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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Preparing people....

One of the crucial parts of MMS is the "preparing people" part. There are generally two parts to this, candidacy and apprenticeship. As God starts to work in peoples lives and they start to inquire about becoming a missionary with MMS, we help them through this process of application and evaluation into the process of raising support, where God carves away at them and builds their character and equips them for the task that God has given them. We work closely with candidates raising support building their understanding and responsibility through scripture and guidance from the Human Resources Director. The second part of "preparing people" is when they reach the point of 100% financial support they are cleared to begin at MMS in the apprenticeship program or advanced skills building process if they are licensed already. Once they are at the hangar they are transferred to the director of training and he will start to work with them in order to build their skills and knowledge so that they become a useful tool on the mission field. Once they have completed this they move on to one of the 165 Christian missions flight organizations around the world.So we "prepare people" for the spiritual side as well as the mechanical side of missionary aviation maintenance and some will move on to become pilots as well, through a partnership with MAG or Mission Air Group. We love what we do here knowing that we are making a difference with the gospel being shared all over the world due to the efforts of all who support MMS and the hard work of the staff of MMS. Here is a glimpse of the "preparing people" side of what we do. The below pictures are a glimpse of evaluation of a possible future apprentice going through evaluation to possible candidacy and two apprentices who are here gaining the necessary knowledge.

 Here Ryan is scraping paint during his evaluation
Josh teaching Ryan about engines and testing his knowledge

Masking for painting details is an exact science

Jim showing how to wire gauges properly and testing Ryan's knowledge

Mike is finishing up with some brake work for evaluation

Our director of training Bob Schwartz is showing the apprentices how a magneto works
Bob is checking their work on the magneto

Glen and Aaron are now ready to rebuild their own magneto

Friday, September 5, 2014

The MAG is stripped to perfection

 We have many different ministries that we serve. One of these ministries that we are serving also happens to be a partner in raising up missionaries with us here at MMS. Mission Air Group also known as MAG has one of their Cessna 206's here for maintenance repairs. We are currently working on stripping the paint from all of the body of the aircraft. The wings, fuselage, tail sections and many small intricate parts need to be stripped of their outer coating down to the bare metal. This is a very tedious event. Every rivet every crevasse between skin pieces needs to be completely scrubbed free of debris so that the metal can be prepared for the new paint scheme to adhere to it.

In the same way Christ is doing the same thing to us who have given our lives to him. When we receive Christ he takes us apart and starts to work on our imperfections until we are finely polished and useful in his hands. He then puts us back together and paints us white as snow. Jesus is our shop foreman and he chooses us to do his work. We are his hands and feet on this earth.

Just as an airplane is refurbished by a team of qualified mechanics we work together to accomplish God's work on this earth. This is where MAG comes in to play. Here at MMS we are "preparing people and airplanes for world wide missionary service". As we build up mechanics we recognize that we need a partner who will provide the necessary skills for those God has called to be pilots as well. We are working together to accomplish the great commission. What a blessing to have a partnership like this. We are blessed to get to do the maintenance on this airplane as well. The 206 that you see pictured below is an air ambulance that is going to Rus Rus, Honduras. For more information about MAG you can go to Mission Air Group.
The 206 Cessna from Honduras when it arrived here at MMS

A stripping agent is applied and then covered in plastic

Aaron is removing the dissolved paint after the thinner was applied

Here is the fuselage about 90% complete

Many intricate small pieces ready to be stripped and polished

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Unity in the body

 Dear MMS,
    Your picture in the April Ground Crew newsletter illustrated the complexity of your work.
    You have that stabilizer torn down to its basic frame.
    The picture and caption also brought to mind our extended discussion on the Cessna 206/207. 
    The critical nature of your work which is, for most people, unseen service illustrates the complexity of how God works in our world.
    First, much of the critical spiritual work we do on our own lives is unseen by almost everyone but God.
    Second, the interrelatedness of our service for the Lord, where each one has a part & God brings them all together, is amazing. 
    Your unseen work will enable this plane to fly.  This will allow supplies and people to travel where they could not otherwise go.
    This will allow face to face interaction and ministry which could not have taken place in any other way.
    Peoples' lives will be changed through this interaction and ministry.  And they will change others.
    Only God can coordinate all of this.

This is an email that one of our staff has received from a pastor who supports our ministry here at MMS.
The body of Christ is to have unity if we are to accomplish the work that has been set out for us to do.
In the same way the body of an airplane must also work together for it to perform well in the air. From the struts to the stabilizers to the skins and rivets they all play a vital role in the strength and flexibility of the body so that under pressure and stresses they hold up well to perform their tasks that they have been given. Every mission aircraft at every location around the world is unique in the environment that it is to operate in. The pictures of the airplane below are from the MAF or mission Aviation Fellowship Cessna 206 going to Suriname and coming from Suriname. This particular airplane was used in 2004 to distribute supplies after the Tsunami had devastated much of that area. For more on Mission Aviation Fellowship and their ministry you can go to Mission Aviation Fellowship to explore this wonderful ministry that we serve. Below is a glimpse at some of the body of the 206 being worked on.

Chuck is having a riveting experience with the right wing
Some of the wing skin needed to be replaced

Phil is inspecting a stabilizer part before installation to the fuselage

Preparations are  being made for the fuel bladder installation

Final prep work of the fuselage before it is painted

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The leading edge

You are probably wondering why this posting is titled "the leading edge." An airplane has a leading edge on it's wings and how it is shaped will determine the airflow it receives to create lift which keeps the airplane in the air. There are some leading edges that are designed to produce more lift at lower speeds so planes can use shorter runways. Other leading edge shapes are designed for speed and aerobatics. Airplane designers need to understand these principals to determine the proper leading edges for the work the plane is going to perform.

