MMS Aviation GroundCrew newsletters

GroundCrew Newsletter

Work started on the ramp

Work started on the ramp by installing the nose landing gear.

Rapid Response to Papua New Guinea

MMS Aviation has helped many missionary aviation programs add planes to their fleet. Used, and even damaged, aircraft have been restored and made ready for further service. Once in a while, MMS helps a ministry remove an airplane from service and get it ready to sell. This was the case earlier this year when Terry McClary, David DeJong, and Keith Woockman went to Goroka, Papua New Guinea.

New Tribes Mission Aviation (NTMA) renewed its fleet in Papua New Guinea with Quest Aircraft Company Kodiak airplanes, retiring their Cessna 206s and a Beechcraft King Air 90. (A year ago, Dale Coates led an MMS team to Goroka to put several Cessnas in containers for shipment to the U.S.) The new Kodiaks more efficiently meet the mission’s transportation needs, so the King Air was ultimately placed on non-flight status.

However, the twin engine King Air is a capable and valuable airplane. After a lengthy period of not being used, it needed a thorough inspection and some tender loving care. In NTMA’s busy flight program there weren’t enough time and technicians to fully take care of the King Air, so MMS was asked for help.

Terry, David, and Keith worked almost four weeks along with NTMA’s personnel. Some replacement parts for the King Air had not arrived when they left to come home. It was a bit disappointing for the MMS crew to not be able to finish the project, but mechanics there would easily complete the work. Once


first phase of the fixture’s construction.

A salvaged fuselage guides the first phase of the fixture’s construction.

Equipping the Shop

For years the Cessna model 206 was the backbone of the worldwide missionary aviation fleet. Difficulty obtaining aviation gasoline in many countries has driven the need for turboproppowered aircraft and retirement of piston engine airplanes that burn Avgas. Cessna 206s, though, still have a place meeting missionary transportation needs. Because 206s will still be used in significant numbers, MMS Aviation is equipping itself to maintain them more efficiently.

Dennis Satterthwaite has been MMS’ chief inspector for a number of years, making sure aircraft maintenance records and tool calibration meet FAA standards. Dennis is also a very capable fabricator of tools and equipment. This project is a fixture in which a Cessna 206 fuselage can be restored.


Glen Evert Maintenance Apprenticeship

Glen receives his mechanic certificate.

Glen Evert Completes Maintenance Apprenticeship and Joins MMS Staff

Glen finished his training and obtained an FAA Airframe and Powerplant mechanic certificate in December. During his apprenticeship, the Everts were invited to join the MMS Aviation staff. They accepted, and upon his passing the mechanic exams, he and Kris became staff members. Glen is an aircraft maintenance supervisor, and Kris works in the MMS bookkeeping department.


Mary, Brooke, and Ryan Hokuf

Mary, Brooke, and Ryan Hokuf

Ryan Hokuf Begins Mechanic/Pilot Training

The Hokufs come to MMS from Jamestown, New York. Ryan and Mary are both mechanical engineers having done their studies at Cedarville University. Consequently, they are familiar with Ohio a nd things Buckeye.

Last year they went from being Mary and Ryan to being Brooke’s mom and dad, which tends to eclipse other titles and accomplishments.

Ryan is pursuing service as a pilot/ mechanic in missionary aviation.


Andy prepares to install the Cessna 182’s right elevator.

Andy prepares to install the Cessna 182’s right elevator.

helicopter instrument panel configuration.

Mike Dunkley (left) and Matthias Reuter discuss the helicopter instrument panel configuration.

airplane engine repair

Tim removes a damaged engine support member.

Cessna 182 for Ministry in the Philippines

Chuck Egbert leads the restoration crew on the Cessna 182 that is headed to the Philippines. This plane, nearing completion, is being assembled and rigged. Jenny Haver and Andy Gudeman work with Chuck on this plane.

Airbus AS-350 Helicopter for Ministry in Mozambique

This helicopter is nearing completion of a major inspection and system upgrades. A Mercy Air crew from Switzerland leads this project, assisted by MMS mechanics. Mike Dunkley updated electrical and electronic systems, and Mike Garrett oversaw its painting. David Blanton and David DeJong also work on this

Cessna 310 Annual Inspection

Aircraft mechanics constantly look for things they hate to find. This was the case during the annual inspection of this missionary plane. Dale Coates performed the inspection, assisted by Jason Maust and Keith Woockman. The inspection revealed corrosion in the right engine’s support structure. Tim Obarow is making the subsequent repair.

Cessna 206 Fuselage Repair

Damaged a few years ago in a non-injury landing accident, a missionary airplane’s fuselage was sent to MMS for repair. Josh Adelsberger supervises this project. Glen Evert and Brad Hoblit work with him.

Piper J-3 Airframe Repair

This airplane, used in missionary pilot training, was damaged in a landing accident. It was manufactured in 1945, so it seems appropriate that MMS’ oldest mechanic, Dwight Jarboe, should repair it. Stephen Swartzentruber is working with Dwight.


 Phil Maddux CEO MMS Aviation

Many years ago, I spent a summer in Papua New Guinea observing the work of Bible translation. I was a college student, majoring in Missions with a minor in New Testament Greek, anticipating becoming a Bible translator. One of our firstyear assignments was to memorize John 1:1 in Greek. I won’t quote it in Greek, but I still remember it. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

The Word can’t be weighed, counted, or bought. Aircraft mechanics are used to dealing in things that can be measured. We check the roundness of engine parts by measuring to the ten thousandth of an inch. After major modifications, airplanes are weighed so that the pilot can load the plane within the limits prescribed by the manufacturer. But the Word-–––Jesus-–––is immeasurable.

The Word has been spoken in many languages. It has been written on paper, printed in books, recorded, and recently, digitized for reading on electronic devices. It has been borne by men and women who have been compelled to abandon everything in obedience to their Lord, when they heard the call to “Go.”

I am thankful for those people who have taken the academic route, studying linguistics so they can provide the written Word for people who have never heard. It is our joy at MMS to provide for them the transportation needed to finish carrying the unchangeable and immeasurable Word to the ends of the earth.

On the first page of this issue, you read about the crew that MMS sent to help New Tribes Mission Aviation in Papua New Guinea. I wish I could have gone with Terry, Keith, and David. The work they accomplished was impressive. But the exciting part was the people they met, whose lives have been transformed by the living and eternal Word.

In Christ,

Phil Maddux, President & CEO



Papua New Guinea