Mission Aviation Fellowship’s newest missionary airplane will land at the Collegedale Airport this week and will be dedicated for service in a special public ceremony on Saturday.
This new aircraft—an amphibious Kodiak—will join the MAF fleet in Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia, where it will serve the people who live and work in isolated riverside villages. It will carry missionaries, medical teams, relief workers, Bible translators, and the sick or injured.
“There are very few roads in this part of Indonesia, so the people rely on the rivers,” said Morty Lloyd, MAF ministry advancement officer and pastor of the Chattanooga Church. “This new Kodiak on floats will allow MAF to reach the most desperate people in the most remote areas.”
The airplane will be on display Saturday from 6-7:30 p.m. at Morty Lloyd’s hangar, located on the northeast side of the Collegedale Airport at 4659 McDonald Road in Apison. The public dedication ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to join the MAF team as they commit the airplane to service in Indonesia.
Mission Aviation Fellowship (www.maf.org) is a family of organizations with a singular mission: to share the love of Jesus through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed. With a fleet of 140 light aircraft, MAF serves churches, medical teams, missionaries, relief agencies and others working to make life better in the most remote corners of the world.
The new airplane was purchased entirely with gifts, including some from supporters in the Chattanooga area.
This airplane is part of a long-term strategic initiative to upgrade the aging MAF fleet. The floatplane it will replace—a small Cessna 185—is 52 years old. Like many MAF airplanes, the Cessna burns aviation gasoline (avgas), which has become expensive and difficult to obtain—the ministry sometimes pays $20 per gallon or more for avgas. The Kodiak burns jet fuel, which is much less costly and more readily available than avgas. And the new Kodiaks are desperately needed, said officials.
“MAF performs so many medical evacuations in this part of the world,” said Mr. Lloyd. “Last year two men were critically injured when a truck went off a mountain road and rolled 75 feet to the bottom of the ravine. The men and their family members boarded one of MAF’s Kodiaks—the patients on blankets, strapped to the floor. They were flown to the city of Tarakan where they received life-saving treatment. This would have been impossible with one of our smaller, older planes."
To learn more about MAF’s life-saving work, visit www.maf.org