The COURRIER de la Mayenne
At 65 years old, André Bansard, a Native Mayenne resident of Haie-Traversaine, is a very active retiree.
I am still an employee of a company I created and for ten years I have been a volunteer for the aviation without borders association as an aircraft mechanic, he introduces.
Aviation Sans Frontières, thanks to its aircraft based in Africa, makes it possible to transport humanitarian personnel, to transport basic necessities and to carry out emergency medical evacuations. It provides logistical support to non-governmental organizations and international organizations such as Handicap International, Action Contre la Faim, the French Red Cross, Médecins sans frontières, etc. The association is supported by the United Nations.
Every month, the association calls on volunteers for missions of three or four days. I have already done some repairs in the bush to replace parts on the track. This is very different from routine maintenance in the hangar where we have all the necessary equipment. We are escorted by peacekeepers to help teams who are also volunteers.
For nearly a month, the Mayenne carried out an exceptional mission. "Thanks to the missions carried out for the UN, ASF had the means to buy a new aircraft. A Cessna 208B Caravan EX. A beautiful machine, very solid. It was delivered in January to the United States, with a handicap: it is not at all suitable for winter travel. If it frosts, its wings may deform and this can lead to a crash.
But the UN has demands and the plane must arrive as soon as possible in Africa in Bangui in the Central African Republic.
These convoys by the northern track remain exceptional, "summarizes the mechanic. Experienced pilots were therefore chosen to bring the aircraft back to Africa. "To secure them, I accompany them. The challenge was not to cross a cloud. It's quite stressful. But all precautions are taken by the association, "adds the volunteer.
The exceptional convoy had to make several stops: in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, and Laval.
The aircraft must undergo modifications and these will be carried out in Laval, at Avialaval, my former company, which is a recognized workshop for the maintenance of airline aircraft.
On Thursday, February 17, Storm Eunice, which arrived on Scotland, prevented the plane and its crew from reaching Entrammes-Laval airport. The plane finally landed on Monday, February 21.