Resourceful MIQ inhabitants create scale replica aircraft while cooped up in hotel room

As an aircraft engineer, maybe Benji Hunt had a headstart creating a scale replica of one of his missionary planes, but he did an amazing job with the materials at hand.
Stuck in managed isolation in Rotorua, Hunt and his young family used their time to build a small version of a Cessna 208 aircraft they used to fly to far-flung places in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Benji, his wife Jess, and son, Elliott, 5, were returning from a two-year mission in PNG where Benji works on nine aircraft employed by the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).

MAF is a Christian non-profit organisation that used planes as a tool to serve remote communities.

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Planning to return to PNG after a few months back in New Zealand, Hunt said they would use the replica plane as a prop to show people about the work they are doing in Melanesia.

Benji Hunt built a replica Cessna 208 with his family while staying in managed isolation in Rotorua.

We will spend the next few months sharing about our time in PNG with churches, groups and people that support us.

It is a volunteer position that we raise support for and our model will now be part of our presentations.

With nothing but wooden cutlery and a few craft tools ordered online, the family set about building the plane from scratch inside Sudima Lake Rotorua hotel.

Hunt said he didnt have any plans or measuring equipment, but he was able to use his memory and find a few images online to guide his construction.

I had no rulers or anything like that, so it was mostly eye-balled.

Jess Hunt helps build the plane with an assortment of materials obtained in managed isolation in Rotorua.

He even used the hotel room hairdryer to shrink plastic bottles to the required shape for the aircrafts fuselage.

The only thing they obtained from outside isolation was a hot glue gun and its packaging that was ordered online.

The idea to build an aeroplane came from when they were in transit isolation in Australia, and they were served meals with wooden cutlery.

I thought this would be cool I could build a plane with that if New Zealand does the same.

Hunt put the challenge out to other people interned in MIQ facilities to see what they could build from used cutlery and empty bottles.

See what you can do with the same materials.

The family were due to leave MIQ at 5pm on Saturday.

They owned a property in Rongotea, Manawatu, but would be staying in Bulls while theyre back in New Zealand.


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