USA (MNN) — You know what it’s like to go to the gas station to fill up your car, only to realize prices have gone through the ceiling. You know prices are high, but you need to get to work or take your family places they need to go. Imagine what would happen if you couldn’t afford gasoline for your car. What would you do? Probably invest in a bike, right?
For missionary aviators, they don’t have that option.
Director of Aviation Resources for Mission Aviation Fellowship David Rask says, “Fuel is our biggest expense in operating our airplanes. Over the life of an airplane, the cost of the fuel you burn in the airplane far exceeds the cost of the airplane itself.”
Today, there are two types of fuel: Aviation gasoline and jet fuel. Rask says traditional piston engine airplanes burn Avgas. “We can pay anywhere from $8 to $22 a gallon for aviation gasoline and roughly $5 to $6 for jet fuel anywhere in the world.”
MAF provides transportation to national and international missionaries, pastors, and humanitarian aid workers to get into areas inaccessible by roads. MAF also serves as an air ambulance for those who need medical care.
That’s why increasing fuel prices have a big impact on MAF’s work around the world. Right now, in places like Mozambique, MAF is paying over 30% more for fuel than they did just two years ago.
That’s why MAF has been in the process of a major transition. “More and more,” says Rask, “we’ve been transitioning to turbo prop airplanes that burn jet fuel. Jet fuel is available all over the world, and the price is relatively stable all over the world.”
Rask adds, “Those airplanes not only carry two to three times as much as our older Cessna 206s, but they burn the more cost effective jet fuel. And on top of that, they fly faster.” That means they spend less time flying.
Rask says the newer planes can deliver a pound of freight or a person for half the cost of the older planes.
MAF is asking you to help by donating $100 for the cost of fuel. “One of our turbine airplanes would go about 70 miles, which doesn’t seem like a long distance, but it could take somebody days to cover that 70 miles on the ground.”
Rask says your fuel donation helps MAF in two ways. “Everywhere we go we bring the love of Jesus Chris. And sometimes before [people] can hear the message of the Gospel, they need to have some of their physical needs taken care of. Our goal is to see lives transformed for eternity.”
If you’d like to donate, click here.
You can also listen to our complete interview with MAF’s David Rask below.