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Thursday, December 29, 2011

News From Brazil: PT-MMS Takes Off On Its First Mission!

I'm passing along a message from Rachel Joy, wife of Asas de Socorro Chief Engineer (and MMS grad) Ryan Joy, about the Cessna 206 we restored for them and which recently arrived at their base in Brazil.

Rachel has some exciting news to share--The 206 is to take off on its first mission flight today! From Rachel:

Hello All:
Ryan called home at 9am and all is set -- the new plane, soon to be PT-MMS, is in the water, fueled up and ready to take off for its first mission flight today from our base on the outskirts of Manaus. Tim is piloting the plane, this time headed over the Amazon, not the Caribbean! And Ryan is accompanying him!

Tim will do some training at the local airclub then they'll head to the Nhamundá River, where they'll pick up some missionaries in Kassawá, bringing them back to the city. If you want you can follow them on the SPOT at clicking where it says PT-MMS (novo avião). This is where I'll track them today! Lord willing, by 4pm, they will land back out at our hangar.

Hope to send you fotos from this first mission soon-told Ryan not to fall off the floats into the river with the camera!(He did that once a long time ago!) Ryan is excited to be able to participate in this first official mission flight for the new plane. Thank you all for the part you had in it!

Update to come. Working Together Till Jesus comes, Rachel

Lord willing, we'll have some of those photos to post soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Closing-out 2011

With the Gabon 207 headed to Africa and the Asas 206 safely in Brazil, with two new long-term aircraft projects already arrived, an annual inspection underway, and GCI's 310 back in the hangar, the 402 project continues to inch toward completion.

And as I type this, Andy Porter, our latest apprentice to complete the program, is undergoing his FAA Oral & Practical Exam to receive his Airframe & Powerplant mechanic's certificate.

Here's a video clip of the 402's post-inspection engine runs:

Lord willing, we'll have it up in the air early next year.

Asas 206
Here's the Asas 206 landing on the Amazon River in Manaus.

Here's the airplane in its hangar.

Hangar A
We have three airplanes up front.

GCI's Cessna 310 is in the foreground. It's in for an avionics cooling fan to be installed. The QRCBC SR-22, centered in the photo, is opened up for annual inspection under Chuck and Geoff's care, and Amazon Salt & Light's Cessna 185 is in the background.

Hangar B
Mark works on the heating system on Wings With the Word's Cessna 402.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Hangar Update

AndyPorter has completed apprenticeship, the Brazil 206 should depart for Brazil tomorrow, the Cessna 402 is nearly ready for its return to service flight, the King Air is waiting on parts, and the next two aircraft projects have arrived.

Mark Beckwith: Senior Apprentice
Part of the recognition when an apprentice completes their thirty months and 4,800 hours of aviation maintenance experience, is the transfer of the title of "Senior Apprentice" from the apprentice that's completed the program to the next apprentice to finish the program. That "wrench ceremony" took place on Monday as Andy Porter passed the Sr. Spanner (that's UK English for "wrench") to Mark and his daughter Abigail.

Mark & Abigail receive the "spanner" from Andy Porter.

Asas de Socorro Amphibious Cessna 206

As I type this, the Asas de Socorro 206 is outside, its engine at idle, as the two pilots from Brazil prepare for more familiarization flights with the airplane. The airplane was dedicated for service Monday afternoon and the plan is for them to start their flight to Brazil tomorrow morning, weather permitting.

The Asas 206 is dedicated for service.

Dwight Jarboe, left, accepts a plaque of appreciation from Ryan Joy, MMS graduate and Director of Maintenance for Asas de Socorro.

The guys from Asas explained that this airplane is slated to provide aviation services to 450 churches along the Amazon River and that one, forty-five minute flight can save 16 hours of dangerous travel on the Amazon.

Wings With The Word's Cessna 402
The 402 is nearly ready for its return to service flight. The oil is in its engines, the weight & balance process is complete, and the guys are just tidying up the last few nuts, bolts, and screws before filling the airplane's fuel tanks and conducting the post inspection engine runs.

WWtW's Cessna 402

Gospel Carrier International, King Air 200
GCI's King Air is back for some electrical troubleshooting. The guys have identified the problem and ordered the parts.

GCI's King Air 200

New Project: Amazon Salt & Light Cessna 185
Amazon Salt & Light just shipped their Cessna 185 up to us to inspect, repair, and reassemble. AS&L works closely with Asas de Socorro in Brazil.

Here's a shot of the guys unloading the Cessna 185 from a big rig's trailer.

New Project: Kissito Cessna 206
This airplane was damaged in a wind storm in Virginia and shipped to us for complete restoration and repair.
Notice that the tail is in front of the airplane's nose.

