UCA News

Indonesia

US pilot dies in Covid-19 mercy mission in Indonesia

Plane belonging to Christian charity crashes while taking medical supplies to health workers in Papua province

Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
US pilot dies in Covid-19 mercy mission in Indonesia

American pilot Joyce Chaisin Lin died in a plane crash operated by Mission Aviation Fellowship on a mission to deliver medical supplies in Papua province on May 12. (Photo: Maf.org)

Share this article :
An American pilot has died after an airplane operated by a Christian charity group crashed into a lake in Papua province on May 12 while delivering much-needed supplies to aid the fight against Covid-19.

Joyce Chaisin Lin, 40, was killed when the US-made Quest Kodiak 100 single-engine aircraft belonging to the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) plunged into Sentani Lake two minutes after take-off on a flight from the provincial capital Jayapura to Mamit in Tolikara district, police said.

The pilot from Maryland in the US was the only person on the plane and her body was found and recovered by a rescue team shortly after the accident, according to Papua police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal.

Just before the crash, Lin had sent a distress call saying she was having technical difficulties and was returning to the airport, Kamal said. “The control tower then lost contact with her,” he said.

The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

Silwanus Sumule, spokesman for the Covid-19 task force in Papua province, said the plane was carrying medical supplies, including personal protection equipment, for health workers treating Covid-19 patients.

Authorities in Papua have asked several charities with aircraft such as MAF and the Catholic Church’s Associated Mission Aviation (AMA) to help transport healthcare workers, medical supplies and test swabs to and from remote areas in the province.

Five people died when an AMA aircraft crashed a few minutes after take-off while on a pastoral mission on July 5, 2017.

In a statement, MAF said it would offer its full cooperation with authorities investigating the cause of the May 12 accident.

The charity said Lin “loved working" for MAF in Indonesia, where she also served as an IT support specialist.

“Though she was here just two years, her impact was significant,” the statement said, adding she “was a light, reflecting Jesus, and she will be deeply missed.”

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
 
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM

Publisher

Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."