OSHKOSH, Wis. — July 21, 2009 — This year’s AirVenture will spotlight the new MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) KODIAK aircraft, a nine-seat, turbine plane taking the world of aviation by storm. The airplane went into service earlier this year for the respected international mission agency, which will display it July 27-Aug. 2 on AeroShell Square, the focal point of the air show. MAF also will be sharing the latest information on missionary aviation.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for people to see one of these beautiful planes up close and personal,” said John Boyd, president of MAF. “People attend AirVenture because they are passionate about aviation. But some of them are also passionate about Christ and the Gospel. So being at Oshkosh is a wonderful opportunity for us."
This year AirVenture focuses on public benefit aviation, in which missionary aviation plays a major role. AirVenture’s weeklong "Fly4Life" program (www.fly4life.org) features MAF and other members of the International Association of Missionary Aviation (IAMA) (www.iamaneet.org), as well as non-faith-based groups that are part of the Air Care Alliance (www.aircareall.org).
A Piper Family Cruiser aircraft will be featured alongside the KODIAK. This aircraft is a replica of the plane flown by martyred MAF aviation pioneer Nate Saint, and was used in the film "End of the Spear," which tells the story of five missionary martyrs and their attempts to make contact with a primitive tribe in Ecuador. The Piper will be nestled under the wing of the KODIAK – one representing the past of MAF, and the other its future.
The MAF tent display, situated at spaces 151 and 152, will include a Cessna 185 that was used by MAF in Indonesia and is now being used as a training aircraft by Moody Aviation. The plane will be set in a village scene with murals and a “movie screen” consisting of a white sheet, typical of how MAF shows the “JESUS” film in remote areas of the world.
Boyd said that while in Oshkosh, MAF staff will be conducting seminars, speaking in local churches and meeting with friends and supporters in the area.
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 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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The KODIAK, which can carry more cargo and passengers than the Cessna planes currently in use in Haiti, will support the MAF relief efforts.