American Woman Dies in Plane Crash While Delivering COVID-19 Tests to Indonesian Village

CNN Newsource
By CNN Newsource
May 14, 2020US News
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American Woman Dies in Plane Crash While Delivering COVID-19 Tests to Indonesian Village
Joyce Lin in a file photo. (Courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship)

An American pilot died when her plane malfunctioned while she was on her way to deliver COVID-19 rapid test kits to a remote Indonesian village, officials said.

Joyce Lin, 40, had just taken off in the morning on May 12, leaving the airport in Sentani, in Papua province, in a Kodiak aircraft. She was a missionary with the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), serving as a pilot and an information technology specialist.

She’d been with the MAF for about three years, according to the organization.

Tuesday, Lin was attempting to fly to Mamit in the Papua highlands, in an effort to bring test kits to the local clinic. Within minutes of takeoff, she reported an emergency.

The aircraft fell into Lake Sentani, and divers confirmed she did not survive, according to the MAF. She was the only one aboard the plane. The MAF said it is working with local authorities to investigate the incident.

Joyce Lin-CCP Virus-Crash
Joyce Lin (L) and fellow pilot Kees Janse. (Courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship)

Lin had worked in Indonesia for two years, and joined the MAF after more than a decade of work as a computer specialist. She was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received both her bachelor and master degrees, before enrolling at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and graduating in 2017.

It was at seminary that Lin discovered mission aviation, and she never looked back.

“Joyce was a light reflecting Jesus, and she will be deeply missed,” the MAF wrote in a statement.

Lin is survived by her parents and two sisters, who have requested privacy were not available for comment.

Indonesia has seen more than 15,000 cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, and over 1,000 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. That’s the highest death toll for any East Asian country other than China, and only Singapore and China have had more cases.

The country has seen its CCP virus numbers rapidly multiply, despite not reporting any COVID-19 cases until March.

President Joko Widodo didn’t declare a national public health emergency until March 31, the same day it forbade most foreign visitors from entering or transiting through the country.

The CNN Wire and NTD staff contributed to this report.

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