Terry would consider himself a world traveler even though he spends most of his time on the JAARS campus as the Research and Development supervisor. When a JAARS staff member once asked where he had served, he replied, “Afghanistan, Africa, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.” The woman looked puzzled until he explained that he had designed aircraft parts that went to all those places.
At one time, though, Terry thought he would travel the world as a mission pilot. He grew up in a Christian Missionary Alliance church that emphasized missions. After receiving his airframe and powerplant mechanic’s license, he headed to Moody Aviation in Tennessee for flight training.
Although Terry completed over 650 hours, he realized that flying was not best suited to his personality. What he excelled at was fixing things, and that prompted him to pursue a career as an aviation mechanic instead.
So how did Terry end up at JAARS? While a student in Moody’s advanced maintenance program, he traveled with his class to JAARS to help with projects, including working on helicopter parts. Terry fell in love with the place and the friendly JAARS workers, who clearly cared about the Lord and each other.
Terry has been serving faithfully at JAARS for 41 years in roles such as aircraft mechanic and aircraft maintenance manager. Now in research and development creating and testing new aircraft parts, he designs solutions to the problems our partners face abroad.
Although Terry works primarily on the JAARS campus, he occasionally takes short-term trips abroad to modify an airplane or complete special repairs. He has been to Cameroon, Kenya, South Africa, and Indonesia.
Terry is passionate about his job because it makes an eternal impact: Each project helps mission workers around the world. One important project was redesigning airplane seats. A JAARS pilot named Paul Duffey was paralyzed in an airplane crash in Ecuador and had to use a wheelchair.
JAARS and other missions acted to improve aircraft safety by organizing a crashworthiness committee to find a way to protect passengers. Terry volunteered to design the seats and created an S-curve leg that goes under the seat to absorb impact; it has saved several lives and is now in many aircraft here and abroad!
When asked if he would work for JAARS all over again, Terry said, “Absolutely. I get to do all these cool things that nobody else in missionary aviation does.” Terry still marvels that designing airplane parts allows him to not only travel the world but also be a part of telling people the Good News.
See how you can be a world traveler by serving at JAARS!