Captain David Takindu and Captain James Pima are employed by local helicopter company, Heli Solutions. Both captains are former servicemen in the PNG Defence Force. They are familiar with the military protocols involving state representatives and transported the ambassador with ease.
Being her first trip to the region, Ambassador McKee was given an aerial tour of American funded projects in Jiwaka Province upon her return to Western Highlands Province.
Ambassador McKee was impressed with the service and on her return to Mount Hagen, presented two lapel pins to Heli Solutions pilots in recognition of their service. The pins were presented by Grounds Manager, Linda Wii on behalf of the Ambassador and witnessed by staff of Heli Solutions at their Mount Hagen Hanger.
The pins show an American and Papua New Guinea crossed flag and symbolise the existing partnership between the US and Papua New Guinea governments.
Heli Solutions Grounds Manager, Linda Wii, who was on the tarmac at Kagamuga Airport to receive Ambassador McKee, thanked her for trusting a fully-fledged national company to transport her and her team.
Captain Pima who is the Chief Pilot of Heli Solutions was surprised and pleased at the gesture shown by her Excellency.
Both Pilots extended their gratitude to Her Excellency and her team at the US Embassy and are humbled to be presented with such an honour.