out rest of what Samaritan’s Purse was prepared to do to help PMA get started.
- One engine is 300 hours away from needing an overhaul – Samaritan’s Purse will have it overhauled.
- Two propellers are close to needing overhaul – Samaritan’s Purse will have them overhauled
- They will be redoing all the avionics to upgrade them and make both planes as similar as possible.
- Whatever modifications that we think we need for our operation – Samaritan’s Purse will do them
- Samaritan’s Purse will pay for three of our pilots to go and get trained in these planes
- Samaritan’s Purse will pay for three of our mechanics to go get trained.
- If we do not have enough personnel, Samaritan’s Purse will loan us a pilot for 6 months
- They also have several spare parts that they will include with the planes to help get us started
Samaritan’s Purse expects that the planes will be ready by March 2021
We are all still in shock at this amazing gift and opportunity that lies ahead of us. This aircraft is a game changer. Of course, it also means a lot of hard work ahead as we recruit more pilots, and work with the FAA to meet all their requirements. “But we are confident that He who began a good work is faithful to complete it.” – Philippians 1:6
One of the other reasons we chose this aircraft besides its speed was its range. One of our long term goals has been to provide a service in this region where we can medevac patients from the FSM or Palau to a hospital in Guam, Manila or even Taiwan. This aircraft can do all of those.
Thank you for your friendship and support of PMA and we hope this is an encouragement to everyone during these days of too much bad news.
God Bless you all, and God Bless Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse.
Director of Flight Operations
PACIFIC MISSION AVIATION