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Old 6th Apr 2006, 02:04
  #912 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: closer to hell
Age: 48
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MAF will fly on

MISSION Aviation Fellowship (MAF), the longest aviation company serving rural Papua New Guinea, has assured it would continue to serve the country. It also pledged to maintain its safety standards, despite three plane crashes in the last 12 months. MAF general manager Mike Jelliffe gave the assurance after a Swiss missionary pilot was killed and three passengers injured in a plane crash in Southern Highlands last month. The MAF Cessna 206 aircraft crashed near Tari town. In February last year, MAF lost two New Zealand pilots in a crash of a Twin Otter aircraft in the Star Mountains of Western PNG. Last week, the airline suspended flights of its 10 single-engine aircraft and four Twin Otters apart from flying in investigators, while staff were attending to the funeral of the Swiss pilot. Mr Jelliffe was asked if the public in PNG who used MAF aircraft could be assured it was still safe to fly with the airline. “MAF seeks to maintain its standards at the highest professional level, in full compliance with Civil Aviation requirements and the fact that accidents still happen is an indication of the nature of PNG operations,” Mr Jelliffe said. He said although MAF was aware that last year two New Zealand pilots were killed in one crash, and just in a year, one more pilot had been killed, he still assured MAF would continue operating in PNG after 50 years. “Our pilots from overseas come to PNG knowing there are dangers. The loss of our pilots in these circumstances does not change the reason we are in PNG- to serve the churches and communities with air transport, and to serve God by doing so,” Mr Jelliffe said. When asked if the sort of planes MAF uses (and had used) were still conducive to flying in the PNG environment, Mr Jelliffe said the kind of planes used in PNG had proved to be the best kind of aircraft in the world.
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