Zachary Wilkinson’s first introduction to the PT6A engine (and yes, he’s a BIG fan) was due to its favoured status as the engine of choice for missionary aviation applications as more aid organizations moved towards turbine-powered aircraft to reach remote, underdeveloped locations.

“During EAA AirVenture, I’ll spend half of my time volunteering for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF),” says Zachary. “My involvement with MAF is currently as an advocate for the organization and I hope one day to serve overseas as a pilot/mechanic in missionary aviation.” The MAF is a charitable organization that brings the Gospel, comfort and aid to those around the world living in isolation.

Zachary works for Mid-Continent Aviation Services (MCAS) based in Wichita, Kansas, where he is a pilot and a maintenance apprentice working on his Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) certification. “My job at MCAS is dynamic and varied,” says Zachary, “and I get to assist with the sales/demo of the Quest Kodiak (MCAS is an authorized dealer of the single-engine aircraft) and to pilot it for corporate travel.”

In addition to the Kodiak he is transitioning to the twin-engine Cessna Conquest 1 (both aircraft are powered by the PT6A engine). He says it is difficult for him to choose one PT6A-powered aircraft over another. “I have taken the Kodiak into the Ozark Mountain backcountry, which was a blast. The twin-engine Cessna Conquest has excellent speed and offers the opportunity to gain advanced experience flying that aircraft type.”

He says the PT6A engine has always been his favourite powerplant, even when he was a flight student and he enjoys seeing the diverse applications showcased for its use. This is Zachary’s first time at AirVenture and he will be joined by his wife Hannah who’s excited to see what all the noise is about.

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