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Thursday, April 21, 2016

One step closer to training

MMS Aviation has a partnership with Missionary Air Group (MAG). The partnership was developed to provide apprentice pilot training. Our goal is to help an approved apprentice gain all of their needed requirements as a pilot/mechanic. Starting first to gain their A&P as a mechanic and then moving on to the pilot program to achieve the minimum 400hrs. of flying and all necessary ratings combined with real missionary flying experience.

For all of this to happen we need an airplane that can provide the majority of the basic flying. In August of 2014 Missionary Air Group purchased an airplane for the purpose of training future missionary pilots.

Since the purchase of the airplane, a Cessna 172, we here at MMS have been working on this plane doing various needed maintenance. We have done an avionics upgrade, minor repairs and a full new paint job.

We are excited to say that we have finished this project. N381MG will now be moving to it's new home in Burlington, North Carolina. This is where the majority of the pilot training will occur. This also happens to be where MAG has their headquarters.

This training aircraft will be starting it's intended purpose, training future missionary pilots, by the end of this year. We are excited to see this next step being put into place and our first apprentice family starting in the near future.
The training plane right after purchase nicknamed "butterscotch"

N381MG completed and ready for service, no longer named"butterscotch"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Unexpected

A pilot must always be prepared for the unexpected. Anything can happen at any time while up in the air. Proper trusted maintenance is always one of those things you may take for granted. Here at MMS we never take anything for granted and we do everything we can to be diligent in the work we do. But sometimes things happen that are outside of your control and a pilot needs to be ready for what ever comes there way.
Recently we had one of the ministries we serve have one of these unexpected circumstances. Gospel Carrier International's Chief pilot and president was flying on his way to MMS. When he reached 22,000 ft the inner passenger windshield exploded from the pressure. He immediately descended to a lower altitude to take pressure off the windshield and safely landed at MMS where we inspected and repaired the windshield. Here is a sequence of pictures of that repair.

All finished and ready for flight

Friday, November 20, 2015

Giving Thanks

Here in Coshocton, Ohio November means in-climate weather. We can see snow and ice and frigid temps. This weather can affect the work we do here working on airplanes. Some projects may be hindered for a time due to the unpredictable weather.

This year has been an exception to the norm. We have had mild weather through out the fall. Temps may drop for a few days but it climbs back up into above normal temps for days on end.

What a blessing to have these soaring temps reaching 70 degrees at times and hovering in the 60 degree range for days on end. This has been such a huge blessing with the work load we have right now.

One of our biggest needs has been paint removal. These warmer temps allow for opening the hangar doors and working on projects out doors as well as being able to effectively remove paint with the pressure washer with out freeze ups and drying can occur more rapidly with hovering temps.

So we are praising God for the weather He has allowed us to have here in Ohio. Here are some pictures that show some of the work we have been able to accomplish.

Chuck is pressure washing several smaller components for the Missionary Air Group (MAG) Cessna 172

Apprentice David DeJong is pressure washing the MAG 172 fuselage

The crew was able to give the Gospel Carrier International (GCI) King Air 200 a turbine engine compressor wash to enhance its performance.

Working in hangar B with its doors open a nice treat this time of year.

Hangar C is doing paint removal. It is great to have the doors open when removing paint.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rapid Response AIM (Africa Inland Mission) Kenya

Rapid Response
Featuring Lindsey Gray
By Laurie McClary

An exciting aspect of the MMS ministry is the short term mission field assistance of the Rapid Response Teams. These MMS teams help reduce the "down time" of an aircraft by providing extra man power for major inspections and repairs. It also provides the MMS mechanic the opportunity to experience foreign mission aviation ministries first hand.

This particular feature story is with Lindsey Gray, a pilot/mechanic, serving with African Inland Missions (AIM) located in Nairobi, Kenya. She shares her thoughts on a recent MMS’s rapid response to AIM from the point of view of the receiving organization.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a pilot-mechanic with Africa Inland Mission. I'm also currently working as the Quality Manager. Some days I fly, and some days I work in the office assisting with manuals, conducting audits, and aiding with various AIM AIR needs and projects. Occasionally when there are maintenance needs, I help as a mechanic. I've been in aviation for over ten years, and I've been serving with AIM AIR in Nairobi, Kenya, since July 2014.

What were some of the benefits of having a short term mechanic from MMS in the hangar?

It was a gift to have a knowledgeable, skilled mechanic assists us in the hangar! Terry McClary came to us with a wide range of experience that we were able to utilize and learn from. His work on the shop floor enabled us to be efficient. He also completed various projects and developed procedures that we will start implementing in our maintenance hangar.

Would you do it again? Why, or why not?

Yes, we would welcome appropriately qualified staff from MMS to our hangar. Not only did the McClary's assist in their aviation expertise, but they encouraged us in our day to day work, and spent time getting to know the missionaries and locals around them. We were really blessed by that.

What advice would you give a mission organization that was thinking of having a short termer in the hangar?

If there is an urgent need for assistance, MMS is an excellent resource to turn to. In addition, it helps those who are not yet connected with a mission organization to learn more about your organization, values and ministry. It gives potential missionary candidates the opportunity to live in the area, meet the missionaries, and develop an understanding for how you operate. The experience will surely impact them, and potentially provide a pathway for their family to return for full time service in the future.

What was one of the challenges of having Terry in the hangar?

I think the biggest challenge is that we don't get to keep him! We have benefited from his knowledge, skills, and experience. And over the past few months we have depended on his efforts. As Laurie and Terry return home to MMS, one of our biggest challenges will be closing the gap from Terry being gone.

Final thoughts?

At AIM AIR, we have truly appreciated having Laurie and Terry here for a few months over the summer. We are thankful that MMS allowed and encouraged them to come assist us! We were grateful for the way they plugged in, and spent time with us. We appreciated the level of detail and attention that Terry gave to aircraft maintenance and all his projects in the hangar. But more importantly, we are glad for them to return home to MMS and share about their experience with AIM AIR. We trust their time here will influence others to pursue missionary aviation. We hope that their adventures will be part of their conversation in telling others about Africa Inland Mission, and more specifically about the ministry of AIM AIR.

In closing:

Lindsey clearly loves airplanes and is using this love to serve an even bigger love, our Lord and Savior. It was a pleasure to get to know Lindsey and learn about AIM and their ministry in Africa.  

Lindsey, thank you for the time, thought and energy you put into answering these questions.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Vinyl or paint

When you create the details of a paint scheme so that you can identify who the aircraft belongs to, there are infinite possibilities in the creative structure on what can be done.

There are however only two ways to apply what you have designed. You can either use a designed vinyl decal which looks very nice and is easier to apply in most situations or the other method would be to paint the designed scheme right to the airplane. The second method is more labor intensive but the results can be worth the extra effort.

In missionary aviation which style you choose may be selected by the environment in which the airplane would reside in and cost effectiveness would also play a part in which way you choose.

The majority of airplanes that we modify or repair, vinyl graphics will do the job. Sometimes a project requires the painting of the details for durability and the customers we serve request that it be done this way. The current project that we are repairing for Missionary Air Group(MAG) has requested that painting the details is what is needed for this project and it is an intricate one at that.

The effort was worth the time. The crew here at MMS did a fantastic job. Here are a few pictures of the project.


Friday, September 4, 2015

42Q has made it to Suriname

The MAF Suriname 206 has made it to it's new field of service. It is not to often that we get to see the end result of our work as the planes we work on enter their final field of service.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

42Q is heading to service

After a 21/2 year rebuild the Suriname 206 is heading to service. It is easy for us to get attached to such an extensive project. We know that the work we do here at MMS is to fix these planes for their intended purpose so that they can be used to bring the good news of the gospel to places that are remote and would be very difficult to access with out them.

42Q was ferry piloted by Sarah Morris yesterday to Florida where it will be handed over to MAF Suriname to be brought into country for service. Suriname is the only dutch speaking country in south America. Sarah is one of only four female missionary pilots. Following is a couple pictures of the departure.

Bathing the Suriname 206 with prayer and praise. It is finished.
A wave of the wings as Sarah bids farewell with 42Q and heads south toward Florida.