Track our new plane

MAF has a new addition to its fleet, The Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft, currently registered N543TC, was purchased in the USA and is flying south to our maintenance base in Australia, before joining our operation in Papua New Guinea.

Track the aircraft on its ferry flight below.

The plane’s previous owner is a Christian who once ran a helicopter business in Tanzania. He and his wife are delighted that their aircraft was purchased by MAF and will be used for God’s purposes.

Find out where the plane is - view the tracker.

Cessna 208 Caravan blog  

6th March

I've lost the winds that would have given me a comfortable reserve at Majuro.  So I need to top off in Honolulu on the way.  But the thunderstorms are still in my way.  Aviationweather.govshows them now consolidated into a narrow line between Molokai and Oahu, with a yellow "severe thunderstorm" box right across my route.

I didn't think Hawaii had weather like this.  I'll keep an eye on it today, in case I get a chance to make my move.  

 

Saturday 3rd March

It is 6:00AM in California and Gerald is about to depart for Hilo. Below is the tentative schedule. As he gets closer to Australia, we will have a better idea of the arrival time in Cairns.

 

Fri 02 Mar Santa Maria (SMX/KSMX) to Hilo (ITO/PHTO)

Sun 04 Mar Hilo to Majuro (MAJ/PKMJ) -- depart Sunday, cross the dateline, arrive Monday 05 Mar

Wed 07 Mar Majuro to Honiara (HIR/AGGH)

Thu 08 Mar Honiara to Cairns (CNS/YBCS)

 

Thursday 1st March

Well, we just keep trying. I am copying the message just received from Gerald who is still in California and waiting on favorable winds. We will keep trying!

I had to wait forever for the 00Z winds to come out, and when they did, they didn't do me any good. At FL120 I wouldn't need a tailwind at all—but I have headwinds. At FL060 I need an average 10-knot push, but I don't get into tailwinds until I'm halfway there, and it's not soon enough.

It's a little better today than it was yesterday. The winds are produced by a high that's moving west to east. If the headwinds and crosswinds on the first half of the route will go away, I think I'd be all right. Maybe that'll happen. If the high would move northeast instead of due east, that'd pull the tailwinds north into more of my path. But I think those highs will track east, and only gradually move north as the season advances.

It's frustrating. But at least I'm not stuck in Khartoum.

Best regards,

Gerald

 

Thursday 1st March

The winds still aren't there for today, but there's a dramatic improvement for Friday. I'll keep you advised.

 

Thursday 1st March

Well, it is looking more and more like we will have success with a departure in the morning. The forecasted winds are looking better all the time. If that holds until midnight tonight, we will have the safety margins that we are needing.

 

Hopefully you'll see the Spyder Tracker start moving before you go to bed tonight.

 

26 February

This time of the year the winds are usually westerly and act as a venturi effect over the mountains.

Gerald just checked in after landing in Sta. Maria. Had a good flight and is happy with the aircraft's performance. Right now the headwinds are still fairly strong for the first part of the leg to Hilo, but we'll just wait until tomorrow morning to see how that pans out. Most likely he will spend the day tomorrow preparing for the Hilo leg, which is the longest one of the trip. We'll keep you updated.

I'm attaching a couple of photos. One of the aircraft in front of our offices and one of Gerald, the pilot. Both were taken just before departure from here. I'll have more photos for you as the pilot feeds them to me.


Best regards,

Carl

 

 

26 February

Its 8:30 AM and indeed Gerald has departed Caravan. The winds have subsided a bit here in Kansas and over the Rocky Mountains. It appears to be safe for the flight at least as far as California. FYI, Strong headwinds still persist over the initial pacific crossing so he may op to stop in Arizona for the night, depending on the wind conditions.

I'll continue to keep you advised.

Best regards,

Carl

 

25 February

Well, once again I am finding myself having to apologize for another delay in the departure. You'll notice if you are monitoring then Spyder Tracker, that the aircraft is still in our hangar here in Kansas. We waited until after 2:00 PM today and finally had to scrub the departure for today. The winds are just too strong over the continental divide (Rocky Mountains) to safely fly over the 14,000 ft. Mountains with only one to two thousand ft. clearance. Actual surface winds today over the mountains were 50 to 60 knots. Too much turbulence for a heavily loaded Caravan.

It looks better for tomorrow, so we are planning on departure tomorrow morning. If the winds subside, he should be airborne by 9:00 AM.

I'll advise as soon as he's departed.

Best regards,

Carl

 

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