For those of you who don’t know aircraft lingo, AOG stands for Aircraft On Ground. And that is what we are dealing with at our NTM Aviation hangar here in PNG.
Back in July Paul and the maintenance team were doing some routine inspections on our helicopter when they noticed signs of a problem. “Can we fix it here? Do we have the parts/equipment/ability to fix it?” After further investigation and consultations, it was determined that the engine needed to be shipped to an overhaul facility and fixed. Closest facility = Sydney, Australia!
Wish that we could report that it only took a call to FedEX to get our 200 lb “package” shipped. A special shipping crate was first sent to us. In the mean time the engine needed to be removed and prepared. And due to the size of this crate, we actually had to fly the engine down to Port Morseby ourselves in our C-90.
Off it went to Sydney and after clearing customs there, the team at Standard Aero have started working on it. Paul was even able to observe some of this before we returned to PNG. (See the next page for more info about why we were there.)
So of course our helicopter sits and waits for the engine to return. Until then, we have been able to get most of our bush missionaries’ flights done by our friends at SIL (Wycliffe) who are also located here in the highlands.
The big prayer request is for September. There are many flights “on the books” that can only be done by our helicopter due to scheduling conflicts. Not having it up and running by the end of next month will affect several bush missionaries as well as some work teams coming over to help out.
One of the bush locations that will be affected by this is the work amongst the Pal people. (We mentioned them back in April as Paul was involved in helping this team with moving in).
Please pray that Standard Areo can find all that needs to be replaced and be able to complete the work quickly. And please pray for a speedy shipping (and customs) process back to us here in PNG!
As many of you will recall, since his arrival to PNG in October 2006, Paul has been working on getting licensed on the helicopter turbine engine. A few weeks ago he was able to get one step closer!
Together we flew down to Sydney Australia for Paul to take a two week course offered by Standard Aero. (That’s the same folks who are overhauling our engine). At the end of the two weeks, he was tested on the information. Paul passed with flying colors!!
We were tremendously blessed during this trip. On our way down we decided to spend a few days in Cairns (a northern tourist town in Australia). Here we were able to unwind some from the busy “short-staffed” summer we had been dealing with. There is something refreshing about being able to stick you toes in the sand!! 🙂
Then we flew down to Sydney where we stayed with a good friend for the two weeks of Paul’s class. Our friend lined up cars for Paul to drive and really spoiled us. During this time Andrea enjoyed some “Western” freedoms such as shopping, long phone calls with family in the US, and strolling around “The Shire.”
Since American licenses aren’t recognized by PNG, this has been a long and expensive process. And now all that is basically left is for the proper paperwork to be submitted and for the PNG aviation authorities to grant his license.
Please pray that this happens quickly as there is only one other NTM mechanic who is currently licensed to sign-off on helicopter engine work (and he happens to be on home assignment/furlough). Until Paul gets licensed and/or this co-worker returns, we have to go to a neighboring helicopter company to have any work signed off.
Praises & Prayer Requests:
- PRAISE: We were able to have a few days of rest before Paul started his class.
- PRAISE: The construction next door is complete. They sure did do a nice job!! Thanks for praying. 🙂
- PRAISE: Paul passed his turbine engine course.
- PRAY: Paul will be submitting the necessary paperwork with the PNG aviation authorities to get licensed in Allison 250 series turbine engines. Pray that it is accepted and processed quickly.
- PRAY: That the helicopter engine can be overhauled quickly and shipped back to us with minimal delays in customs. Pray also for the maintenance team as they then get the helicopter back online for the flights already scheduled.
- PRAISE/PRAY: Many folks have arrived (some returning and some new) but we are still waiting for several more to come. (Specifically several who work in the hangar with us).