the Steidingers
Steidinger family

Bearhawk

Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Brazil with 1 Comment

Last week I went 1,000 miles south and picked up another airplane for use in missions. It is 4-place land plane that can land in marginal airstrips. It was supposed to be a 7 hour trip with 2 stops to fill up. However with a couple oil leaks and some dirty fuel (when the motor starts sputtering over the Amazon jungle, you need to start looking for Jonah), it turned into a 2-day learning experience!  Praise the Lord we arrived safely, I was able to get trained in it and we are now ready to serve with one more airplane.

A little backstory on this plane…after we visited Brazil for the first time in 2004 and saw how effective aviation can be in taking the gospel to the rivers, I started thinking about building a plane at our house in Illinois to be brought down and used here in the Amazon.  During my research I learned about the Bearhawk, and it seemed like just the right plane for the job.  However, after praying about it some more, God took me in a different direction and instead of building a plane, I started learning how to fly one.  Fast forward to 2013, during our time in language school in Campinas.  I was checking into the possibility of buying a kit and having it imported to build a Bearhawk here in Brazil.  While talking to the company I found out that they had sent a kit to Brazil for someone else–so I knew that there was already a Bearhawk in the country.  Things got busy after we moved to Santarém with the planes already here, so that project went on the backburner.  Last year, May of 2015, I was in Manaus working on the importation process for the RV-6, and in looking for some parts online, found that the only Bearhawk in Brazil was for sale, in another state farther south.  The owner had had it professionally built, but after an accident in another small plane, he got a little nervous and so the Bearhawk sat for a few years without being flown.  The timing wasn’t quite right as I had several other things to complete before we went to the states on furlough, and the price was a little high.  It didn’t sell last fall while we were on furlough……and last week the only Bearhawk in Brazil, that I didn’t have to build or import, arrived in Santarém to be used in spreading the gospel.  Don’t miss the videos at the end of the post!!  Here are a few pics to highlight the trip.

Leaving Cuiaba, 6am

Leaving Cuiaba, 6am

 

One of the many rivers we crossed

One of the many rivers we crossed

 

Lots of soybean fields

Lots of soybean fields

 

Alta Floresta. We landed here looking for a mechanic to fix the oil leak. "Is there a mechanic here?" Yep, and then pointed to the 4 airplanes in front of us waiting to be repaired. We put in extra oil and took off.

Alta Floresta. We landed here looking for a mechanic to fix the oil leak. “Is there a mechanic here?” Yep, and then pointed to the 4 airplanes in front of us waiting to be repaired. We put in extra oil and took off.

 

Found a mechanic with tools.

Found a mechanic with tools.

 

Novo Progresso

Novo Progresso

 

Sunset

Sunset

 

Jungle

Jungle

 

 

 

More jungle

More jungle

 

Amazon rain.

Amazon rain.

 

A happy couple

A happy couple…Ok I might be a little more excited than Janelle.

We all fit.

We all fit

 

This gives you an idea of the kind of landing strips that are used here click.  Here is a takeoff video (click).

 

 

One Comment

Steve Taylor on May 31, 2016

That take-off was awesome Matthew, but you really shouldn't make Janelle hang on to the wing just to get that shot!

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