Mission Aviation Camp, Oshkosh and a Hurricane!
July 2018 started off with a ton of activity! The whole family left North Carolina for Keystone Heights, Florida to attend and staff the College of Missionary Aviation’s Mission Aviation Camp for teenagers. Michael went as an attendee and I flew the students in the College’s American Ranger Gyroplane. I also taught ground school during the day and was a guest pastor/speaker at one of the nightly worship services.
The students stayed at Lake Swan Camp, which is a nice church camp with bunkhouses, cafeteria, game room and lake for swimming and boating. After breakfast each day, the students were loaded up onto buses and carried to the Keystone Heights Airport where they were able to experience flight in various fixed-wing aircraft, such as a Cessna 172 and 310 (twin-engine), and rotary-wing aircraft (Robinson R44 helicopter and the gyroplane). Every night, the staff and students participated in a worship service including singing, testimonials and guest speakers. It was a great week!
The last week of July was Oshkosh. Once again, I was able to attend as a demonstration pilot for the gyroplanes and staff a booth that focused on gyroplanes and mission aviation. Oshkosh is always an extremely busy and tiring week, but I love it! I had many great conversations regarding mission aviation and my life as a preacher/pilot. I was also able to revisit friends with the other missionary aviation organizations. I am always saddened on the day I have to leave this great event.
After a pretty normal August of kids returning to school and normal flight activities, we got an unexpected and unwelcomed visitor here in North Carolina; Hurricane Florence. This hurricane hit the coast near Wilmington with Category 1 winds but dumped more than 3 feet of rain in certain areas! Here in the Raleigh area, we only experienced 5-7 inches of rain and 40 mph winds but it got really bad South and East of here.
Since the hurricane only hit last week, my responsibilities are still ongoing. So far, I have been able to fly with Civil Air Patrol on Aerial Photography missions and fly with Operation Airdrop. This non-profit organization was formed last year after Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf to provide a lifeline of supplies to cut-off areas utilizing general aviation. Basically, a kindred spirit of Great Commission Aviation. More than 200 planes and pilots have delivered thousands of pounds of supplies to areas where the roads are too flooded to reach. I was able to deliver 300 pounds of supplies to Lumberton, NC and another 300 pounds of supplies to New Bern, NC yesterday and will probably fly again today. All of the following pictures were taken while serving with Operation Airdrop.
As I’ve said before, only God knows what’s next for us and Great Commission Aviation. We appreciate all of your continued prayers and financial support. If God is calling you to support us financially, please visit our funding site at http://www.globalservicenetwork.org and hit FIND, then enter my name: Jason Wilkinson. Thank you and God bless.