Fresh Air Matters... with Capt. Yaw5th March 2011: As the sun kissed the clouds, with a reddish tint prior to casting its light upon the runway at Kpong Airfield, four young Ghanaian women, Ciara, Juliet, Lydia and Emmanuella, were walking, eyes scanning the runway surface, making a final check before one of the busiest sessions of flying in West Africa.
By 06:30 a bus with twenty-five children from Techiman arrived. Four aircraft lined up neatly at the runway edge. At 07:30 four children were walked to the aircraft by the AvTech students who had just completed their FOD walk.
Finally, in the fourth plane on the line, sat yours truly, Captain Yaw, in 9G-ZAF, the CH701 STOL aircraft, emblazoned with the Medicine on the Move (MoM) logo. Like the other aircraft, this aircraft has been built in
As the Techiman twenty-five completed their flights, Kete Krachi’s representative youngsters arrived, fresh from their boat trip, courtesy of Volta Lake Transport Company, and kept the planes in-cycle. Each student getting one take-off, one circuit of the airfield and one landing, in the cockpit. After the Kete Krachi twenty, it was the Carol Grey twenty, from Somanya’s little school in
For five straight hours, the four pilots sat in their planes, welcoming child after child, awakening in each one something that only aviators can appreciate. A special dawning of a glorious light that can only be experienced in a cockpit, a few hundred feet above the ground. One hundred and eleven children were flown, plus Nurse
Such an event is only made possible by the ground team, led by Matthew and Kojo, those who mowed the runways, prepared the show ground, drove the buses, etc. The focus group was the young people from rural
All of this was filmed tirelessly by another volunteer,
During the ground discourses, a few outstanding students were selected to return to Kpong Airfield later in the year, for a week in the workshops. Perhaps, just perhaps, out of these few, one or two will make it to becoming a flying instructor or aircraft engineer. Perhaps, in a few years one of these students will be flying alongside Patricia leading more and more Ghanaian’s into the skies, flying missions out to their own communities under the Humanitarian Aviation Logistics programmes, changing more and more lives, one flight at a time… just perhaps.
Experience is a good gift. Inspiration is a good gift. Love is a good gift. When we give money we create a short term moment that is quickly lost. When we give experience, we crack open a door. When we give inspiration we open a door wide. When we give love, we keep that door open.
It was expensive, but what price can you put on the transformational inspiration that poured out on this day? For all of us who were involved, it was, without a doubt, priceless.
Capt. Yaw is Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Engineer at WAASPS, and lead Pilot with Medicine on the Move, Humanitarian Aviation Logistics (http://www.waasps.com/ http://www.medicineonthemove.org/ e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)