CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee – If bush-flying into a rugged, jungle location sounds exciting to you, this weekend you can experience the next best thing! Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a Christian mission and disaster response organization, invites the public to an open house on Saturday, March 30 at Collegedale Municipal Airport. An MAF Kodiak airplane, specially designed for mission and relief work and used in response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, will be on display and available for rides. A Cessna 206 used on the mission field will also be on display and available for photo opportunities.
The free open house runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A presentation at 10:30 a.m. by a veteran MAF couple serving in south central Asia will provide an inside look at MAF work in a challenging environment. David Holsten, president and CEO of MAF and a 17-year pilot/mechanic veteran in Indonesia will share at 1 p.m. and other MAF experiences will be also shared by speakers at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Food can be purchased from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Greg’s Sandwich Works food trailer.
The MAF event takes place on the north end of the Collegedale airport runway and attendees need to go to 4639 McDonald Road, Apison, TN when accessing the north end. Parking directions will be provided at that location along with access to the hangar.
“I am very excited to be in the Chattanooga area and let people know how MAF is using aircraft to reach isolated people around the world. In many cases, a 15-minute MAF flight will save more than an entire day of walking, often in treacherous conditions,” said David Holsten, president and CEO of MAF. “Our use of aviation for these remote communities provides them with access to medical care, education, community development, and most importantly to us, the opportunity to respond to the gospel.”
Airplane rides on the Kodiak are being offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $50 per person. Seats can be reserved online at https://www.maf.org/events.
Besides presentations and photo opportunities, attendees can experience a free, dramatic mountain landing using virtual reality with a hooking approach in a Kodiak airplane onto a one-way, 12 percent sloped, unimproved dirt and grass mountain airstrip in Papua, Indonesia. The Kodiak was developed by Quest Aircraft Company specifically for missionary aviation work and able to land on short, rugged airstrips in mountain and jungle areas while carrying a significant payload.
With more than 125 airplanes across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America, MAF operates the world’s largest fleet of aircraft used for non-profit humanitarian work.