Monday, October 29, 2007

"Hope Floats"

Much has happened since my last post....

We've finally got the 206 flying again; it's good to jump back into a "truck" again. In fact, Joy took her first ride in a real live MAF 206 on Saturday, when I flew her out to the beach as part of our date night. The engine is running like a champ, and I'm becoming more and more familiar with the layout of the MAF cockpit and checklist arrangements. I was the first one to fly the aircraft since we re-installed the engine. It is a little nerve-racking when all those little moving parts haven't been time-tested yet...you find yourself eyeing those engine gauges a little more often than normal. I was involved in most of the work, and I feel 100% confident that it was done right. I'm finding more and more that the training I got from Moody was second to none. For the flight test, a Servant Wings instructor and I flew the airplane down to central Oregon to accomplish some maintenance at a shop there. My first 206 landing since June was what we in the pilot world call a "greaser." That basically equates to a landing as soft as a bed of pillows. And with the 15 knot crosswind we had, I'd say I got pretty lucky.
We also received an "official" MAF application. This marks the beginnings of our career in mission aviation. I also tentatively scheduled my T.E. (technical evaluation) for the last week of April through the first week of May. These two weeks will be split between intensive flight and maintenance evaluation, as well as pyschological exams and a host of interviews, etc.
That's it for now, sorry for the lack of pictures, we've had "technical difficulties" the past couple weeks. But more is to come.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Do What's Right

Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. That was the theme for Missions Fest: Seattle. We attended the conference last weekend, along with several thousand fellow believers. It was a great time for Joy and I to meet new friends, visit with old ones, and listen to speakers with incredible testimonies. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the event, as I somehow misplaced our nice digital camera.
The 206 still hasn't roared to life yet; seems that no one really has time to work on it (which is really sad). And to my dismay, the 172 is "broken" as well. So, needless to say, the logbook hasn't been cracked in over a month.
Work at Hillsboro is also starting to slow down as the weather becomes less and less condusive to flight training. It is, however, great weather to practice instrument flying, and I'm hoping to log some good time "in the soup" throughout the winter.
Our hopes remain high, though, and we'll hopefully be formally applying to MAF in the near future, which is exciting!
Here's a little teaser. This was taken back in my Moody training during our mountain flying phase. The airstrip is surrounded on all sides by mountains, it is sloped, and has a big dog leg right in the middle. Right at the beginning of the clip you can see a road on the right side of the screen, that's our pre-determined "abort" point. Any time during the landing phase (before we cross the road) the landing can be called off, or aborted. But, once we pass that point, we are "committed" and must land the airplane no matter what happens. The reason for this is because of the mountains I spoke about earlier. If we tried to abort the landing after passing the road, the airplane would be unable to outclimb the terrain and we would crash into the hills. Many airstrips that I will fly into overseas are the same way, and some even have the abort point before you can even see the runway.

video

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ooops

I neglected to mention that Joy was exhausted too...but that's because she helped install the exhaust system!!

Patience is a Virtue

So my wife says. The engine for the 206 is finally back in its home, where it will stay for another 2000 hours. Here I am just after we set it into place, checking to make sure all the cables and wires ("spaghetti" as we affectionately call it) are routed properly. If I look exhausted I probably am. Most of the work was done after a full day of working at Hillsboro.