This past weekend, I had the opportunity to put two motorcycles and their riders into the back of our Cessna 206 and fly them off to a motorcycle race in the city of Tarapoto. The riders are both missionaries with SAM but they both enjoy motocross and use it as a tool for sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the other racers. The trip encompassed 3 days and my responsibilities included, pilot, baggage handler/loader, motorcycle mechanic, and race spotter.
It was a challenge to put the bikes in the airplane, but thanks to the large cargo doors on the 206, we were able to fit both bikes inside. It was a gross weight (3800 pounds) takeoff with a center of gravity (balance point of the airplane) right on the aft limit, but the cargo pod was a great help as all the heavy things went forward to keep the C.G. within allowable limits.
Todd took home second place in his category and Julio flew through the air landing the 1st place trophy in the 450cc class. I was just happy that nothing I fixed or worked on broke during the race...
Tarapoto is in foothills of the Andes mountains so the change in climate was a very welcome break. This was also grape country and for 3 days straight we sampled wonderful grape juice, a local specialty, with every meal.