Princess Royal and her entourage at Masika Airstrip, Western Uganda

Mission Aviation Fellowship values every passenger but the team in Uganda were leaving nothing to chance when the Princess Royal travelled with us on two consecutive days.

Firstly, some parts of Kajjansi Airstrip, the home of Mission Aviation Fellowship Uganda won themselves a face lift to prepare a welcome fit for a Princess.

It was a pleasure to serve the Princess and her husband. And to learn that she’s happy with the work we are doing for communities in remote villages in Uganda
MAF Uganda Country Director, Ruth Jack

The most challenging work behind the scenes was the level of security, with great care taken at every level.

The expectation from the MAF Uganda staff was probably the most interesting part. Several of them were quietly practising how they would take a bow or curtsy when she approached.

Sam, one of the members on the security team, was having a hearty conversation with the Princess. "We talked about horses. She said that back home in England she’s mostly in the countryside where she exercises a lot, and there, she does a lot of horse riding. I told her that my daughters too love riding horses," he said.

The princess wished that security allowed her to walk a good distance to her waiting convoy. Not after an hour in the skies. "I found her very approachable. Before she came everybody was on tension. We were wondering how to address her, and how to handle her as a passenger. But she was so natural and relaxed the whole time. She made our work very easy," he said.

The simplicity in the way Princess Anne carried herself is probably everyone’s lasting impression.

Her MAF pilot, Captain Dave, said the special guest took the flying conditions in her stride. "There was a bit of tropical thunderstorms, and the flight was a bit bumpy and so I apologised when we landed at Kajjansi. But she said that she flies a lot in helicopters back in the UK and our flight was much better," he said.

Dave was fascinated by the Princess’ ability to do so much at the age of 72. "I was shocked at the rigorous schedule she maintains. It’s very intense going from one activity to another. I was amazed at her stamina and energy."

After all that hard work and preparation, the MAF Uganda team celebrated the successful visit with Country Director Ruth organising chocolate doughnuts for a job well done.

Ground Ops team share doughnuts for a job well done
Damalie Hirwa
Ground Ops team share doughnuts for a job well done