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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Engine Work Continues on LAMP's Cessna 337

With the rear engine already pulled, disassembled, and with the steel components sent to speciality shops, Scott and Paul pulled the front engine out of LAMP's Cessna 337 this morning.

The 337's empty rear engine compartment.

The 337's empty front engine compartment.

Paul disassembles the front engine for inspection.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Making The Most of What We Have

We're kind of spread out right now in regards to man power. Josh is spending some time with his family after being away from them on a successful, month-long Rapid Response trip to Zambia, Africa; Ian & Gertjan are down in Alabama receiving a weeks' worth of factory training from an aircraft engine manufacturer; David and Gertjan are in the process of testing for their A&P certificates and beginning their transition to field service, Scott L. and family are back serving in Alaska for a couple weeks, and Tim's getting ready for a week of vacation.

That means, for a short time at least, the rest of the work load falls on Scott G., Paul, Andy, Mike, and Chuck. There's a lot to do, but they're up to it.

Please pray for our guys as they work to accomplish the mission with the resources (and man power) at hand. Your prayers are a heavenly resource we need to get the job done.

Scott and Paul prepare to remove the front engine of LAMP's Cessna 337. The rear engine has already been removed and disassembled.

Andy implements an approved modification of the horizontal stabilizer for the Honduran 206 so it can be installed with screws instead of rivets allowing for easier removal and repair.

Mike completes the final wiring for the 182's avionics installation and upgrade.

Chuck has spent the day with his arms inside the wings of the 182 adjusting the flap rigging by feel.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wrapping Up the Week Again an Hour Later

An hour and a half ago I posted about the Cessna 337 and wrapping our work week. Well, another major event occurred five minutes ago...the Honduran 206 fuselage was moved to the paint booth in Hangar C!

Is this a big week or what? The Canadian 337 was moved from Hangar C to Hangar A for major maintenance and the Honduran 206 moved from Hangar B to Hangar C for paint. Wahoo! Big things are afoot.

Here's the move:

Mike and Ian pull the Honduran 206 from Hangar B

across the ramp between Hangar B & C

along Hangar C

through the roll-up door

and into the paint booth.

I'm guessing the next time you see this fuselage, it's going to look a bit different. What a way to end the week!

Wrapping Up The Week

Friday is coming to a close at MMS. On Fridays, work usually stops at 3:00 so everyone can spend the last hour of the day helping clean the entire hangar facility. Trash is collected, floors are swept and/or scrubbed, carpets are vacuumed, stairways mopped, rest rooms cleaned, and the lunch room gets a full going over.

But we're not quite to 3:00 yet. Here are some shots taken moments ago:

Paul and Greg, one of our regular volunteers, prepare the Cessna 337's rear engine for removal.

Paul and the 337's aft engine.

Scott L. continues preparing the Honduran 206 fuselage for paint.

Just as a point of reference, I'll be on vacation all next week and MMS will be closed to observe Memorial Day so it could be a while before a new blog entry is posted. Thanks for your patience and have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Canadian Cessna 337 Project Begins

It was a big day today at MMS. The LAMP's Cessna 337 was moved up to Hangar A from Hangar C to have both engines overhauled and undergo an annual inspection.

What's the big deal, you might be thinking. After all, it's just another missionary airplane and MMS works on missionary airplanes all the time. True. Very true, but in this instance it's taken over two years to get the airplane from Hangar C into Hangar A and onto the active production schedule. In fact, the airplane actually arrived at MMS before Hanger C was even built.

The easy part was getting the airplane to MMS. The hard part has been having all the variables, and there can be more than you might imagine, come together to actually allow the project to begin. Well, today is the big day!

While it took substantially longer than expected for the project to go active, it really only took ten minutes to physically move the aircraft from Hangar C to Hangar A. These photos are included to help you share in our excitement.

Scott, who'll oversee much of the project, pulls the airplane along the taxiway between Hangar C and Hangar A.

Scott rounds the corner of Hangar A...

orients the aircraft for positioning...

and then positions it inside the hangar.

