Pauline made certain there no unnecessary avian deaths today in the simulator.
I’m getting a much better idea of turbine ops by watching my classmates perform stalls, steep turns, and slow-flights maneuvers in the simulator. Emergency procedures are next week. While I couldn’t observe the entire morning today or yesterday, but I did spend Tursday afternoon studying the Quest KODIAK’s electrical and fuel systems. It is interesting learning how even specific parts of the aircraft are designed for missionary aviation.
Considering the burly, rough-field capabilities of the KODIAK, you might expect a crusty old mechanic to maintain the machine. That certainly isn’t true at Spokane Turbine Center, where young and smart Pauline keeps the airplane ready for flight.
But Pauline isn’t just our airplane crew chief. She is also a skilled instructor. In the past week, she has guided us students through PT6A engine run-ups, so we didn’t fry the practice engine. She taught our G1000 avionics class, so we know how to use the aircraft’s displays. Pauline has also instructed simulator sessions for the past two mornings. What CAN’T she do around here?
Pauline surprises me often. She’s generally quiet, but when she talks, her words are worth listening to. “I do love working on the airplanes, though it depends on how broken it is. It’s also fun working with people in the simulator.” Then she smiled, almost diabolically. “Once I failed a system in the simulator on a pilot, and he freaked out. I forgot to turn my mic off, and he could hear me laughing just a little.”
A skilled instructor like Pauline doesn’t introduce emergencies into a simulator flight for humor. This is how procedures and concepts learned in the classroom are applied to the real world. In the simulator, students can practice what to do, test the results, and get expert feedback.
That’s where instructors like Pauline come in. She’s been focused on the KODIAK since December 2013, when her employment at Spokane Turbine Center began. Her passion for missionary aviation began long before that, as a high school sophomore in northern Idaho.
“I’ve always been an adventurous-type person who loves to travel. Because my dad was in the US Air Force, I grew up going to every airshow or aviation museum we could find. My interest in missionary aviation solidified when I worked as a Christian camp counselor in high school. I met kids who had rough lives. That’s when I became more focused on helping people with airplanes.”
Pauline then attended Moody Aviation, where she graduated as a pilot/mechanic. The aviation industry is currently screaming for pilots and airplane mechanics. Pauline could be working in the airlines or corporate aviation in either area, given her dual certification and knowledge in both areas.
“Even though I don’t go anywhere, I have a global impact from right here in Spokane,” Pauline smiled. “I love staying in touch with our missionary partners, hearing how they’re helping others, answering technical questions long after they have finished our courses.”
The salaries of Spokane Turbine Center employees are partially paid via donations. You too can help make a global impact. Please contact us or visit our donation web page if you’re interested in contributing to Pauline or anyone else on our team.
I’ll see you next week in KODIAK Pilot Familiarization class!
Spokane Turbine Center changes lives. My name is Jon, and I’m passionate about explaining how we equip missionaries to reach isolated people groups using aviation. As a rusty pilot/mechanic, I’m taking our professional missionary aviation training courses to help tell our story.