This week, Dan soloed for the first time! But, you may be saying, hasn’t he been flying for many years now? Well yes, he has! But this week was his first solo in a new kind of airplane – the Cessna Caravan. He has been training in the Caravan since we got back from furlough, and although the training has been long and drawn out, it is now over! He can now fly the Caravan on his own!
Dan spent the first part of this week in Sentani finishing up his training. Wednesday he was finished and made his first solo flights!
When we heard that Dan would be soloing on Wednesday we made plans to meet him at the airport. We all got there a bit before he would be landing and got all ready for him!
… And he gets all wet! It is a tradition here at MAF that when a pilot makes his first solo (as a new pilot on the program, or in a new kind of airplane), he gets doused with water when he lands back at his home base. So, we were ready and waiting with buckets of water!
And Natalie had her own little bucket of water. She was too scared to get up there when everyone else was throwing water, so she waited until they were all done and then poured her bucket on Daddy’s head!
But the thing is… I told you that Dan had been flying out of Sentani earlier this week before flying up here for his solo. Well, earlier on Wednesday morning he actually had made a flight out of Sentani and back, before making his flight up here to Wamena. So, when he landed in Sentani earlier that morning, the folks in Sentani took the opportunity to douse him with water, too! So, his dousing here in Wamena was actually the 2nd one! Poor Dan!
Here are a couple pictures of his dousing in Sentani:
Congratulations, Dan! I am so proud of you!
(By the way, if you would like to see pictures of Dan’s very FIRST solo as an MAF Papua pilot, way back in September 2007, just click here. :-))