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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.