A missionary organization needs proper leading as well. Just like different wing leading edges, a missionary organization's leader needs many different "edges" for the organization to run smoothly. MMS is no different. Our leader Dwight Jarboe is President and CEO of MMS Aviation. Dwight has been in missionary service 42 years filling many roles. As you see from the pictures below, he does not just sit in a large chair in a corner office but is engaged in many different tasks as he leads our organization.

Even though he's been known to play the trumpet, Dwight isn't one to "toot his own horn". He likes to showcase accomplishments of his coworkers while he stays more in the background. We are blessed to have this type of leadership and his "leading edge".

Dwight working hard at his President/ CEO duties

" Hmmm, I know that cable is in there some where "

" Well Jake, I hope you were listening the last 2-1/2 yrs. as I administer your practical exam for your A&P "

" Mornin' Phil, how's the family "

" I enjoy giving tours and talking about MMS. "

" Yep, the necessary paperwork is here for the annual inspection. "

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mercy is upon us

 Wednesday morning was filled with excitement as the distant thump of the rotors drew closer. As our eyes were drawn to the North East open sky the thumping dot grew larger and larger until the swirling wind and dust settled and the rotors worked their way to a stop next to hangar A. Out stepped two gentlemen from Mercy Air with smiles on their faces. Matthias Reuter and Michael Aebi were greeted with out stretched arms and a firm hand shake. As excited as they both are, we at MMS are that much more excited as this is a first time opportunity to share our hangar with MercyAir. They will be using our hangar to work on their newly acquired AS-350B2 helicopter which Matthias flew here from Pittsburgh. MercyAir will be using our facility to reconfigure the helicopter from a medical use to a utility used helicopter.

MercyAir was established in 1991 and they are an independent Christian humanitarian aid aviation service. Their goal is to provide lasting aid to victims of natural and human disasters in the South African region in a swift and non-bureaucratic manner. It is our desire here at MMS to use what God has given us in a way that honors Him. If you would like more information about this wonderful organization you can go to for their helicopter program and to take you to  their general site. Below is a picture of their new helicopter and following are pictures of what they do.
Matthias and Michael with the new helicopter ready to be reconfigured

Friday, August 1, 2014

Some things in life are concrete

 Our facilities manager Dave Shelly has been working very hard to set up a time to get some much needed concrete repair work done. This project is two fold, the first part of the project requires the removal and replacement of some broken concrete pads between the hangars and the second part of the project is the addition of a concrete pad for the PT6 training station that we acquired earlier this year. The PT6 training station needs to be deeply rooted as the PT6 turbine generates 750 HP. The concrete crew that is doing this work for MMS has been working together as a team for quite a while. This was evident in the seamless effort they put into it. As one crew member was breaking up the concrete another crew member was loading the truck with the broken pieces and as he drove away another crew member followed up and formed up the open spaces readying the area. The unity of a team is evidence of a deep understanding  of each individual involved. I have the privilege of watching each member of our team work together in "preparing people and airplanes for world wide mission service". Here at MMS we are always striving to have a deeper understanding of each other so that we may work in a manner that may bring glory to God and that we may be a reflection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Breaking ground by hangar C

Loading up broken concrete by hangar C

Removing and leveling dirt for the run up pad by hangar B

Breaking ground in front of hangar A

Removal of the excess dirt and concrete for the run up pad

Pouring the run up pad

Finishing the run up pad for the PT6(notice the deep anchors in place)

Finishing the prep work in front of hangar A

Let the pouring begin

We are half way there

Finally almost finished

Ahhh the finishing touches and then we are done

Friday, July 25, 2014

There is an angel among us

Here at MMS we have the great privilege of maintaining airplanes from all over the world. One of these airplanes that we are currently maintaining is an Angel aircraft. This particular airplane was designed by a missionary for missionary use. It can seat between 6-8 people. It utilizes Lycoming IO540 engines that push from behind the wing. This basically means the engines look like they are on there backwards with the props on the back rather than facing to the front. By doing this it allows for easy cargo loading in the front of the wings. These are very unique airplanes and there are only five of them in the world. The one that we have in our hangar has a serial number of #002. To learn more about these unique aircraft you can go to their website at Here at MMS we have been given the task of  preparing the airplane for export to Bolivia. Some of the tasks that we are performing are: The overhauling of both engines, the over- hauling of both propellers, the annual inspection, servicing of the struts, the fixing of some fuel seepage, and other various maintenance items as needed.

This particular airplane has been donated to South America Mission. You can learn more about South America Mission by going to their website at . Currently we have helped serve 106 missions organizations around the world with their needs. God has brought many talented individuals to serve here at MMS. Each individual brings a unique gifting and set of talents that balances the work that we do here. Part of our mission is to prepare people and we do this through a 30 month apprenticeship where they will get the necessary hands on training to qualify them for their airframe and power plant certificate, working on real air planes in a real shop. These apprentices then will move on to serve with one of the 165 Christian mission flight organizations around the world. Here is a look into part of the many projects for the Angel aircraft.
Apprentice Glen Evert seems to be up to his elbows in work
 Glen is removing old fuel tank sealant in the right wing fuel tank
Josh Adelsberger is assembling the right engine of the Angel
After assembly the right engine is now being test run to make sure that it meets the requirements. Dale Coates is monitoring all of the information on the computer you see at the right.