(Written by and photographs taken by Katherine Williams)
Marcus Grey, Chief Pilot of the Mareeba Flight Training Centre has been with MAF for an incredible 35years serving in Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Ballarat, Coldstream & Mareeba. He is the Chief Pilot of Timor-Leste, as well as for the Mareeba Training Centre.
After delays due to all GA8’s being grounded, due to an accident involving a GA8 in Sweden, today—on 12th August 2019, Marcus is flying VH-MAH from Mareeba to its new home in Timor-Leste. This aircraft was retired from PNG, then came to Mareeba to be modified by engineering for Timor, then a Certificate of Airworthiness was obtained before the aircraft could be flown to its new home in Timor-Leste.
Marcus’ Ferry Flight will take seven hours approximately to get to Darwin, where he will stay overnight. He will then clear customs early tomorrow morning and take another three and a half hours approximately to get to Timor-Leste.
As Marcus is the Chief Pilot for Timor, he usually visits between two and four times per year. He carries out the Pilot qualification renewals and their proficiency flight checks. He said “This flight is particularly special as I am welcoming and showing the ropes to Andrew McDonald, a pilot from Arnhem Land who will help cover the pilots serving in Timor-Leste for the next 10months or so. I will also carry out the first 6 month proficiency flight check for Tim Southcott, who I welcomed to Timor on my last trip.”
Before leaving Mareeba, the MAF family of Pilots, engineers and administrative staff gathered around the plane to pray for VH-MAH and for Marcus Grey, to ensure safe travels and that God would bless the aircraft and ensure that all who travelled in her would be blessed.
During his stay in Timor-Leste, Marcus carried out a Medevac for a baby with bronchitis. MAF planes are back in the air and assisting the remote peoples of the area, the minute they arrive back in the country.
We thank God for the expertise of Marcus Grey and for VH-MAH being able to assist the remote communities in Timor-Leste.