First MAF KODIAK missionary bush plane goes on tour.

By June 12, 2009

USA (MNN) — Inaugurating a new era in missionary aviation, Mission Aviation Fellowship will unveil its first KODIAK aircraft to the public on Friday, June 12, from 3-5 p.m. at Jean’s Flight Training at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California, before deploying it for service to Papua, Indonesia.

MAF is a faith-based, nonprofit ministry that serves missions and isolated people around the world with aviation, communications and learning technologies.

The KODIAK’s U.S. West Coast tour will include two additional stops in the greater Los Angeles, California, area: in El Monte and in Redlands.

“Whether you’re an aviation buff, friend and supporter of MAF, church group, businessperson or individual, this is an opportunity not only to glimpse the first MAF KODIAK, but also to obtain information about what God is doing through MAF around the world and how to partner in this life-changing endeavor,” said John Boyd, MAF president and CEO.

This first MAF KODIAK is part of a multi-year initiative to upgrade the MAF fleet. Although generous gifts from churches, individuals and foundations have enabled MAF to purchase the aircraft, sponsors are still needed to fund the flight to its service destination in Indonesia. MAF is accepting sponsorship opportunities during the exclusive California tour.

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. Designed by Quest with input from MAF and other humanitarian organizations, the KODIAK carries a larger payload and runs on jet fuel, which, compared with scarce aviation gas, or “avgas,” is more readily available and much less expensive. This ensures the reliability and cost efficiency of missionary flights to various regions globally.

“Folks won’t want to miss this opportunity to get an up-close view of how God uses specially-equipped MAF bush planes to carry the sick and injured to medical clinics and deliver medicines, Bibles, building materials, food and other necessities of life to the most remote parts of the world,” said Boyd.

Gillespie Field is located at 1950 Joe Crosson Drive. Parking is available in the terminal parking lot.

The two remaining tour stops in California are scheduled for Saturday, June 13, at El Monte Airport Terminal in El Monte from 4-6 p.m. and Sunday, June 14, at Redlands Aviation at Redlands Airport in Redlands from 5-7 p.m.

Founded in the United States in 1945, MAF ( 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 areas of the world. With its fleet of 130 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 in remote areas. MAF also provides telecommunications services, such as satellite Internet access, high frequency radios, electronic mail and other wireless systems.

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