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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Friday on Wednesday

The guys in the hangar are pushing hard to make headway on the Cessna 182 restoration for Moody Aviation. The sooner the airplane is finished, the sooner Moody can once again use the aircraft as a training tool to prepare future missionary pilots for service.

Yesterday Chuck installed the rudder pedals. Today,
he's riveting the forward floor panel in place.

Gertjan and David continue fabricating one of the 182's flaps.

Visiting MMS grad Brian Lites assists Ian with
a repair on the 182's horizontal stabilizer.

This is our "Friday" as MMS closes down this afternoon to allow a long weekend for everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with their family and friends. Lord willing, we'll be post again Monday as everyone returns to the hangar to finish out 2008.

There are many exciting things on the horizon for MMS. Thank you for being part of it all through your gifts and your prayers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Moving Ahead With Moody's 182

With Mike, Ian, David, Gertjan, Chuck, Scott L. and Josh on the job, the restoration of Moody Aviation's Cessna 182 is primary on our production schedule now. The engine has already been inspected and reassembled but the airframe still requires substantial repair.

The 182's fuselage.

Scott, Chuck, and Josh are focused on repairing the fuselage and David, Gertjan, and Ian are preparing the control surfaces for paint.

Scott continues installation of the nose gear.

Chuck pre-fits the components for the rudder pedal assembly.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Cool Place to Work

Winter arrives December 21st. Today it looked like winter forgot to check the calendar. Just before sunrise the temperature was 23°F (-5°C), but it was a gorgeous morning. Of course, this is just a gentle reminder of winter's ability, but we feel it none the less.

There's plenty of work to do inside and the whole team is busy. The hangars are equipped with efficient heaters for which we're grateful. Even then, MMS Aviation is a pretty cool place to work.
Gertjan and David are repairing Cessna 182 wing flaps today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Big World, Little Plane

This is one of my favorite mission aviation pictures. An MMS mechanic took it during a Rapid Response Trip to Papua New Guinea in 2004. The picture shows it's a little plane in a big world; but, what a valuable tool the airplane is!

The airplane in the picture is a Cessna model 206. It had just lifted off of the airstrip to fly over the mountains and valleys that form such a formidable barrier to travel. I don't know what the destination was, but the plane represents to me the thousands of mission flights made each year around the world.

You've read quite a bit about "206s" in our blog. There are a lot of these six place Cessnas in mission use around the world and here at MMS Aviation we've gotten very well acquainted with them. However, a wide variety of aircraft are used in support of Christian ministry and MMS mechanics expertly maintain and repair them as well.

It's a joy to serve with the MMS team as we Prepare People and Planes for Worldwide Mission Service.

Dwight Jarboe
President & CEO

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kingdom Work

Honduran 206
While major structural tasks are slowing down on the Honduran 206, there is always paint removal to keep the guys busy and the project moving forward. Keep them busy, yes, but it won't necessarily keep the guys thrilled as paint removal is not a thrilling event. While it can be satisfying, as paint removal is Kingdom work too, it's very seldom the most favored of maintenance assignments.

David and Gertjan faithfully removing paint for our King.

Moody 182
With the completion of the MAF 206, more of our manpower is going to be directed toward completing the Moody 182 restoration. Scott has been diligently overhauling and installing the retractable landing gear system on the airplane. This airplane suffered a hard landing and incurred substantial structural damage. The sooner we complete this project, the sooner this airplane can be returned to service helping future missionary pilots learn how to fly.

You can see there is a bit more work to do before this airplane is ready to go.

Scott and Mike prepare to fit the nose gear doors in place on the Moody 182.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Done, Many More To Go!

MAF 206 Completed
The MAF 206 project is officially finished with the closing and locking of the shipping container's doors!

What Now?
With that project completed Dale, Paul, David, and Gertjan will receive new team and project assignments which could include:

1) assisting with the work on the Honduran 206. The wings are nearly completed, the floor panels are in, the vertical stabilizer is coming together, and paint is being removed from airframe components and control surfaces,

The nearly completed wings

Ian rivets the vertical stabilizer.

Airframe components with paint remover applied.

2) shifting over the the restoration of the Moody 182,

3) or whatever else Tim might dream up as Production Manager.

With several more projects waiting in line: an engine overhaul, a double engine overhaul and annual inspection, and another full restoration of a Cessna 206, there's plenty to keep the guys busy in the hangar. Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Closing the Doors on the MAF 206

The containerization of the MAF 206 is nearly complete. By this afternoon all of the remaining components should be loaded; all screws, nuts, and straps tightened; and the doors sealed shut in preparation for shipping to South Africa.

We're very excited to see the final stages of this year-long project coming to a close as the container doors are shut and latched. Lord willing, this aircraft will soon be back in mission service.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Putting A Cessna 206 in a Box

The containerization of the MAF 206 is moving right along. Approved for export by the FAA Wednesday afternoon, the process of disassembling the aircraft for shipment to South Africa began immediately.

The aircraft Thursday morning with the shipping container in Hangar C

There wasn't much left to see this morning. Well, at least there are the two wings and some parts of the airplane still visible. Paul and David worked over the weekend to keep things moving.

Here's the fuselage being secured inside the shipping container.

David M. trims some wood to secure the first wing inside the container.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Trouble-Shooting the Chad 206

Here are two videos illustrating one of the key components of aviation maintenance: trouble-shooting. Trouble-shooting is the process of identifying a problem, working to find the source of the problem, and then arriving at a solution to the problem.

The first video identifies a problem discovered while preparing the Chad 206 for its successful test flight Monday afternoon. The second video shares the source of the problem and the solution. These are great and really provide an interesting insight into the day to day reality of maintaining missionary aircraft around the world. Paul, one of our apprentice mechanics, is the videographer.

Journal Video #6a November 1st 2008 from Paul Jones on Vimeo.

Journal Video #6b November 1st 2008 from Paul Jones on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The MAF 206 Has Passed FAA Inspection!

It's my pleasure to report that MAF's 206 passed its FAA inspection and received its export certificate of airworthiness this afternoon. Way to go Team Coates!

Because the airplane is being shipped to South Africa, the FAA needed to conduct the final inspection. Typically, all inspections are handled in-house by our own highly qualified and certificated staff.

The Chad 206 Project is Completed

This is an exciting day at MMS. The long process of restoring the MAF 206 from Chad, Africa was completed last Friday, it was test flown Monday and Tuesday, and today it's being inspected by a team from the FAA in order to receive its Export Certificate of Airworthiness.

As soon as the Export C of A inspection is passed, the process of taking the airplane apart will start. Considering it took a year of hard work to repair it and put it all together, it seems odd to be taking it apart after only a few days of operation, but the airplane is critically needed in South Africa and the shipping container will be here any day.

Ian takes the Chad 206 up on its test flight Monday afternoon.

Paul, David, Gertjan, and Dale, "Team Coates" with the airplane
after the successful flight.

Thanks for being a part of this process through your interest, your prayers, and your gifts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Welcome to the MMS Blog

Welcome to the initial post on the MMS Aviation blog. Our goal is to keep you informed about, inspired by, and involved with what God's doing here at MMS. Whether it's His hand working in one of our lives or His hand guiding the maintenance of one of the many missionary aircraft in our hangar, we want you to be aware of it and be a part of it on a daily basis.

Additional contributors will be added as the blog matures and develops. We're very excited about this new way to communicate with you and trust that God will be glorified through our interaction as together we weave a new digital thread in the tapestry of God's Truth.