September 6, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
If someone donates a 1974 Cessna 182P with only 800 hours on it, why would it need to be rebuilt? Because you can’t take any risks with the outback of Australia, where it is headed for missionary work. There’s little civilization along the routes to Aboriginal communities.
A complete rebuild of the airframe is nearing completion. “We don’t want to send a 38-year-old airplane into remote locations,” said Randy Peterson. He will move to Darwin, Australia, late next year with his wife and operate the aircraft for a group that not only preserves languages but teaches natives to read and write. That, in turn, helps to establish new and larger ministry programs.
“A replacement of the engine with the newer STC modification of the Continental O-470 producing 252 horsepower is now complete,” Peterson said. “The entire avionics suite has been replaced with the Garmin G500 PFD/MFD and GTN650/750 units in a laser cut panel.
“Next May, the plane will be placed in a shipping container and sent to Cairns, Australia, where it will be reassembled by Mission Aviation Fellowship/Australia. An indigenous organization, Australian Society for Indigenous Languages (AuSIL), will operate the plane in the Northern Territory,” Peterson said.
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