Within minutes a access panels, inspection plates, and cowlings were being removed. Stay tuned to keep up with the progress of this next major project!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Quiet Wednesday

It was kind of a quiet Wednesday today. Sure, work's being accomplished, there's just not a lot of noise being generated related to the work. Let's give you a run-down:

Scott G. sorted and organized aircraft components related to the Honduran 206 restoration, Scott L. fabricated a repair on the cowling for the Honduran 206 while Andy finished driving rivets in a new skin and removed old primer from the forward part of its fuselage, Ian continued to fit interior pieces to Moody's 182, Chuck made final adjustments and twisted safety wire on the engine he just installed, Tim focused on production related paperwork, Paul focused on researching service bulletins for the 182, Bob worked with David M. on measurements in preparation for David's FAA tests, Dwight re-wrote a section of one of our operational manuals, Keith developed a strategic plan for one couple raising support to start service with MMS and had a meeting, Mary crunched numbers and paid bills, Dennis prepared for a routine inspection of our maintenance records by the FAA, Gertjan was off-site taking FAA exam, and David S. spent the day mowing, trimming, and taking care of other facility-related roles and responsibilities.

In addition, Dale is out of the hangar raising additional financial support, Mike is wrapping up three days of vacation, and Josh is still in Zambia, Africa helping CMML modify an airplane for mission service. That about wraps it up for the day. There's always a lot going on at MMS. For such a small organization we can move in a lot of different directions. Thanks for helping make it possible through your gifts and your prayers!

Andy drives rivets securing the new skin in place on the Honduran 206.

Scott L. fabricates a repair on the Honduran 206's cowling.

Bob works with David on measurement techniques.

On the ladies' side, Lisa gets a head start on stuffing GroundCrew newsletters into envelopes for mailing. The rest of the MMS ladies will gather tomorrow night to package up the other 6,000 newsletters!

Monday, May 11, 2009

GCI's Cessna 310 Returns to Service

Tim spent the past two weeks performing the annual inspection on Gospel Carrier International's Cessna 310. Assisted by Gary, one of our regular MMS volunteers, the annual inspection went smoothly and quickly and was completed Friday afternoon. It's always encouraging to have a missionary aircraft fly in for maintenance and to return it to service in rapid fashion.

Tim inspects the right engine of the Cessna 310.

Tim inspects the main landing gear.

We're blessed to have Gary's mechanical assistance for several weeks in the spring of each year. Gary is a certificated A&P. Gary and his wife, Arlene, are retired and spend their time traveling between mission aviation agencies such as JAARS in North Carolina; MFI and Harvest Aviation in Florida, and MMS where they lend a hand as needed and as able.

Willams Chang, GCI's President and pilot arrived this afternoon to fly the 310 back to their base in Maryland.

The 310 is pulled from Hangar A.

As Dave tugged the 310 out of Hangar A the weather was typical of spring in Ohio: bright sun, blue sky, a cool breeze, and puffy white clouds. By the time Williams had taxied to the runway and started his take-off roll, it was still typical of spring in Ohio: dark, overcast, cold and windy, and pouring rain.

The 310 takes off in the rain.

Two minutes after Williams had raised his landing gear and climbed eastward, it's again bright sun, blue sky, with a cool breeze and puffy white clouds. As the locals like to say, "If you don't like the weather in Ohio, wait five minutes."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Moody Aviation's Cessna 182 Assembly: Video

Here's another time-lapse video by our apprentice Paul Jones. This time he's captured the basic reassembly process of Moody Aviation's Cessna 182. For those of you who regularly follow the blog you'll remember the many and on-going posts related to this project. Yesterday's post featured the 182 as will more posts in the future. Enjoy Paul's video. It's just a glimpse into some of what we do here at MMS as we prepare people and planes for worldwide mission service. To see Paul's earlier video of MAF-Chad's 206 restoration, click here.

Moody Aviation's Cessna 182 Assembly from Paul Jones on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interior Design--Moody 182 Style

Interior design is a bit different when considered in the general aviation context. While standard interior components and interior "kits" can be ordered "stock" for each aircraft type, each aircraft is a bit different so none of the "stock" components fit fresh out of the box.

