Friday, June 13, 2008

My Mirror Image

Some people are language experts and translate precious words into a people's heart language, others provide hope for at risk kids living in the inner city, still others are church planters, or evangelists. Me...I'm a pilot...and a mechanic too, but mostly a pilot!

It's so incredible to me how all of us are skilled and gifted and called to be and do such different things, yet we all have the same passion; we're all working toward the same goal--to never stop telling people about all the great things God has done until "every tribe, tongue, and nation has heard." I always tell people that I love flying, but my real passion is serving people (which is why mission aviation is such a great fit for me), and I think all those translators and church planters would say the same thing. Our God is amazing!

On the home front, things are looking pretty slim! After packing a lot of the little things and selling a small mountain of other belongings, the walls are becoming a little bare. I'm still dividing my time between packing and moving, and Servant Wings. I spent the better portion of today in the air riding shotgun, and in the hangar putting our 172 back together. It's not too often that I get to sit back and relax while someone else flies, so I take advantage of it. I was flying with David, one of the other members of Servant Wings. He's preparing to do MAF technical evaluation in August. We often ride with each other and offer each other feedback on areas where we can improve. Even though neither one of us is a flight instructor, the extra set of eyes (that aren't intently focused on flying the airplane) are often invaluable. In this picture, I'm focusing on the precise spot where David is lifting off during takeoff and touching down during landing. This is really important information to know, especially when you're operating the airplane close to its performance limits. It helps us get to know the airplane better, but even more importantly, it gives us a "standard" so we can gauge every other takeoff and landing based on that one. If the airplane isn't performing like it should, like we expect it to, then we know something is wrong and we can stop the airplane on the runway without hurting any people, or the airplane!

Keeping the airplanes we fly in good repair also helps when we fly them close to their performance limits. That's what we were doing today, correcting problems with our 172's engine (an important part of the airplane!). We had to replace some really small, seemingly insignificant parts inside the carburetor (yes some airplanes still use them, along with magnetos. The only other thing that uses them, besides airplanes, that I can think of are farm tractors from the 1930's). We put it all back together, slapped it back on the engine and then performed a test run to make sure it worked before we signed it off to be fly-able again. It seemed to work fine, and with a few minor fuel adjustments, we had that engine purring like a...well, a very large domestic cat! (Don't worry, I didn't shave my head and dye my hair blonde! This is David; I'm behind the camera)

No comments: