The aircraft is one of the few that can land on the runway of the 4th PEF, in the region of Surucucu
Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Eniele Santos and Captain Alcoforado
On a runway 1,067 meters long by 25 meters wide, the C-98 Caravan of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) lands two to three times a day at the Surucucu Aerodrome – where the Brazilian Army’s 4th Special Border Platoon (4th PEF) is located – carrying food and medicine to the Yanomami indigenous communities and also aviation fuel, which fuels the H-60 Black Hawk aircraft responsible for taking the supplies to the villages in need. Besides the H-60, the C-98 is the only FAB aircraft capable of landing on that airstrip, since it is deteriorated, making it impossible for large aircraft to land.
According to Air Lieutenant Gabriel Gomes Fissicaro, a pilot from the Seventh Air Transport Squadron (7º ETA – Cobra Squadron), who operates in this mission, the Caravan is one of the few aircraft that can operate safely in Surucucu. This is because the approach for landing, in this location, presents several particularities such as: the altitude, which has a negative influence on engine power; the steep runway and the surrounding mountainous terrain, which, in bad weather, makes it difficult to see the runway.
Facing these peculiarities of the region, the C-98 is able to show all its operational versatility and thus execute the mission. “The aircraft can adapt quickly to transport passengers or cargo, depending on the need. Thus, besides having an extremely low operating cost, it can land in places of difficult access, enabling the fulfillment of different missions, from the transport of people and supplies, to emergency evacuations of sick people at risk of death, which we do daily in Operation Yanomami,” explains Lieutenant Fissicaro.
Since it was commissioned to act in humanitarian aid to the indigenous people, the Caravan – considered one of the safest and most reliable single-engine aircraft in the world – has already flown more than 220 hours, carrying over 40 thousand kilos of medicines, food and fuel. The single-engine aircraft is also responsible for carrying to the Boa Vista Air Base (BABV) all the materials and equipment used in the cargo launches made by the C-105 Amazonas and KC-390 Millennium aircraft.
Photos: Sergeant Lucas Nunes / CECOMSAER *** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***