Thanks for your prayers and gifts which make it possible for MMS to prepare tomorrow's missionary airplane mechanics through returning today's missionary airplanes to the field service.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Staff Feature: Mike & Isobel Dunkley

Here's a short video feature on one of our long-term staff couples, Mike & Isobel Dunkley.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Gabon 207 Returns to Service!

After seven months of restoration and repair, Steve Straw, Air Calvary's pilot, lifted the 207 into the perfectly blue sky over Coshocton this afternoon for the aircraft's initial flight. After testing every aspect of the aircraft's performance, Steve brought the 207 back to our hangar, loaded the last of his gear, and flew the airplane to Pennsylvania to share it with several church congregations.

Prepared for departure

Fueling up

Off to Pennsylvania

Next week, Steve will bring the airplane back to MMS and drop it off as he returns to Gabon ahead of the 207. Another pilot will fly the 207 to Kansas to be fitted with long-range fuel tanks for its own flight back to Gabon, Africa in the near future.

Lord willing, I'll be able to put some video of the flight together late next week.

Thanks for all your prayers, gifts, emails, and encouragements over this project. It's always a joy to see a badly damaged aircraft return to service in an "as new" condition.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Andy Swanson: MMS Apprentice Mechanic

Here's a chance for you to meet one of our apprentice mechanics, Andy Swanson! Andy Swanson and family came over from Scotland in partnership with MAF-United Kingdom. In the video, Andy talks about two of the projects he's working on and explains how the aviation maintenance experience he's gaining through apprenticeship will prepare him for long-term service on the mission field.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chad 206 Restoration

Here's a video that covers one of our projects from start to finish. This MAF airplane operated in Chad, Africa, and was damaged in a wind storm. MAF disassembled the airplane, secured it in a shipping container, and shipped it to us for restoration and repair. This is the type of work we regularly do and it illustrates the depth of aviation maintenance experience our apprentice mechanics regularly receive.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gabon 207's Initial Engine Run

It's nothing fancy but here's a quick clip of the Gabon 207's initial engine run this afternoon. Lord willing, the 207 will be in the air next week. Steve Straw, missionary pilot of the airplane, is here to conduct the flights.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Snapshots

Summer has temporarily returned to the Midwest with clear sky and temps into the 80's. It's kind of nice as the past weekend was wet, cold, and rather dreary. Right now there's blue sky as far as the eye can see and sun so bright you have to squint when going outside.

The trees have started to turn color with some gold and red leaves mixed in with the green. It gets very pretty up here when the trees reach peak color. Yes, we're officially in fall and it's a great time to have all the hangar doors open. They'll be closed long enough soon enough, I'm afraid.

Here are a couple snapshots of progress on the Gabon 207 and the Wings With The Word 402. Also, we sent another mission airplane back into service today, the Brigade Air 172.

The Gabon 207

The 207 is very close to flight. The wings are on, the control surfaces are hung, and the interior is being installed. Lord willing, it'll be back in the air over the next couple weeks.

Hanging one of the propellers on the Cessna 402

The Cessna 402

The Cessna 402 is back on its wheels, its propellers are in place, and is only a few more structural repairs away from rolling out into the sunshine and leaping into the sky.

Speaking of leaping into the sky...

Brigade Air's Cessna 172

Brigade's 172 was back in our hangar for annual inspection these past couple weeks. With the inspection completed the 172 is once again enjoying some air time.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for your interest and involvement with us as we prepare people and planes for worldwide mission service.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

GCI's King Air Returns To Service

We've had a flurry of activity around here the past couple of weeks. Here's a clip of one of the airplanes we've recently returned to service: Gospel Carrier International's Super King Air 200.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Asas 206 Takes Off!

We're in an exciting time at MMS with three major projects all coming to completion within weeks of each other. The wings are going on the Gabon 207 so it can be ready to fly in October, the landing gear repairs are being completed on Wings With The Word's Cessna 402 so it can fly next month as well, and the amphibious Cessna 206 for use in Brazil by Asas de Socorro, is now flying!

It's fun to see the airplanes fly!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pushing The 402 Toward Completion

Mike's team of mechanics is pushing hard to have Wings With the Word's Cessna 402 project completed by the end of October.

Note added 2/22/11: The orange vests that Mike, Andy, and Mark are wearing while rigging the landing gear let everyone else in the hangar know that they are not to be talked to, disturbed, interrupted, or otherwise distracted while performing their tasks. The orange vests create a situation where the respective maintenance crew can be completely focused on the job at hand. We call it "Going Orange". Each crew that "goes orange" designates a contact person, not involved in the task, through whom all communication can be directed.

