Wednesday, December 16, 2009...As winter blankets Sandpoint the landscape shines under a low winter sun. On clear days the skies are a deep pristine blue that sparkles with crystals of blowing snow. Living out here means that watching ice form on Lake Pend Oreille and the snow base build on Schweitzer Mountain isn't a harbinger of hard times, it's an annual ritual. And frankly, it offers a much needed pause for reflection.
For us, as for so many of you around the world, 2009 has been a year of challenges. The positive side of these past several months of global economic uncertainty is that Quest is emerging a stronger company for having a better view of our limits and the fragility of this business. We are now better prepared to effectively plan for the worst of times, as well as the best, and we have learned to grow ourselves – and our relationships – during both. The reality here in Sandpoint is that answering the challenge of hard times has always been our calling. It is, in fact, the impetus for the KODIAK.
Through it all we’ve been blessed by another good year of business. Not only were we awarded our Production Certificate from the FAA, but we’ve also been able to ramp up our delivery rate to three aircraft per month. These milestones were simply stated objectives at this time last year, and it is extremely satisfying to have accomplished both. On top of this, the first KODIAK to be deployed for overseas mission work is now in service in Papua New Guinea with our friends at JAARS, and two more KODIAKs are being deployed with Mission Aviation Fellowship as you read these words. This year we also certified and registered the first KODIAK in Canada. So, despite the challenges, we have much to celebrate as we settle into winter.
One of the things that warms our hearts the most in the season’s chill are the people who work here at Quest. The soul of this team – from the shop floor to the conference room – is reflected in the sense that their work is not focused on their own necessity. They walk through these doors every day to meet the necessities of others. With every goal we’ve achieved, it is the determination, hard work, and answered prayers of this crew that have made these accomplishments possible. There is no better spirit of the season and we're blessed to live it year-round.
Now, with Christmas approaching, we would like to take a moment to thank all of you who have made this great adventure a reality. This year our wish for you is that you are similarly blessed – blessed with the presence of people you love, and the warmth of distant hearts. With KODIAKs now deployed from Western Europe to the Western Pacific, we are acutely aware of the support you all have offered us this year.
Yes, times have been hard, and this winter may feel a little colder than most. But we are surrounded by the evidence that every winter storm leaves behind a clean sheet that's pristine and untrodden; where every path taken is freshly new. Thank you, from our hearts, for walking with us.
From all of us here at Quest we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas with the blessings of peace, joy, hope and health in the coming year.
With deepest gratitude,
The Crew at Quest
(Quest Aircraft Company is completely owned by a Charitable Trust and all future commercial net-profits are mandated to be given to humanitarian organizations who bring joy, hope, and health to the most remote corners of the earth.)