Alan Clark and Paul Doolittle had a passion for aviation and a deep respect and appreciation for Mission Aviation Fellowship. And while the gift they left MAF won’t ever get off the ground, it will help future MAF pilots soar when it comes to maintaining their engines …
Being a local aviation enthusiast, Alan was known to visit the MAF hangar in Nampa. In fact, he may have visited just hours before his passing on August 16, 2010. Alan had been working on an experimental airplane and died from injuries obtained in an accident involving that plane.
Alan had worked for Central Engineering Company (or Cenco International) for 44 years. The company builds testing equipment for jet engines.
When Alan’s wife, Linda, contacted MAF, wanting to donate Alan’s memorial funds to a special project, the PT6 Run-Up Stand immediately came to mind. This is a turbine engine attached to the bed of a truck, with an enclosed area for the pilots and mechanics. It’s used for turbine engine maintenance training. With Alan’s background in building testing equipment, it seemed to be the perfect fit.
Paul Doolittle had been acquainted with MAF from the earliest days of the ministry. In fact, Paul was a business partner with George Boggs, one of MAF’s early pilots. Paul was a faithful volunteer at MAF in Redlands, working in the hangar until his health prevented him from doing so. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 88.
Paul’s home church, San Jacinto Community Church (in California), contacted MAF because they wanted a way to honor Paul for the impact he had in the church through the years. Again, with Paul’s mechanical background, the PT6 seemed like a good fit.
With the engine and propeller donated by Dynamic Aviation, and with extensive help from former MAF pilot turned volunteer Gerald Defoe, MAF had all the pieces in place to complete the project.
In a special chapel service in October, MAF remembered the two men and the gift they made possible, even as they were in glory with our Lord and Savior.
We are grateful for everyone who helped with the project and for the long-standing support of men like Alan and Paul, along with their family and church members who desired to honor these two. They have blessed MAF greatly with a tool that will help train our pilots for years to come.