LAKELAND, Florida – April 2, 2019
Operating the world’s largest fleet of aircraft used for non-profit humanitarian work in some of the most isolated regions of the world, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is no stranger to the demands of being prepared to handle any situation that may arise.
That preparedness was put to the test in 2018 as MAF responded to five different disasters with earthquakes in Papua New Guinea and Haiti, an earthquake with a tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines, and an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
One aircraft used by MAF in disaster response as well as regular missionary aviation work is the Quest Kodiak. The airplane was developed by Quest Aircraft Company specifically for missionary aviation work and can land on short, rugged airstrips in mountain and jungle areas while carrying a significant payload.
A Quest Kodiak used in the Hurricane Matthew disaster response in Haiti will on display in the Southeast Exhibit Area, Lot 1, on Doolittle Road.
Through virtual reality, visitors to the MAF booth can fly on the Kodiak for an intense, jungle location landing. The flight features a hooking approach onto a one-way, 12 percent sloped, unimproved dirt and grass mountain airstrip in Papua, Indonesia.
MAF’s new president and CEO, David Holsten, will be at the display on Tuesday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to noon. Holsten was installed as president in 2018 and is a 17-year MAF pilot/mechanic veteran who served in Indonesia.
“I look forward to meeting with people at Sun ‘n Fun and talking about the aircraft we use to reach isolated people around the world. There are many unique challenges to the areas we fly, which are some of the most remote places on the planet,” said Holsten. “Aviation gives people and communities access to medical care, education, community development, and the message of the gospel that changes their lives for the better.”
Another MAF veteran pilot, John Hook, will be conducting a forum on short field take offs and landings on Wednesday, April 3 at 9 a.m. in CFAA classroom #2. Hook will hold a second forum on mountain flying on Friday, April 5 at 9 a.m. in CFAA classroom #3.
Hook was recognized in 2018 by the Federal Aviation Administration with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of flying as a “Master Pilot.”
MAF pilot Will White, who flew in Haiti for 20 years, will also be at the booth to talk about the non-profit humanitarian work conducted by the organization in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eurasia.