Crash Claims Life of Pilot


Long-time Adventist mission pilot Bob Roberts, who is featured in a video on this quarter’s Mission 360 DVD, was tragically killed in a plane crash this week. The plane crashed during take off from Bob’s home base in Doyo Baru in Papua, Indonesia. 

"It is with deep sadness that I write this. . . we are swimming in grief here in Sentani,” Boyd wrote in an email about the accident. Boyd also wrote that Bob’s wife, Jan, seeing that Bob had not survived the crash said, “He died doing what he loved best."

In the mission video released this quarter, Bob is shown saying, “So those are the kind of things that make you glad you’re a mission pilot. Helping people that would not have a hope otherwise. That’s why we’re here.”

“We are so saddened by this tragic accident,” said General Conference president, Ted Wilson, speaking at the church’s annual spring meetings in Silver Spring, MD. “Bob was such an efficient, careful pilot. This is a great loss for the church.”

Bob Roberts flew with Adventist Aviation Services in Indonesia for more than 20 years. He has flown for the Seventh-day Adventist Church for almost 40 years, including several years flying in Africa. 

“He helped make Adventist aviation a critical part of the church, ensuring we could reach every individual and institution that might otherwise be unreachable,” said Richard Hart, Loma Linda University president, who knew Bob from his time in Africa.

“Bob was one of the most dedicated missionaries I have ever met,” said Rick McEdward,” former Adventist Mission coordinator in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division and currently director of the Global Mission Centers. “He genuinely cared for people, and he was interested in seeing people know Jesus.”

“Bob and Jan dedicated their lives to mission, and have passed on that special legacy to their children,” adds Gary Krause, director of the Office of Adventist Mission. “Please keep the Robert’s family in your prayers.”

Bob leaves behind his wife Jan, and sons Eric and Gary and daughter Stephanie.


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