The orange vests can also be used in administrative applications.

We've found the simple system to work rather well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Snapshot Session

Things remain busy in our three hangars with painting completed on the Gabon 207, structural repairs continuing on the Cessna 402, scheduled maintenance being conducted on GCI's King Air, and quick in-and-out repairs on the Pfiefer's Aztec and GCI's Cessna 310.

Jim continues to build the nav/com stack for the Cessna 402.

GCI's King Air is in for scheduled maintenance.

Bob conducts maintenance on the King Air's right engine.

Andy performs maintenance on the King Air's left engine.

After troubleshooting some "squawks," GCI's Cessna 310 returns to service.

Terry makes repairs to Pfeifer Evangelical Association's Aztec.

The Pfeifer's Aztec returns to service.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rigging The Landing Gear of GCI's Cessna 310

Here's a video clip of our staff and apprentice mechanics working together to rig the landing gear of GCI's Cessna 310 during it's annual inspection.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The STC Kodiak Visits MMS

Spokane Turbine Center's Kodiak arrives at MMS.

Last week there was an air of excitement around the hangar as Spokane Turbine Center brought their Quest Kodiak in for a visit. After spending the weekend at Missions Fest, in Lancaster, PA, as part of a missions display, the STC crew stopped by our hangar facility to renew relationships, tour the facility, and provide flights for MMS personnel and family.

STC provides flight training for Kodiak operators and provides mission-specific training for mission aviation organizations around the world. We partner with STC through providing maintenance on their Kodiak when they're in the area.

The Kodiak is the first airplane designed by missionaries for mission aviation and is a unique blending of high technology and real-world utility. More and more mission agencies are purchasing Kodiaks in order to put them to Kingdom work in some of the most remote and challenging locations in the world.

Through STC's generosity, many of our families were able to enjoy their first flight in a Kodiak. Thanks, STC!

Some of our family members prepare for their flight.

The Kodiak exits our ramp for the active taxiway.

STC's Kodiak takes off.

The Kodiak, coming soon to a mission aviation program near you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The 207's Airframe Repairs Are Complete!

It may look like there's a lot left to do on the airplane and, in a sense, there is but a major milestone was reached today with the Cessna 207 restoration project for Air Calvary.

We hope you enjoy this video clip celebrating the work accomplished over the past six months and setting the stage for what lies ahead.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Partnerships: Pfeifer Evangelical Association

At MMS, we partner with many different ministries. In fact, over the past 36 years, we've partnered with 96 different ministries through providing critically needed maintenance services and support. Each ministry partnership is unique yet has the common tie of aviation.

One of the ministries with which we're in active partnership is the Pfeifer Evangelical Association. Here's a video clip featuring "The Pfeifers", the music they play, the airplane they fly, and some of the services we provide.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Landing Gear, Batteries, and Oil Changes, Oh My!

Checking landing gear rigging is part of the annual inspection process for GCI's Cessna 310. Under Tim and Scott's supervision, apprentice mechanics Ben, Andy, and Paul G. gained some great maintenance experience checking tensions, pressures, limits of travel, and various linkages, and developed a high level of appreciation for how a tiny adjustment in one part of a complex system can have a major impact in another part of the system.

Andy measures the release tension on the right main gear "down-lock" to make sure it's within limits.

Finished with the landing gear, Ben moved on perform engine maintenance.

In between their other tasks, several apprentices are also learning proper methods of battery servicing and "rejuvenation". If you have the time (and it does take time), it is possible to rejuvenate a tired battery, bring it back to health over the course of several days, and save the resources that would otherwise go to purchasing a replacement battery.

Mark checks the fluid in a battery undergoing rejuvenation.

Bob Schwartz, MMS Training Director, has initiated a program where our apprentice mechanics gain several hours of ground school and flight orientation to better help them understand how their maintenance integrates with aircraft operation. Ben Fisher, one of our apprentice mechanics, is also a Certified Flight Instructor. He recently led a class on radio navigation to help the apprentices understand how pilots use VOR's to determine their location in flight.

Ben leads a class in the theory of radio navigation.

The Pfeifer Evangelical Association flew their Aztec in for an oil change and some troubleshooting. The oil change was routine but the troubleshooting indicated the alternator on the Aztec's left engine needed repair. After the repair was made, the airplane was returned to service.

The Pfeifer's Aztec returns to service.

The variety of maintenance tasks that happen in our hangar every day is wide and varied providing a unique environment in which our apprentices can grow into professional, competent and confident mechanics.Thanks for being part of this process through your ongoing gifts and your prayers.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Heading Into The Weekend

As we head into the weekend, I'd like to leave you with the latest video of the Cessna 207 we're restoring for Air Calvary's use in Gabon, Africa. Removing the damaged tail cone was the beginning of the final major structural task in the restoration. Yes, there's still a couple more months worth of work to complete, but once the new tail cone is in place the fuselage can be repainted and the wings and control surfaces and all the other major components can come together in the most literal fashion.

