4 Feb 2016

The Expats - Taihuka Smith

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:07 pm on 4 February 2016

Taihuka Smith - Tai is a pilot who originally hails from Hamilton. He's spent the last six months flying passengers and supplies in and out of remote West Papuan villages.

It's a dangerous job, some of the runways are on steep mountainsides with no room for error. For the villagers his flights are virtually their only link to the outside world, sometimes the journey to the nearest town can take weeks on foot.

During one flight a fight broke out in the village after one of the passengers found there wasn't a seat for him.

Tai and his co-pilot were forced to take off while the fight was still happening on the runway.

He talks to Jesse Mulligan.