Multiplying Days On Earth With Airplanes

“That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.”   Deut 11: 21

Multiplying DaysA couple of years ago I was privileged to be part of a delegation who converged  at the Textron Customer Delivery Center in Independence, KS to take possession a brand new Cessna Caravan headed to the mission field.
It is now in service multiplying days by transporting:
  • food and other household supplies
  • medicine, medical goods and personnel
  • folks in need of emergency transportation
  • disaster relief
  • and just plain old transportation
to and from places no one else goes.  It is based at Merauke, the most southeastern point of Indonesia on the Island of Papua.
The day’s program included:
  • an initial walk around of the aircraft followed by pictures and a delivery ceremony with local Textron employees.
  • a customer acceptance flight conducted by the organization’s chief pilot and a Textron delivery pilot.  Those of us on left on the ground had opportunity to get better acquainted with some of the the good folks at the Textron Independence facility
  • after completion of the flight he chief of MAF operations shared a bit of the Mission Aviation story to the employees.  At this reception, this airplane’s destination emerged.
This aircraft replaced a caravan with over 20,000 hours.  That’s a lot of hours of hard flying! 

Cessna From A New Place

Personally, this was my third time at the Independence Plant.  In 1997, I was invited to tour the factory as the FAA Air Traffic Representative, a year after the plant opened with the Cessna 172 line.

Then in 2009 I returned as an FAA Air Traffic Evaluations Specialist to give the newly opened airport traffic control tower its first official FAA Evaluation.  This time was my first visit as a non-Fed, which made it a whole different experience.

As a native Kansan, current Wichita resident and private pilot, I have been aware of the legacy of Textron (Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker) aircraft.  It  goes deep and wide in our community DNA.  At my local church, there is a segment each week called “the church outside the walls”.   Pastor highlights member’s activities out in the community at this time.  This week, they invited me to say a few words about my trip to Independence.

Cessna Legacy And Multiplying Days

After service, a retired Cessna mechanic/engineer who worked on the design and prototype of the Cessna 206 came to me.    He asked if I had noticed a rod on the aircraft used to keep the passenger door from hitting the cowling when both are open.  I had.  He proudly recounted how he had noticed that problem in the early stages and provided the fix.
I will now always see that rod as “Tom’s Fix”.  It blessed Tom to know his part as these aircraft carry help to the isolated people of the earth.  That “they may:
  • be strong
  • go in
  • possess the land,
  • and that they may prolong their days in the land, which the Lord promised unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that flows with milk and honey…
  • That multiplying days, and the days of their children, in the land which the Lord promised unto your fathers to give them…”
  • “That their days may be as the days of heaven upon the earth.”   (Deuteronomy 11).

What could be better than airplanes demonstrating love in the form of food, medicine and other essential services?  So that “Days of Heaven on Earth” might be multiplied to those who happen to be born in isolated locations?

For this lady pilot, who earned her wings in a Cessna, not much!

What practical ways do you demonstrate love?  Please share in the comments below.

I am a former air traffic controller, pilot, Aircoupe owner, married 42 years to a great guy. We live in a 125+ year old historic Victorian, enjoy cats, vintage anything, precious friends. My passion is Giving Lost Stories A Voice – Giving Found Materials Fresh Form and Purpose!

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