Thanks for your ongoing prayers for this project, our mechanics, and our ministry.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Manpower Is Poured On The 207 And The 310

Air Calvary Cessna 207
Dale and his maintenance crew crew continue to push Air Calvary's 207 restoration toward completion. Since our last blog post the damaged tail cone was removed from the fuselage and assembly of the new tail cone has begun. Also, with the new rear, wing-spar carry-through installed, the guys spent a good portion of today test fitting the wings.

Chuck, Josh, Dale, and Andy S. finish removing the 207's damaged tail cone.

Dale and Andy discuss the next step in assembling the new tail cone.

Jim, Josh, Phil, Andy, Dale, and Chuck install the 207's right wing.

Phil and Chuck secure the left wing strut in place.

After the test fit, the wings will come off again and be set aside until the final few weeks of the project. After the remaining structural repairs are completed and the fuselage has been re-painted, the wings will go back on and be rigged for its October return to service flights.

GCI Cessna 310
Gospel Carrier International's Cessna 310 is back in the hangar for its annual inspection. Scott is overseeing the crew and providing instruction on the inspection process.

Paul and Andy P. inspect and test the 310's landing gear retraction system.

Scott inspects the 310's nose gear assembly.

Thanks for your continued interest, gifts, and prayers that make it possible for each of us to use our God given gifts to prepare airplanes and our apprentice mechanics for service on the mission field.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Video Update on the Gabon 207

Here's the latest video on the Gabon 207 restoration project. Dale's crew has really hit their stride and are on track to have this project wrapped up early this fall. I was down in the hangar yesterday shooting fresh footage of the guys removing the tail cone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A 310, A 182, And A 207

Gospel Carrier International's Cessna 310 Arrives.
With the arrival of GCI's Cessna 310 for annual inspection, GCI's 172 Cessna departed, but yes, the hangar is still filled with Cessnas.

GCI's Cessna 31o is the twin-engine airplane on the left.

Work On The 182 Continues
Mike, Jim, Andy P., Mark, Paul, and Ben continue to push the Cessna 182's annual inspection toward completion. Some corroded components needed to be replaced, work on the nose gear was completed, some discrepancies were found in the exhaust system, and some structural repairs are being taken care of inside the cabin. The project is providing good operational maintenance experience for our apprentices.

Mark works with the 182's exhaust system.

Paul performs maintenance on the 182's nose gear.

Continued Progress On The Gabon 207
Another major step was initiated today on the Gabon 207 as the tail cone was removed from the cabin portion of the fuselage. The tail cone was substantially damaged in the airplane's forced landing and with its removal, the way is cleared for this last major component repair.

Chuck, Josh, and Dale begin removing the tail cone of the 207.

Chuck and Josh remove skin panels as Dale drills-out additional rivets.

Dave & Guido
Part of the recent "Raise The Roof" fundraising effort was to purchase a newer piece of equipment for mowing and snow removal. After extensive research, a barely-used Kubota F3060 was purchased. The F3060 has since been affectionately named "Guido" after a similar looking character in the original "Cars" animated movie. Dave is greatly enjoying the power and torque generated by its 30 horsepower diesel engine.

Dave puts Guido through its paces.

Thanks for your gifts and prayers which make our ministry possible. We couldn't be here doing what we're doing without you back there doing what you're doing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cessnas Everywhere

All three of our hangars are loaded with Cessnas right now.

In Hangar A we have three Cessnas being worked on--two Cessna 172's and a 182.

Three Cessnas in Hangar A

Ben and Mark inspect the 182's air box.

In Hangar B the amphibious Brazilian 206 waits for its return-to-service flights while the Cessna 402 waits on parts and funding.

The Cessna 402 and 206 in Hangar B

In Hangar C, MMS grad and Missionary Aviation Group member, Paul Jones continues to work on their Cessna 206 for Guatemala. He's currently installing the cargo pod on the belly of the aircraft.

MAG's 206 with cargo pod.

Also in Hangar C, the Gabon Gabon 207's static system is being tested while structural repairs continue.

Dale tests the 207's static system as Phil assists inside the fuselage.

Chuck drills-out rivets to facilitate the removal and replacement of the 207's rear, wing spar carry-through which was cracked in four places.

Thanks for your gifts and prayers that make it possible for us to serve so many different ministries, in so many different ways, for the same purpose: to speed and spread the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have not heard.