Touch Down Zone: Volmimpi

Region: Indonesia

Surface: Grass and gravel

Elevation: 6,650 feet

Length: 324 meters/1,063 feet

Width: 12 meters/39 feet

Slope: 15% average. 14% at touchdown increasing to 26% near the parking bay at the top

People Served: Mek (Kosarek)

Interesting Facts: Flights to Volmimpi are scheduled to arrive before midmorning. After 10 a.m., winds moving through the mountains make the runway too challenging. Precipitation on the windshield interferes with the pilot’s depth perception and is another restriction to consider at Volmimpi.

At Volmimpi the “committal point” on approach occurs just before landing, even prior to touchdown. The surrounding terrain makes it impossible to go-around and try again, so once past the committal point the pilot must continue for landing even if a pig or a person unexpectedly comes out onto the runway. 

Because Volmimpi is so challenging, an important checkout process is required for any pilot flying in. An experienced instructor pilot supervises three to five practice landings and at least one go-around, points out key terrain features to reference when approaching, and discusses weather patterns and challenges.

Before taking the first passengers into Volmimpi, YAJASI sent two pilots to do an aerial survey and test landing with an empty airplane. They made notes while flying several approaches and did a detailed runway inspection. YAJASI’s runway chart for Volmimpi is based on their findings.

Time Saved: From YAJASI’s home base in Sentani to Volmimpi is a 50-minute flight. Overland travel is impossible due to jungle, swamp, mountains, and rugged terrain void of roads. If attempted, it would take several weeks. The only other practical option for the people at Volmimpi is a two-day hike to Kosarek, the next nearest grass runway in the mountains. For YAJASI, Volmimpi to Kosarek is a 7-minute flight. 

View Landing Here

View a Take Off From the Cockpit Here     

View Take Off From Outside the Plane Here

View Chart Here


On approach to Volmimpi. Photo by Brad McFarlane


Volmimpi from the air. Photo by Brad McFarlane


The runway at Volmimpi has an average slope of 15%. Photo by Brad McFarlane


Pilatus Porter parked at Volmimpi with the runway below. Photo by Brad McFarlane


Clouds sit atop the mountains behind the PC 6. Photo by Brad McFarlane


YAJASI pilot Mark Hoving is warmly greeted by locals at Volmimpi. Photo by Brad McFarlane


Pilatus Porter parked at Volmimpi. Photo by Mike Martin


The traditional grass-roofed homes of the Mek people adorn the rugged hillsides of Pinia, the village nearest to the Volmimpi airstrip. Photo by Mike Martin


Picturesque stone walls help mark garden boundaries while protecting the produce from foraging pigs by keeping them on track. Photo by Mike Martin


Translator Mike Martin meets some of the local kids at Volmimpi. Photo by Amy Martin


Mike and Amy Martin, on the left, along with Mike’s four translation helpers flew from Kosarek into Volmimpi and some other distant villages within the Kosarek language area where they had previously spent little or no time. They held public readings of the translated Scriptures to test for understanding and clarity. Photo by Mike Martin


People gathered for public readings of the New Testament which was one more method of checking the translation before finalizing it for publication. Simon, (top right, tan hat) was frequently seen helping others learn to read the Scripture portions long after the daily sessions were finished. Photo by Mike Martin


Yesaya, in red, was the first Kosarek translator with whom Mike began working 19 years ago. He often shared with the people the importance of preserving the native language and culture, and how valuable it is to have God’s Word in their own language. Photo by Mike Martin


Anderson reading scripture to the people. He found people he knew in each location and enjoyed hanging out with the local people. Photo by Mike Martin


Gerson, far left, contacted all the villages ahead of time, organized and communicated well to bridge the gap between cultures. Photo by Mike Martin


Mike says, “People in the surrounding villages told us over and over again how glad they were to be able to understand the translation immediately, and they were so blessed by the reading of the Scriptures in an understandable language.” Photo by Mike Martin