Getting to know Hugo, a Pilot for Humanitarian Mission in the Wilderness of Papua – Yoseph Hugo Sugbepon Kayanbyak Mirino is no ordinary pilot. This 26-year-old youth has devoted himself to the Tariku Aviation Service Foundation since February 2018.

The Tariku Aviation Foundation began operating in 1975 and for 47 years Tariku has worked to serve the community in Papua providing free services for students and sick residents in the interior of Bumi Cenderawasih but also spiritual activities, especially evangelism in areas that cannot be reached by land transportation.

The Tariku Aviation Services Foundation (YPPT) or Tariku Aviation Services operates airplanes (Cessna 185) that are suitable for grass-based and short field conditions where they first served flights in Mamberamo Raya Regency, Papua.

Hugo was born in Jayapura on March 16, 1994. He is one of the native Papuan children who succeeded in realizing his dream since he was a child, which is to become a pilot in Papua.

She is the second of four children. The eldest sister, Yosefina Mirino, is currently an employee at PT Bank Pembangunan Daerah Papua or Bank Papua, while her two younger siblings, Inseren Mirino, are currently looking for work and Kamasan Mirino is currently studying at the Satya Wacana Christian University, Salatiga.

Especially for Hugo, he was exposed as a pilot captain at the Tariku Aviation Service Foundation in October 2018 after attending training to gain seven months of flying hours.

After graduating from SMA Negeri 1 Jayapura in 2011, Hugo continued his studies at the Transition To International Program (TITIP) English School in Sentani, Jayapura Regency, Papua for eight months. He even got a scholarship to Australia in 2013.

Previously he also passed the College of Accounting and Satya Wacana University, Salatiga.

Yet, Hugo’s desire to become a pilot made him prefer to achieve his dream since childhood.

This opportunity came for the third time, he participated in observations on Garuda airlines to find out how to operate aircraft from take off and landing.

After observing for four months, sometime later there was the opening of flights through the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua (UP4B).

The road to becoming a pilot was wide open after he and 17 other colleagues from Papuan natives graduated from UP4B and received scholarships in 2014. They were then sent to the Curug College of Aviation Science in Tangerang, Banten Province.

He explained that after attending Curug, he and his colleagues were transferred to the Banyuwangi Aviation Training Education Center, East Java, from 2015 to October 2017, they were declared graduated.

After graduating from the Banyuwangi Flight Training Education Center, East Java, he was unemployed for four months before applying to YPPT in February 2018.

“I returned to Jayapura to take care of my mother (mama) because my father died on July 4, 2017 while continuing the pig farming business that was run by his late father,” he said.

YPPT’s flight services reach remote areas in Papua, starting from the Bintang Mountains Regency to Paniai Regency but also to Yahukimo, Yalimo, Mulia, Karubaga, Kobagma and Nabire.

In one flight a maximum of nine passengers without a co-pilot with a total payload of one ton. The flight services run by YPPT are more of a mission to pick up patients in each of the farthest districts and children who want to go to school in the city.

Successfully becoming a pilot at the age of just 28, Hugo wanted to have his own airline when he was 45 years old. This desire exists because he loves aviation so much that he is determined to fly in Papua until old age arrives so that in the future the pilot captain of the Tariku pioneering aircraft can empower Papuan children by employing them for the airline he founded.

However, he is also tempted by politics as did his former mentor, namely the Regent of Paniai Regent Meky Nawipa, who previously worked as a commercial pilot for 10 years from 2008 to 2018.

“But my main goal is to establish my own company and I will strive for that. I also want an amphibious aircraft to land in the water to operate to Raja Ampat, West Papua Province,” he said.

According to Hugo, Papua has a very big opportunity to become one of the tourist destinations from all over the world, such as the Maldives located in southwest Sri Lanka, the Maldives.

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