KODIAK Will Improve Access to Bibleless People
Waxhaw, N.C. January 9, 2009...A new solution to support Bible translation for people lacking scriptures was presented to David Reeves, president of JAARS Inc, in Sandpoint, Idaho yesterday. JAARS is the first mission or humanitarian organization to purchase and receive the specialty KODIAK aircraft, securing serial number 008. JAARS was established in 1948 by Wycliffe Bible Translators co-founder William Cameron Townsend to provide aviation and technology services to support Bible translation. However, the phasing out of aviation grade gasoline (avgas), and an aging fleet of JAARS aircraft, primarily comprised of piston-driven engines, is now affecting Bible translators’ ability to carry out their work. According to Reeves, the new KODIAK aircraft reaffirms the JAARS organization’s aviation leadership and continued focus on service.
“With 2,000 translation programs currently underway worldwide and almost 2,400 languages still needing Bible translations to be started, we looked into the future of aviation for a safe, effective solution to our passengers’ unique transportation requirements,” said Reeves. He added, “The KODIAK is well-poised to meet the challenging needs of the translation community in remote operations.”
Traditional aviation gas, or avgas, is expensive and difficult to obtain in Pacific and West African countries, and since oil companies have no plans to increase its availability, there could soon be no way to fly Bible translators to the millions of Bibleless people in these areas without the type of solution offered by the KODIAK.
The KODIAK, developed by Quest Aircraft Company of Sandpoint, Idaho, is a ten-place aircraft with a turboprop engine capable of short take-offs and landings that uses readily available jet fuel and can carry a total load of 3,100 pounds.
Very few regions of the world have a greater need for safe, reliable, air transportation than the vast island nation of Papua New Guinea, north of Australia, where KODIAK serial number 008 is headed.
The first of an initial acquisition of five KODIAK aircraft planned by JAARS, this KODIAK will provide access to many of the people who live in Papua New Guinea’s rugged mountains and remote coastal areas, where it is virtually impossible to get to the various language projects and communities without air support. The large island lies in the Asia-Pacific region, one of greatest remaining areas of need for Bible translation.
Wycliffe translators and national coworkers are working in partnership on 190 different language projects in Papua New Guinea. They have completed more than 160 New Bible translation projects to date, but at least 340 additional languages have no Scriptures.
Current aircraft used by JAARS and its partners in Papua New Guinea average 20 years in age and demand more and more maintenance for every hour flown. This, and the growing worldwide fuel crisis limiting aviation grade gasoline used in these airplanes, means many of the JAARS fleet are in jeopardy of being grounded due to the scarcity and high costs of avgas. These challenges are two principle reasons why the KODIAK was developed, according to Paul Schaller, president and CEO of Quest Aircraft.
“From the very beginning, our underlying mission at Quest has been to design, certify and manufacture a bush utility aircraft specifically suited to meet the needs of missionary and humanitarian aviation organizations,” said Schaller. “With its greater cargo-carrying capabilities and the ability to get in and out of unpaved, short strips, The KODIAK provides reliable access to the most remote regions of the world and the isolated peoples who live there. The KODIAK also uses jet fuel which is more readily available and cheaper than avgas.”
The KODIAK serial number 008 is being flown to the JAARS headquarters in Waxhaw, N.C. January 9-10, weather permitting. Following an introductory tour of the U.S., and a period of orientation for JAARS pilots and final preparations, the first JAARS KODIAK will play a prominent role in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture event in Oshkosh, Wis., July 27 to August 2, 2009. This eight month schedule of U.S.-based duties will conclude with the aircraft being flown to Papua New Guinea later in August.
About Quest Aircraft Company
Quest Aircraft Company is the manufacturer of the KODIAK, a 10-place single engine turboprop utility airplane, designed for STOL use and float capability.
Headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho, Quest was established in 2001 to build a rugged utility aircraft for mission aviation organizations to operate in the most remote areas of the world. The company currently employs more than 250 skilled personnel.
JAARS speeds the Bible translation process by providing quality technical support services and resources. These include air, land and water transportation, information technology, and non-print media options in vernacular languages. These services support the Wycliffe Bible Translators family of organizations in their dedication to providing Scriptures in the languages of all the world’s peoples who need it. Information on JAARS and its flight renewal project can be found at www.jaars.org
Arthur Lightbody, APR, JAARS Media Relations Officer
(704) 843-6048 office
Media Contact: Julie Stone
Office: (912) 898-8673 ▪ Mobile: (912) 398-0498