MAF Dedicates Its First KODIAK Missionary Plane

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Christian News

Nine hundred guests joined MAF in dedicating its first Kodiak aircraft at its headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, May 2. The cutting-edge missionary plane will be deployed in Papua, Indonesia.

Nine hundred guests joined MAF in dedicating its first Kodiak aircraft at its headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, May 2. The cutting-edge missionary plane will be deployed in Papua, Indonesia.

MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) inaugurated a new era in missionary aviation when it dedicated its first KODIAK aircraft on May 2 at its headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.

MAF is a faith-based, nonprofit ministry that serves missions and isolated people around the world with aviation, communications and learning technologies. The new KODIAK is the first of the next-generation bush planes to be produced under a visionary arrangement between MAF and the manufacturer, Quest Aircraft Co. of Sandpoint, Idaho.

This first KODIAK will be deployed in Papua, Indonesia.

A crowd of MAF staff, Christian leaders and Nampa residents participated in the dedication ceremony, as well as an afternoon of activities.

“Today’s events celebrate a technological achievement that will allow MAF to be more effective stewards of the resources God has given us,” said John Boyd, president of MAF. “But this new KODIAK is more than an example of leading-edge technology. It is an example of what God’s people can do when they pursue God’s will in God’s way. The unprecedented cooperation between missionary organizations that made this day possible is a model for 21st century missionary efforts. It is both exciting and humbling to be in the midst of a project that God has blessed so abundantly.”

Paul Schaller, chief executive officer of Quest Aircraft Co., told the crowd, “Serving the needs of the missionary community and those they help is the purpose for which Quest was built. It is gratifying to see it come to fruition with this first delivery to MAF.”

Among local leaders participating in the dedication ceremony were Tom Dale, the mayor of Nampa, and Montie Ralston, lead pastor of Boise Valley Christian Communion and a member of the MAF board of directors.

The dedication ceremony marks a milestone in missionary aviation in part because the KODIAK will be significantly less expensive to operate than the planes it will replace in the MAF fleet. Most MAF planes, including the popular Cessna 206, run on aviation gasoline, or “avgas,” which is scarce and expensive in many of the remote areas where MAF operates. However, the KODIAK is powered by jet fuel, which is more plentiful and much less expensive than avgas.

Over the next few years, MAF will replace 20 of its Cessna 206s with planes that operate on jet fuel, either KODIAKs or Cessna Caravans. Because the KODIAK can carry nearly twice the cargo of the C206, MAF will transport medicine, food and disaster relief supplies much more efficiently, reducing operating costs.

Founded in the United States in 1945, MAF (www.maf.org) missionary teams of aviation, communications, technology and education specialists overcome barriers in remote areas, transform lives and build God’s Kingdom by enabling the work of more than 1,000 organizations in isolated regions around the world. With its fleet of 122 bush aircraft, MAF serves in 55 countries, with an average of 242 flights daily across Africa, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America. MAF pilots transport missionaries, medical personnel, medicines and relief supplies, as well as conduct thousands of emergency medical evacuations. MAF also provides telecommunications services, such as satellite Internet access, high frequency radios, electronic mail and other wireless systems.

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