Remember our story on Backpack Medics in Burma? These incredibly brave, and fit, men and women strap on rucks filled with medical supplies—then literally run through a jungle crawling with hostile military forces and landmines in order to bring supplies to remote villages. Then they run back. There is no other way to deliver these crucial medical supplies, and the importance of the Backpack Health Workers Team cannot be understated.
Another organization that does similar work, albeit with better funding and technology, is the Mission Aviation Fellowship. They've amassed a fleet of Cessnas and other "bush planes," i.e. small, sturdy craft that can land and take off from impossibly short runways. With specially-trained pilots and 52 planes spread over 15 bases in Africa, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America, the MAF can get help to otherwise inaccessible places in the Congo, Nepal, Papua, Haiti and elsewhere.
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Following an open letter by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that asks how real-life superheroes can make a difference in helping the impoverished, Dustin from Smarter Every Day paid a visit to the MAF. In the following video we learn about their training, see some of the cool design features that enable their planes to do what they do, and get to see a couple of landings on unlikely airstrips:
You can learn more about the MAF, and read stories from some of the pilots, here.