After landing in Malinau, one of our main fueling points before going into the jungle, I was reviewing my manifest when I saw my name listed as a passenger. I was very confused because usually I, as the pilot, am not included in the total; besides, the weight was far too light.
I turned to one of our airstrip agents and queried him about the list and why my name was included. He said, 'That IS one of your passengers, a baby that is named after you.' I just stood there with a blank look on my face till it sank in. By the time I recovered they had already arrived by the plane. I greeted them and began to figure the story out.
The Back Story
About a month prior, I had picked up the expecting parents because the mother was experiencing some pregnancy problems and needed further medical attention out of her home village of Long Layu. I dropped them off at Malinau where there is a better equipped clinic.
A month later their son was born. They called the MAF office and asked who the pilot was that had flown them to the clinic. Thus the foreign name of 'Tyler Semidt' (the spelling is off but it works phonetically). I was surprised to have a baby named after me, though I have heard this happening to other pilots on other occasions. It is an honour to have parents name their child after me, but it is a greater honour to serve these people in their need.
'That IS one of your passengers, a baby that is named after you.'