MESA, AZ - Mark Palm is so passionate about helping people that he decided to get out of his comfort zone. Way out of his comfort zone. He moved to the other side of the world to Papua New Guinea and that is how Samaritan Aviation was born.
“Learning the culture, learning the language, all those things and then trying to wrap my head around this place that is so remote was tough,” Palm said.
It is remote but it is also massive. New Guinea is the second largest island on the planet and there are millions who need medical care on the island, but they don’t have easy access to it.
The mission presented massive challenges and that’s why Mesa resident Brian Yeager decided he should get involved and become a pilot for Samaritan.
“This hospital that is there for 500,000 people covers 33,000 miles and most of it is rain forest,” Yeager said.
"The perfect scenario is you have a pilot and then oftentimes you'll have a copilot, then you'll have a flight nurse,” he said.
Through generous donations their operation is growing. This refurbished float plane that made a stop at Mesa’s Falcon Field is the second in this tiny fleet.
It is now making its way across the country to draw attention to the plight of those so far away who see the float plane as a miracle.
“To be able to go in there without any expectations and say we're here to serve...That to me is a picture of God's love for us that's why we do this,” Palm said.