"Fitting" all the plastic interior panels is a painstaking process of measuring, cutting, filing, abrading, drilling, shaping, heating, molding, sometimes gluing, and always praying. In the Cessna 182, Ian is currently fitting twenty different plastic interior pieces of all shapes and sizes.

But getting it to fit is only part of the process. Once everything fits, then it all has to be removed again and then prepped and painted to match the airplane's color scheme. Once it's painted, THEN it may finally be ready for installation...IF all the measuring, cutting, filing, abrading, drilling, shaping, heating, molding, and gluing has been done right...in answer to fervent missionary prayer!

Ian uses a Dremel tool to modify one of the interior pieces.

While Ian is on his knees fitting the interior, Mike is on the floor panels finalizing the installation of the landing gear.

Some days it can be cramped and uncomfortable working on missionary airplanes, but cramped or not, uncomfortable as it may be, it's still Kingdom work! Thank you for making our Kingdom work possible through your gifts and prayers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Drilling, Dimpling, Squeezing, and Fitting

Paul has been learning some sheet metal skills over the past few days. Measuring and cutting sometimes prove more difficult in practice than in theory. He mentioned this morning that he would be especially focused on "measuring twice and cutting once" in completing this task. That's pretty good advice when measurements in aviation are often made down to hundredths or thousandths of an inch. While the fabrication of this cover plate may not be quite that precise, the finished piece still needs to match the existing mount, be structurally sound, aerodynamically clean, and pleasing to the eye.

When I caught up with Paul this afternoon he'd successfully measured and cut his raw material and had moved on to connecting the two pieces of sheet metal together. In this instance he needed to drill, dimple, squeeze, and fit.

Paul drills the two holes necessary to secure the two pieces of aluminum into one structural piece.

Paul "dimples" the pieces. This pre-forms the metal to accept a flush rivet and increases the structural integrity of the union of the two pieces.

Paul then "squeezes" one rivet into each of the holes swelling the rivet to tightly secure the two pieces of aluminum together.

Paul then tests the fit to see what other adjustments may need to be made before finishing, priming, and painting the cover plate.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Engine Test Run & 310 Annual Inspection

With the engine overhaul completed, Dennis and Chuck moved the engine from the engine stand into the test cell and prepared the engine for its test run. After the expected minor adjustments, the engine ran beautifully and is now being readied for installation on the aircraft.

Dennis and Chuck finish the engine build-up.

Chuck makes minor adjustments to the engine on the run-up stand.

Chuck operates and monitors the engine during its test run.

The annual inspection of Gospel Carrier International's Cessna 310 continues.

Tim cleans and inspects the 310's main landing gear.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cake & Ice Cream!

One of the fun hangar traditions at MMS is that we have cake and ice cream to celebrate an apprentice finishing their time of service. The event is also marked by the passing of the Senior Apprentice "baton" or wrench, to the next apprentice to finish the program.

Today we were blessed to celebrate David's completion of service and witnessed the passing of the wrench, and Senior Apprentice title, to Gertjan.

David is originally from Peru, is married to Amy, and they have three children. The most recent is two year old Asher, whom they brought home from Ethiopia last month! David plans to take the written exams for his A&P certificate next week and then take the oral and practical exams May 12th. David and Amy have been accepted for service with South America Mission's Bolivian flight program. To learn more about them you can visit their blog by clicking here.

Gertjan, MMS' new Senior Apprentice, will only hold the title for a short while as he too just completed service! Gertjan will take his written exams for his A&P certificate later this month and his oral and practical in June. Gertjan, Glenda, Johan, and Mariella, are preparing for technical evaluation with Mission Aviation Fellowship this summer. You can visit their blog here.

Here are some photos from the celebration:

David (and Asher) pass the wrench, and title of Senior Apprentice, to Gertjan.

David (and Asher) cut the cake.

Bob and Ian assist as primary ice cream scoopers.
Lilly, David's daughter, looks on.

Some of the group as assembled in the lunch room
enjoying the cake and ice cream

Thanks for helping MMS prepare David for missionary service in Bolivia through your gifts and prayers. It was a fun afternoon. We hope the photos have helped you enjoy this special missionary event in a very personal way.