Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Ebola … MAF Airplanes Help Isolated Communities in Times of Crisis
OSHKOSH, Wis., July 2018––When Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused destruction across the Caribbean last fall, the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) disaster response team was there to provide assistance.
This spring, when deadly earthquakes in Papua New Guinea triggered landslides that destroyed isolated villages, MAF airplanes delivered food, water, and other lifesaving supplies. Since communication systems were knocked out, MAF’s radio network was the only way those in need could call for help.
And in May, when the deadly Ebola virus flared up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), MAF carried teams of doctors, health workers, and medical supplies to the site of the outbreak.
“For over 70 years, MAF has had the privilege of serving in some of the most isolated, remote parts of the world, and has developed expertise in disaster response and medevac flights,” said David Holsten, MAF’s president and CEO. “We are a lifeline to those living in isolated regions of Africa, Indonesia, Asia, and Latin America. However, the heart of our mission is to use the airplane to share the love of Christ as we support communities and the work of churches and fellow mission organizations.”
You’ll find MAF at booth 21 along James Ray Blvd. in the AirVenture main aircraft display area, not too far from the main entrance gate. Visitors to the exhibit can try their hand at the flight simulator, talk to MAF pilots, and check out the ministry organization’s Kodiak airplane. Guests can also experience an MAF flight in the small African country of Lesotho, using virtual reality headsets that put you right in the airplane.
A second MAF aircraft is on display at the Wipaire booth, spaces 226-227-228. Soon to be deployed to Papua, Indonesia, this new Cessna Caravan is uniquely outfitted with Wipaire’s 100th set of Wipline 8750 amphibious floats.
“Isolated communities located along rivers in the interior of Papua use MAF for needed transport,” said Holsten. “This aircraft will transport everything from school supplies to medicine to bibles and solar panels. It may carry medical personnel or government workers offering essential services, or evangelists and missionaries ministering to the spiritual needs of these remote communities. Many times it will be the only viable link to the outside world for critical medical flights, and will be the only amphibious airplane operating in all of Papua.”
MAF pilots are skilled at flying in challenging topography, and you can learn from their expertise at two free public forums. On Monday, July 23, 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., John Hook, a veteran MAF pilot and mobilizer, will speak on Short Take-offs and Landings. On Friday, July 27, 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., Hook will present about Flying in Terrain. Both presentations will be held at Forums Plaza Stage #5.
Mission Aviation Fellowship (www.maf.org) was founded in 1945 by WWII pilots who had a vision for how aviation could be used to spread the Gospel. In 1946, Betty Greene piloted the first MAF plane on its inaugural flight, transporting two missionaries from Wycliffe Bible Translators to a remote jungle location in Mexico. Since that time MAF has grown to a global family of organizations working in 37 countries. Through its aviation and technology services, MAF enables the work of some 2,000 Christian and relief agencies. MAF’s U.S. headquarters is in Nampa, Idaho.
Photo caption: MAF delivers food and supplies to remote communities following the 2018 earthquakes in Papua New Guinea. Photo by Holger Lasi.
For Information Contact:
Dianna Gibney, 208-498-0778, firstname.lastname@example.org
At AirVenture contact Alexis Adams, 208-407-7128
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