Check out what’s been happening in the Tucson shop with 52Q, new staff, and strategic meetings. The following is from the UIMA Newsletter…
January UIMA News from Tucson!
What’s happening in the shop?
We still have a lot of work to do, but for all you techy people out there, here’s where we’re at with 91T’s upgrade process. Luckily, many expensive upgrades could be taken from 52Q. Unfortunately, this may mean 52Q will never fly again. But, who knows…? Maybe God will bless us with the funds to restore her. That airplane brought the Gospel to many isolated villages and landed in rough terrain in order to do so. We apologize for the personalization of the airplane; pilots and mechanics become attached to their aircraft :-).
Right now, 52Q has had her wings and tail feathers removed (sounds a little gruesome, we know) with the wing and strut points inspected. The maintenance team is preparing to install the wings and safety seats from 52Q onto 91T. After this has been completed, we will transfer 52Q’s horizontal and propeller to 91T. Pray that we will receive permission quickly from the FAA to turbo a non turbo engine. When we do, we can proceed with installing 52Q’s turbo engine in 91T.
UIMA has very strict standards to meet before a plane is ready to fly in Mexico, and it takes many different parts, hours of labor, and test flights (and brain power). Pray that this project will continue to go smoothly and be completed before we have to perform an engine overhaul on 901. Between this restoration process, an engine overhaul, and a helicopter feasibility survey, there are many projects to raise money for. Please keep UIMA in your prayers as we seek to raise funds to accomplish the Lord’s goals.
It’s a little crowded in the shop right now. Our Cessna 182, 14F, just returned from Chihuahua City where it was being tested on high elevation airstrips to see if she has potential for ministry in the Chihuahua area. 901 returned with her for an annual inspection. 901 has replaced 52Q in Tepic and is enjoying all of the new Huichol villages she gets to travel to. This year we will need to perform a $55,000 engine overhaul on 901 to keep her in the air. With only 80 hours of flying time left, we are praying for the funds to come in soon.
Bill Gates decided to start volunteering with us. Well, not the famous Bill Gates, but the one we got is even better because he has a passion for the Lord and ministering through volunteering in the shop. Our guys definitely put him to work, and they are grateful for his wit, diligence, and of course, his hard work. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer or do an internship with UIMA, please contact Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have you!
In the beginning of January the Tucson team was able to take part in a leadership conference in Phoenix through the Association of North American Missons. It was a time of learning as the team not only refreshed their leadership skills, but were able to hear about what the Lord is doing in other Southwest ministries.
Meet Justin and Callene Ross! This eager couple is going through the application process right now to join the UIM Aviation team. Justin will be a pilot, networker, and ministry developer out of Tucson. UIMA is seeking to expand our airplanes’ ministry into the Four Corners area of the United States to assist Native American missions. Like the tribal people of Mexico, the Native Americans of the US are a forgotten and lost people. Out of the 5 million living here, it is estimated that only 3% of this population truly know Christ.
Please keep our staff and leadership team in your prayers as their schedules are packed with strategic meetings for the new year. Pray for the upcoming UIM Mexico board meetings in Guadalajara and pilot/mechanic meetings in El Paso at the end of the month. Pray for wisdom and direction and for planned-out strategies to be determined.
Thank you so much for your prayers for Paul and I and for our team here in Tucson and in Mexico.
Paul and Laurel