Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Sunday, May 8, 2016

2016 Year In Aviation Service: Missionary Pilot Returning to Tanzania With Plane Refurbished by Wings of Hope

By Carmelo Turdo
The Aero Experience continues our series of 2016 Year In Aviation Service with more coverage of missionary pilot Jacek Rejman's preparations to return to Arusha, Tanzania with the Piper Navajo advanced life support air ambulance.  The aircraft had been undergoing significant maintenance and updating at Wings of Hope World Headquarters at Spirit of St. Louis Airport over the winter until last week, and Rejman took off on the first leg of a nearly 8,000 mile journey Saturday.            

The aircraft, a twin engine PA-31-310 Piper Navajo, will serve as an advanced life support flying ambulance for the new initiative, called Arusha Medevac, named for the city of Arusha, in northern Tanzania where the service will be based.  The two engines and interior space make it suitable to carry medical equipment and medical staff and also for flying at night (night flying is not permitted with single-engine aircraft).  Additional aircraft will be added as funds and staffing allow.  Medical flights, including those for emergencies and regular clinical visits to outlying villages, are critical to the survival and development of the society. 

The Aero Experience visited Wings of Hope on Friday as Jacek Rejman was preparing for his flight from St. Louis to Rockford, IL, Detroit, MI and several other stops on the way to crossing the north Atlantic and then heading south to Tanzania.  Mechanic Barry Garen was checking recent work done on the left engine while others helped pack the aircraft for the trip.  Several engine run-ups and a flight around the local area showed the need for further adjustments to fuel mixture controls, which were completed for the flight on Saturday.       

The Piper Navajo is prepared for flight at Wings of Hope Friday:

The keys to the aircraft were handed to Jacek Rejman by Wings of Hope President, Don Hamblen, before Friday's flight:

The Aero Experience conveys our best wishes on the success of Jacek Rejman's flight and Arusha MedEvac in Tanzania.  Special thanks to the staff at Wings of Hope for their hospitality and their contributions to 2016 Year In Aviation Service.

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