Making a Stand For Christ

By Richard Shipman

JAARS is blessed to associate with many Christian people and organizations who regularly make a stand for Christ. Recently, some dedicated JAARS partners took this concept to a different level. They made a literal stand for Christ: an engine run-stand, complete with a PT-6 turboprop engine. This long-needed equipment gives aviation students valuable hands-on training in the operation and maintenance of this sophisticated engine. They can now practice starts and stops, troubleshooting, and perform full-power run-ups without worrying about damaging an operational aircraft and engine.

With the run-stand, pilots and mechanics practice maintaining a real turbine engine

Piston engines were the early workhorses of mission aviation fleets. They powered the Helios, Cessnas and Pipers that flew Bible translators to remote areas of the world. But as engine technology has evolved, organizations have increasingly transitioned to turbine-powered aircraft which use more-readily available jet fuel and provide superior performance—increased payload, and better safety margins. Increased capability comes with increased complexity, so good training is a must to ensure the reliability and longevity of these valuable assets. That’s why a real-world, hands-on training stand is so important.

Before the stand, training with an operational aircraft was the only option. Not only did this take a working aircraft out of service, but the training had limitations, since risking a good aircraft or engine was not acceptable. JAARS realized the need for such a stand years ago, but cost was a formidable obstacle.

The run-stand allows trainees to troubleshoot problems without risking damage to an operational aircraft

“Good training is not an expense, it is an investment,” Dan Osborn, Aviation Training Manager at JAARS says. “The run-stand pays for itself if it prevents one maintenance error that damages an engine and takes an operational aircraft out of service.” -Seeing the wisdom of this, JAARS budgeted seed money to start the run-stand project.

The run-stand is equipped with an indicating system identical to those installed in some JAARS aircraft.

Miraculously, unfolding events made the test stand a reality. When contacts and friends of JAARS in the aviation industry learned of the need, they stepped up to help. Some volunteered their services. Others sold parts or provided labor at discounted prices. The final act that made the stand possible was the donation of a workable PT-6 engine and propeller.

The result: JAARS acquired a state-of-the-art engine run-stand with modern instrumentation, delivered at a fraction of its commercial cost. Future plans call for adding a video system using cameras and iPads so students can monitor procedures during the runs, away from the prop airflow.

The stand is now fully operational and ready to train mission workers for years to come. With this valuable training aid, aviators and mechanics have a tool they can use to perfect procedures through constant repetition, with the added benefit of significant cost savings.

As with many JAARS projects, the final product is only part of the story. Faith, prayers, and Christian partnerships were the rest. Many people made a stand for Christ by making a (run) stand for Christ’s work. As a result, mission workers now have a valuable tool that will help them share God’s Word throughout the world.

Consider making a stand with us with a gift to our Aviation Solutions.