Friday, January 25, 2008


Got a lot of things accomplished today. Started the day with a little maintenance on the 172. The rudder was taken off to fix some worn bushings and touch up a couple spots with some paint. Got that done, and while the paint was drying, I filled the engine with oil, serviced the battery, tightened all the exhaust clamps, and then, when the rudder was dry, I re-installed that. 3 hours of work...and a job well done. Our 206 is also due for an annual inspection in February, which will be done down in Creswell, Oregon, which is down by Eugene (central Oregon). I had the privilege of ferrying the plane down there. This past week has been extremely good weather considering it's the gloomy corner of the US at the really gloomy time of year! Here's what the Wilamette Valley looked like around 2pm...
It was a little hazy because people were burning stuff, but nonetheless, it was a gorgeous day to fly. It took just over an hour to make the flight from start to stop--makes a 2 hour drive real nice. I also got my first ride in a Beechcraft Musketeer, a small four place low wing airplane. Our director of maitenance in Servant Wings owns the aircraft and offered to fly down to Cresswell in his airplane so I wouldn't have to make the 2 hour drive back by myself. I actually took off after he did, but arrived in Cresswell about 20 minutes before he landed. The 206 is about 30 knots faster (but also burns twice as much gas!) Here's a picture from inside his Musketeer.

Notice the occupants sit "on top" the wings, much like an airliner. He even let me fly for about 30 minutes on the way back to Vancouver. I've actually gotten to fly a lot lately--I can't pass up the supurb weather, especially when I need to build my flight hours. I flew to work Tuesday through Thursday, and on Wednesday night, Joy and I flew down to Eugene airport for dinner in their cafe. The real purpose of the flight was so that I could get some night flying time and more cross country flight time. I now have 354 flight hours! So far, I'm on target to meet my goal by April 21st. Only 46 to go!

We also received an information packet and several worksheets and questionnaires from MAF today. Some of the forms outline the content of my upcoming technical evaluation and what I'll be expected to do. I have a lot of studying to do! I feel confident though, especially with the quality training I got from Moody and the experience I'm getting in an MAF 206 right now; I feel like I'm a little ahead of the game in a lot of respects. I'm sure it will be tough though, and I will have to work really hard.

Not bad for a day's work!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Good Day

Today I fulfilled a dream I've had since I started flying. I've always wanted to fly to work at least once. Well, today I shaved a good 45 minutes off my commute. What normally takes me an hour to an hour and a half, took me 12 minutes! Needless to say, I'm in a better mood than usual. It helps when I don't have to sit in stop and go traffic for an hour.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Moving Forward

Well, our official application to MAF is on its way. We finished it up last Friday and put it in the capable hands of the US post office Monday. I'm trying to fly at least 4 hours each week, so I can get 400 flight hours by the third week in April. Our next step in joining MAF is to complete a two week "technical evaluation" at their headquarters in Nampa, Idaho. One week will be spent flying with MAF instructor pilots as they evaluate the skills I do have, and determine my suitability with their organization. The other week will be spent in their shop, accomplishing various maintenance tasks and working on airplanes, so they can evaluate my mechanical skills. Thrown in between are several interviews and pyschological evaluations and tests that both Joy and I must complete satisfactorily. If all is well and they like what they see, and we like what we see, then they will extend a formal invitation to join their organization.

On a lighter note, I've been able to work on a lot of flying skills lately, and brush up on some rusty areas. The weather isn't always great, but that is just the beginning of a life long battle. One thing I have learned since I started flying over here is that if the birds aren't flying around, it's probably not a good idea for me to go either!
Lately, I've had the opportunity to take a lot of passengers with me as I hone my piloting skills. Having passengers adds many dynamics to flying and really makes me work hard on being a professional, especially when your passengers are the pastor's kids!

Monday, January 14, 2008

One In A Million

Unlike the past 3 months, Sunday was one of those days that only comes around once. It was so nice I just had to stretch the 206 wings a little and get out of Vancouver. I took Joy on a scenic tour of the Cascades; during the trip I was testing my cross-country skills without using the GPS. It was hard to focus on flying the airplane with views like this....
The mountain pictured is Mt. Hood. Joy and I had a great time. It was so good to feel the sunshine on our faces and have to wear sunglasses again!
We've been busy throughout the winter, working on airplanes, going to seminars, and traveling. Here I am working on a magneto that was taken of our 172.

Our official MAF application is now completed and will be sent in pretty soon. And our technical evaluation is scheduled for the last two weeks in April, which is really exciting. It's nice to feel like things are moving along. On Saturday we also sat in on an MAF ministry partnership seminar. There was some good information to learn and we got some pointers on how to better encourage people to join team Konop.

More to come later!