July-August 10

Don spent July and August in “the scheduling office”. This is not the heart of MARC, but it is certainly the heartbeat. Don and Tom spend 50% of their time receiving and responding to inquiries about possible flights. They then spend 50% of their time doing initial planning followed by detailed planning for the flights. They then spend 50% of their time preparing the flight sheets for the pilots that describe where they are going, when they are going, who/what they will be picking up/dropping off, fuel contacts and weight & balance calculations for each leg. While the flights are airborne they spend 50% of their time tracking the airplanes with three different software programs coordinating drop-offs and pickups as well as refueling stops. Finally after the flights are complete they spend 50% of their time calculating how much the flights’ cost and tracking receipt of payments from the people/organizations we fly for. During these two months we handled 99 flights going through most of the steps described above. As you probably noticed, it takes a 250% effort to accomplish the scheduling job, which is part of the reason we don’t get it all done. This year Samaritan’s Purse has three of their projects (Port Alsworth, Marshall, and Hooper Bay) that they are supporting which accounts for about 60% of the flying for these two months. Because our two organizations are so closely intertwined we do all the flight slips for their flights too. They have flown 37 CASA flights alone which at 4000 lbs per flight equals 148,000 lbs (74 tons) of cargo. Because we have been moving so much cargo, we have had to task one of our pilots to take responsibility for coordinating the cargo much of which arrives at MARC in Soldotna the day before it is needed at one of the three project sites. In this same time period, we have flown about 338 people (campers, camp staff, work teams, missionaries, pastors and their families) and about 10,000 lbs of cargo in support of God’s work in Alaska. Thankfully, MARC’s flying begins to slow down in September, although we continue to support the Samaritan Purse flights that stay at a high tempo through September. This short breather allows everyone at MARC, from mechanics, pilots, parts supply, management, and scheduling to spend some critical “catch up” time and to prepare for the year to come. So many people, so many roles, so much to do, all provided only with the help and generosity of our donors. We thank you, and especially the people of the villages we serve thank you for making this all possible.