American Missionary Pilot Joyce Lin Dies in Plane Crash While Delivering Coronavirus Supplies to Remote Villages in Indonesia

Joyce Lin | MAF

Joyce Lin, an American missionary pilot, died in a crash Tuesday just minutes after her plane took off to deliver COVID-19 supplies to remote villages in Indonesia. She was 40.

Lin worked for the Idaho-based Mission Aviation Fellowship whose pilots use Cessna and KODIAK aircraft to transport medicine, doctors, disaster relief, evangelists, Bible translators, food supplies, agriculture and other things to remote areas around the world to share “Christ’s love beyond where the road ends.”

“The Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) family is deeply saddened by the loss of their colleague and friend, Joyce Lin,” MAF said in a statement.

“Joyce was responding to the needs of the village of Mamit in the Papua highlands and cargo on the plane included COVID-19 rapid test kits for the local clinic. Within minutes of takeoff, she reported an emergency and the aircraft descended into Lake Sentani. Joyce was the only person on the airplane.”

Lin, who was piloting an MAF Kodiak aircraft, crashed after her departure from Sentani, Papua, Indonesia airport. Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal told NBC 4 that she sent a distress call and requested to return to the airport, but the control tower then lost contact with her. Rescuers found her body in the lake two hours after the crash at a depth of approximately 13 meters. It was reportedly MAF’s first fatal accident in 23 years. One local source that said the crash is currently under investigation noted that Papua is one of the most difficult flying areas in the world because of the rugged terrain and changeable weather.

“She has dedicated her life to transporting humanitarian supplies and missionaries to hard-to-reach areas in Papua,” Kamal said.

Lin, who was raised in Colorado and Maryland, started working with MAF two years ago. Before joining the organization, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees. She also received a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where she first learned about mission aviation.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair