Merry Christmas! As we finish 2019, there is a lot to reflect on from this past year! We like to say that God opens and closes doors but sometimes I feel more like a pinball than going through open doors! Since moving to Sebring on September 12, we have experienced many new, exciting and even, terrifying (but in a good way) happenings.
I mentioned in our previous newsletter that since relocating to Sebring, I contracted with Lockwood Aviation to instruct in the AirCam. This aircraft was designed for National Geographic to be a safe, stable open air aircraft for flying low and slow and filming very remote locations. It is based on a predecessor aircraft, known as the Drifter. Ironically, we at Harvest are working with two missionaries who are taking Drifters to the Peruvian wilderness for mission work. See how God pinballs you around! In order to instruct in the AirCam I had more training to do, including Multi-Engine Instructor and Seaplane ratings. I also attended the Seaplane Pilots Association Convention in New Orleans and got to experience “egress” training.
In this training, you latch yourself by seatbelt into an aircraft seat in a mock cockpit. This cockpit is then lowered under water, rotated upside down, where you are then expected to escape! This mimics an airplane capsizing in the water. Once the dunk tank stops moving, GET OUT! The key to learn, though, is to not panic, take your time and think! However, when gravity and eyesight are taken away from you, it is hard not to be uneasy to say the least.
Also, I had to add the Seaplane ratings. I added the Single-Engine Seaplane rating in a Piper Cub and the Mult-Engine Seaplane rating in the AirCam. Now I am able to instruct in Seaplanes, as well. This will be a great asset for missionary aviation, and too be frank, one that I had not expected.
Michael and I also joined the local EAA Chapter. EAA represents experimental aviation and is the organization that hosts and sponsors AirVenture (Oshkosh). This local chapter has a pristine hangar and build center and hosts high school classes in aerospace education. Twice a week, 30 plus high school students attend classes and learn hands-on by actually building an AirCam. The administrator of this class has asked to partner with Harvest Aviation in allowing the students to assist in building mission aircraft! Once again, it is amazing to see God put things in place!
On the home front, Michael starts dual enrollment at South Florida State College this Spring! Marissa has joined a travel softball team as a pitcher/infielder and softball is a year-round sport in Florida! Liani has setup her home office and is still busy in the world of accreditation. We have joined First Baptist Church of Sebring, where Michael is already running lights and assisting with sound. We have acclimated well to Florida, but we did miss the Fall season. It is different to live in a place where the trees never turn colors! We pray that everyone has a great Christmas and holiday season. We look forward to sharing about our new experiences in 2020!