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Body and Soul

MAF Amphibious Airplane PK-MAOEvery once in a while, I like to get all technical. So for those of you who yawn when others start talking about widgets and how they work, you may want to jump ahead. For the rest of you, read on. I like to think of airplanes as having a Body, known as the airframe, and a Soul, which is the engine. However, unlike humans, the soul of an airplane will usually be replaced several times over in the life of its body. Our amphibious airplane PK-MAO is a great example. The airframe was built in 1989 and has been flying steadily since that time, accruing almost 18,000 flight hours. In that time MAF mechanics have replaced the soul of PK-MAO six times. It’s a routine task, but a detailed and crucial one throughout the life of an aircraft.

Not only does the Soul of the airplane need replacing when it reaches its life limit, it also needs regular repair and maintenance. We have PK-MAO in the hangar this week. Its current engine is about halfway through its life, and it needs some heavy maintenance; what we call a Hot Section Inspection. This work will keep the engine performing as we expect it to. Hot Section work is really fun for a mechanic. For me, this is one is particularly satisfying because it’s being performed by one of our newest mechanics. I get to observe and cheer him on from the hangar sidelines. This is one of the best parts of my work!


Dick Martin
Guest Blogger, Dick Martin
Dick and Mary Martin serve in Papua, Indonesia, at the MAF base in Sentani. To find out more about their work or to join their ministry team, visit:


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