Touchdown Zone: Kiwirok
Region: Papua, Indonesia
Elevation: 4,900 feet
Length: 596 meters/1,955 feet
Width: 18 meters/59 feet
Slope: 11% increasing to 14%
Language group served: A UFM family worked with the Ngalum people from the mid-70s to about 2014. The New Testament was completed about the year 2000. Both a Ngalum man, who is currently translating the Old Testament, and an Indonesian missionary with a discipleship ministry at Kiwirok use YAJASI services.
Interesting Fact: Pilot Mark Hoving has firsthand knowledge of this runway.
“There are about six other runways within five miles of this runway, most of them steeply sloped and challenging. We have placed restrictions on ourselves not to land in the rain at the most challenging runways, as precipitation on the windshield negatively affects our depth perception.
The weather in the Kiwirok valley can change rapidly, especially with clouds forming and dissipating. If it is a morning with low clouds, I almost always do a second circle to get a feel for how rapidly the conditions are changing that morning.
When the missionaries still worked at Kiwi (three miles from Kiwirok) they would always meet the pilot with hot chocolate and a snack. Toward the end of their time in Kiwi, they were using up supplies and one day I was served delicious brownies made with powdered eggs produced before I was born!”
Time Saved: Jayapura, the nearest port, is about 130 miles away. A road from Jayapura comes to about 45 miles from Kiwirok. No one hikes that distance through that jungle, especially with a load, as it would take at least ten days and cover a distance significantly longer than 45 miles. Oksibil, the local government city, is about 20 miles away and would require hiking over a 9,000ʹ pass. All supplies for this city come in by airplane.