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First run-up of new R44

The Wait is Over

Put yourself in this scenario:  A flight is coming to your remote ministry location.  You’ve waited four months for this day.  You pack your bags, clean up the kitchen, get rid of your perishable items, make sure the house is secure.  Say goodbye to your village friends.  And then you wait.  The flight is canceled for weather. 

“[W]e still have food and can just keep going with our work,” wrote Ron and Michelle Jennings as they  waited day after day for a flight. 

Waiting was the name of the game.  Without a helicopter on Mindanao Island, church planting teams deep in the mountainous region could never be sure they’d get a flight. They could only hope their supplies would last until the helicopter from Northern Luzon could come over islands and ocean to do some flights.  

So you can imagine the gladness when a new R44 arrived at the docks April 8 – and even arrived on time! (See April 2016  On Eagles’ Wings.)

From the time they opened the shipping container, it took pilot/mechanics Josh Dalton and Brian Pruett just three days to assemble the helicopter.  They even ran the engine.  But they couldn’t fly it without the right papers, and each paper seemed to depend on the five others before it.   

But the ball was rolling – and fast!! 

  • The insurance company issued papers even before payment was received. 
  • In his desire to help, the airworthiness inspector came right on time and did the inspection even before he had the other required paperwork.
  • The radio licensing arrived exactly in time to give to the inspector, who hand carried it to the next office. 
  • After crossing about 15 desks, the registration arrived on May 24. 
  • The next day, Josh and Brian drove 5 hours to the hangar and did the required test flight. 
  • June 5, Josh picked up the Airworthiness Certificate.  The R44 was legal to fly!!
  • June 14, the importation paperwork was completed.  The first flight is scheduled for Monday.
Tags: Helicopter, Philippines
POSTED ON Jul 07, 2016