Lungpinglak Domtta (Ping) is the youngest of four siblings from Nagaland in north India. His father is a Hindu but his mother is a Christian, and the siblings all take after her in following Jesus. Today, Ping is preparing to fly with MAF in Kenya and South Sudan.
When he was growing up, Ping didn’t know anyone from an aviation background, but when he was ten years-old, he had a dream of becoming a pilot. As a teenager, he imagined himself joining the Indian Air Force, and during his final years at school, a career councillor introduced him to the idea of work in civil aviation. Soon after, Ping failed a crucial maths exam, which prevented him from joining courses to become a pilot and left his dream in tatters.
There was a silver lining
God however, had other plans. Pursuing other career options enabled Ping to re-sit his exams, and a ‘chance’ discovery of an advert offering sponsorship to become a commercial pilot gave him renewed hope. He applied for the course, was accepted, and earned his licence to fly. After securing a pilot’s job with a commercial operator, whenever Ping needed to fly to northern India, he had to ask permission from Bangladeshi authorities to briefly enter their airspace. He became friends with his contact over the border, who upon discovering Ping’s Christian faith, told him about MAF’s work in Bangladesh.
The idea of flying for God, not profit, greatly appealed to Ping. Researching MAF online, Ping realised he didn’t have enough flying hours to join the organisation though, and that there was no office in India to apply to. Taking a leap of faith, he applied to MAF International anyway, detailing his aviation background and faith in Christ. Ping was accepted, and completed a licence conversion to fly with MAF in Arnhem Land, Australia – where the relatively flat terrain is suitable for pilots with lower flight hours.
Onwards to South Sudan via Kenya
Ping was a huge hit among the Aboriginal Yolngu he was serving in their remote homelands. God was not finished with him though, and with extra flying hours to his name, Ping was offered the opportunity to fly for MAF in Africa. After leaving Arnhem Land, he travelled to Kenya, where he is currently undergoing licence conversions that will enable him to fly not only there but in South Sudan too. This quarter, a training flight to Marsabit with pilot Daniel Loewen-Rudgers in 5Y-MAE brought Ping closer to that goal, and added a further step to his incredible journey of faith.
Update from Kenya
Ping is certainly kept busy in Kenya whilst completing his licence conversion!
Recently, He helped the dispatch team load 960kg of maize flour onto an MAF aircraft. The flour was a donation from a local agency, JPCM, to the people of Lodwar, Kenya. 'I’m glad to be a part of this journey' says Ping.