Training Update

2009 March 4

Greetings to all my friends and family from Berrien Springs, Michigan. This will be a brief update, as I am typing this in a public library.

How rewarding it has been to be able to fly the Mooney that we have been working on for months now. Currently, we are in the process of breaking in the engine; that means doing a few long cross-country flights. One of these flights provided the opportunity for me to get some training near Memphis with a commercial pilot friend. I have also done a small amount of commercial pilot training in GMI's Cherokee 140 based in Collegedale. I am also thankful to the Lord for the blessing of passing yet another test, the Commercial Pilot written exam.

Progress is not rapid, but movement is forward, at least. Acquiring my Commercial license is the last remaining major requirement before launching to Chad. The Lord has His ways, though, and I am trying to understand them. One day, I drove to the Collegedale airport to practice some commercial maneuvers in the Cherokee. I discovered that it was past due for another 100-hour inspection. Choosing to remain cheerful, understanding that God has a plan, I immediately began the inspection. The hope was to complete it within a week and be back up flying again. Glee was not my primary emotion upon discovering a small and well-hidden defect in a part which, if not repaired, could turn into a more serious safety issue. Sparing the details for now, this is a major project involving removing the engine to access the engine mount. For a week, the mount was ignored at the repair station in Georgia. Today I got a call from the company reaffirming my decision to repair the part. I will not be able to start reassembling the airplane for at least another week and a half.

Thus my decision to drive up to Andrews in an attempt to complete my commercial training. My goal is to get as far as possible, if not to complete my commercial license before the engine mount gets back.

When plans change, or when something potentially discouraging comes your way, make the choice not to get discouraged. God has a plan.

I'll write more later... Please be praying for efficient training. Gotta go, my phone is ringing...

Jonathan