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In her shoes: the life of an MAF pilot

Jacophin Dayas Singh is a pilot working with MAF in Arnhem Land, Australia. She is the first female pilot from India. She writes about her experience in the last 2 years of flying with MAF.

Story and photos by Jacophin Dayas Singh.

Flying in Arnhem Land is awesome, so is living here! The fellowship at work is wonderful and makes me feel at home. My colleagues consider me their own, and I am often invited to their homes for family dinners after work. It is true when they call the wider MAF community, the ‘MAF family’.

After completing my flight training in the U.S., the next flying experience I had was during assessment and training with MAF in Mareeba, Australia. Once I was accepted, and trained as an MAF pilot, I joined the Arnhem Land programme in the Northern Territory of Australia.

More training and experience have helped my confidence as a pilot. I can now say that I absolutely love what I do… and it gets better each day! Early flights, late departures, rushing to make it in time before last light, waiting for late passengers, taking the aircraft for maintenance, unexpected flights, medical retrieval flights are all part of what keeps an MAF pilot busy.

Recently, I was tasked with taking an aircraft for maintenance. On the way back, I helped load the aircraft with two couches, a caravan tyre, a bike and an oven! It was very exciting for me to be a part of that. I was quite impressed.

I love it here, despite the heat! I am enchanted by the beauty of this place and the people. The view from the sky is beautiful! I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy God’s wonderful creation. The crisscross of the water inlets over dense forests, dry lands and steep cliffs is very mesmerizing. God is an amazing architect! The sunrises and the sunsets that display beautiful colors is so peaceful and soothing to keep staring at. The nights are the best -- once the sun goes down millions of stars pop up out of nowhere!

They say if you get a job you love, you'll never have to work a day! I couldn't agree more. Doing what I love to do (flying) and being able to be there for others when they need us, is such a blessing! I fly doctors, nurses and teachers to homelands, school students back and forth from the homelands to their boarding schools, body charter flights- taking the deceased back to their homelands for funerals, some medical retrieval flights, bring patients from the communities and homelands for medical check-ups and sometimes, grocery shopping for the people in the homelands. Whatever the reason may be, it is very rewarding to be there when they need us.

I remember a woman who said she will "love me forever" because I took her home in the last bit of the day to make it in time for a funeral. It brought tears to my eyes, and in my heart, gratitude to God, for bringing me here. It is exhausting to fly in this weather, but flights like these, just make my day and put a smile on my face!

The heat here is quite exhausting, and living by myself can get difficult. In these times I find that God brings comfort and strength when its needed. I count it a privilege to be able to serve the communities here. I have been so blessed.



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