September 22, 2010
By Dan Namowitz
Nothing beats a STOL-equipped turboprop single with a high useful load for tackling tough assignments. That’s why an aircraft like the PT6-powered Quest Kodiak meets the needs of Mission Aviation Fellowship of Nampa, Idaho, a faith-based nonprofit ministry that takes on challenges in remote areas with a fleet of 58 aircraft.
On Sept. 20 the organization announced that a donor has provided a $1.7-million challenge grant that would fully fund a new Kodiak purchase. The condition is that the donation be matched by year’s end. Another matching grant is providing $750,000 as MAF adds its sixth Kodiak under a program launched in 2009 to replace aircraft in an aging Cessna 206 fleet.
“Kodiak airplanes are much more cost effective to operate, and greatly expand our ability to quickly transport essential aid to remote areas,” said MAF President and CEO John Boyd. MAF has a goal of acquiring seven more Kodiaks in the next two years.
Founded in 1945, MAF operates in 41 countries, supporting the work of 1,000 organizations, strengthening communications infrastructure, and transporting medical personnel, relief supplies, and missionaries to remote areas. MAF recently deployed a new Kodiak to earthquake-stricken Haiti. Each year MAF pilots fly thousands of medical evacuation flights, said a new release announcing the challenge grants.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Pilots and aircraft owners have volunteered to transport hundreds of sea turtles rescued in Massachusetts to facilities equipped to care for them.
The FAA is working to automate a contingency plan developed on the fly when Chicago Center was taken out by arson from within Sept. 26.
AOPA has urged College Park, Maryland, to make approval of a hotel construction project near the city airport conditional on reducing the building’s height.
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