Serving in Aviation

Mission aviation can take years of training and sacrifice—but you’ll have an incredible chance to help the most isolated people on earth. Flights can transform an entire community, by opening the door for Bible translation, education, health, economic development, and more.

Want to learn more? Sign up for The Centerline, our quarterly e-newsletter for anyone preparing to serve in mission aviation. (See past issues.)

Pilot

You’ll serve people living in the most remote places on earth: rainforests, deserts, islands, and mountains. Often, pilots are their only link to the outside world. You might fly local Bible translators to a workshop. Rush a sick child to the hospital. Deliver food, mail, and building supplies. Bring in translation consultants, doctors, and pastors. Pilots serve long-term—and typically help maintain the aircraft they fly.

Pilot wearing helmet
  • Qualifications

    Fixed Wing

    • minimum 500 hours flight time
    • commercial pilot certificate with instrument rating
    • second-class medical certificate or equivalent
    • high performance and tailwheel endorsements
    • mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings or equivalent
    Learn More
    Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes
    Technical Evaluation Summary
    Advice from Our Trainers

    Rotor Wing

    • minimum 500 hours flight time
    • commercial pilot certificate
    • second-class medical certificate or equivalent
    • mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings or equivalent—required in most cases
    Learn More
    Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes
    Technical Evaluation Summary
    Advice from Our Trainers

    Who can be a pilot?

  • Nate Gordon

    The glimpses of transformed lives. The chance to embrace isolated and forgotten people—the ‘least of these’ that Jesus spoke of. And seeing God overcome impossible obstacles to see his Word reach the ends of the earth. That’s what keeps me coming back to Indonesia.

    Nate Gordon
    Pilot, YAJASI
  • Partners You Might Serve With

    • Asas de Socorro
    • Australian Society for Indigenous Languages
    • MAF International
    • SAMAIR Peru
    • SIL International
    • YAJASI

Maintenance Technician

Reliable aircraft are a must, because they’re flying over some of the most challenging terrain in the world. You’ll maintain planes and helicopters—either at our hangar in North Carolina, or with one of our partners around the world. You might also train local apprentices.

Maintenance technician working on a wing
  • Qualifications

    • mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings or equivalent
    • two years of experience maintaining aircraft

    JAARS will provide any aircraft type–specific training you need.

    Learn More
    Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes
    Technical Evaluation Summary

    Who can be a maintenance technician?

  • Jon Damon with kids and Cessna 206

    Wherever you have airplanes, you need to have maintenance technicians who can keep them running in tiptop condition. That’s my role, and I thoroughly enjoy doing it.

    Jon Damon
    Maintenance Technician, SIL International, Papua New Guinea
  • Partners You Might Serve With

    • Asas de Socorro
    • Australian Society for Indigenous Languages
    • JAARS
    • SAMAIR Peru
    • SIL International
    • YAJASI

Avionics Technician

Communication and navigation systems are crucial, especially in remote areas. You’ll install, inspect, and repair avionics and electrical systems—helping pilots safely navigate tough terrain. You might also help with non-aviation electronics systems, such as computers, radios, and phone switches.

Avionics equipment, including GPS
  • Qualifications

    • two years of education in electronics
    • two years of experience working in avionics or radio is preferred; documentation of your experience may be required
    • mechanic certificate with airframe rating or equivalent is required for some countries
    • FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License or certification from other industry-recognized organizations, such as ISCET or NCATT, is preferred

    Who can be an avionics technician?

  • Daniel Jezowski working on avionics

    Without working radios, the airplane will never be able to take Bible translators out to the remote villages. Each day I have the privilege of being a part of Bible translation by repairing wires and changing boxes.

    Daniel Jezowski
    Avionics Technician, SIL International, Papua New Guinea
  • Partners You Might Serve With

    • Asas de Socorro
    • Australian Society for Indigenous Languages
    • JAARS
    • SAMAIR Peru
    • SIL International
    • YAJASI

Administrator

Great leaders are needed in many areas: training, inventory, finance, human resources, maintenance, and other day-to-day operations. If you’re an experienced manager, let’s chat about how your skills can help. Looking for a short-term role? We often need volunteers in North Carolina for inventory counting, safety audits, business consulting, secretarial work, and other projects.

Group of aviation personnel working together
  • Qualifications

    • training or experience in the area you’d like to serve

    Who can be an administrator?

  • Dennis Freeland in the office

    If we don’t have someone who can focus on administrative work, then we have to ask pilots or mechanics to do those jobs. In Cameroon, we’ve seen a great increase in our efficiency since adding a full-time flight coordinator. ... Administrators allow all of us to do better work.

    Dennis Freeland
    Pilot, SIL International, Cameroon
  • Partners You Might Serve With

    • Asas de Socorro
    • Australian Society for Indigenous Languages
    • JAARS
    • SAMAIR Peru
    • SIL International
    • YAJASI