Lobitos Alves

Pilot from India shares his journey to young nation where he has flown more than 200 medevacs.

Lungpinglak Domtta has travelled a long way from his home in India, via a spell in Africa, to Timor-Leste.

But the energetic pilot, known as Captain Ping, feels at home in the country and has found a sense of family within the Mission Aviation Fellowship team.

He is making a big impact in Timor-Leste, where medical flights make up a large proportion of MAF’s work, flying more than 200 medevacs.

Captain Ping flew a medevac patient

“I’m proud to be part of the amazing service we do here. And in over two years, I have done more than 200 medevacs. I have done 2300 hours so far, and in 2023, I flew 300 hours,” he said.

“It’s a very proud moment because 200 medical evacuations mean 200 families were given hope through our aircraft operation here in Timor-Leste.”

Ping comes from Nagaland, a small state in north-eastern India, and his career as a pilot began when he was working for a charter company in Kolkata, but his transition to MAF led him to the stage where he could combine his passion for flying and serve God’s people in remote places.

Captain Ping reached his 2000 hourly flights

“Growing up, I never heard about any such organisation where you can combine your passion for flying with your desire to serve God,” said Ping.

“I was working for a company in India, where I was based in Kolkata. When I was flying for the charter company, I used to do a lot of medical evacuation too.”

Ping’s transition to MAF started when he was introduced to the organisation by a workmate from Bangladesh. He first flew for MAF in Uganda.

“I started in 2016. When I was in Uganda during peak COVID time, we had to deliver some vaccines to Congo, and every country was in lockdown, but we could fly out and deliver the vaccine, and that’s a good experience and a blessing to me,” he said.

Captain Ping Domtta
Captain Ping in Africa

“And when there was a flood in Uganda, again I was part of the team there and did seven flights, and as a MAF programme in Uganda, we did around 28 flights.

“I could see MAF as an organisation and me as an individual being able to reach out to the isolated communities in that way.”

Moving to Timor-Leste in 2021, Ping feels at home in this young nation.

“After coming in, I really love this country too. And I believe this is where God has called me,” Ping said.

After coming in, I really love this country too. And I believe this is where God has called me
Captain Ping Domtta

“Timor-Leste reminds me of home, the landscape, people, food, and culture. I come from Nagaland, from the north-eastern part of India, and I believe our cultures are alike in so many ways. I have felt at home in Timor-Leste since the first few months I arrived here.

Captain Ping Domtta
Captain visited Dokomali waterfall in Ainaro Municipality

“I like to play futsal, hike around Dili, and go to the beach. But there are days I just like to rest at home, recovering from work. I also like catching up and hosting people.”

He also says it’s not just the value of the work, the people make MAF feel like a family to him.

“It's been almost eight years since I've been with MAF, and whenever I meet people or sometimes when I share, I say that since I first joined MAF, it has always made me feel like family,” Ping said.