Category Archives: Missionary Aviation

Pilot Nate Saint, Ecuador Missionaries, Martyred 60 Years Ago

saintsLast week, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) noted it was exactly 60 years ago on January 8, 1956, that Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming and Roger Youderian were killed by the Waoranis (Auca), an unreached native people the group had been hoping to evangelize. Saint had flown the group out in his PA-13 and landed on a riverbank.

The story made international news, including a 10-page story in LIFE Magazine entitled “Go Ye and Preach the Gospel – Five Do and Die.” The US Air Force deployed Read more

Elisabeth Elliot, Famed Missionary Widow, Dies at 88

Elisabeth Elliot died last week at the age of 88. An influential Christian speaker, author, and evangelist in her own right, she was also known for the famous martyrdom of her husband, Jim, and four of his companions during their missionary work to the unreached Waodani (Auca) in Ecuador. The story of their deaths was international news in 1956, and Elliot wrote two books on the events which eventually became movies.

(Nate Saint, one of the martyrs, was a pilot and had flown the men into the jungle in his Piper PA-14.  One of the locals who had first led to the missionary excursion died last year.)

Read more about Elliot’s life here.


Dayuma, Auca Who Guided Nate Saint, has Died

Dayuma was a Waodani (Auca) woman in Ecuador who helped spur the missionary outreach to her people group in the 1950s — an effort that included the world-famous martyring of five missionaries. She died March 1st. Steve Saint, whose father Nate was one of those martyred, memorialized her:

“A beautiful daughter of Christ has joined Him in Heaven today. Dayuma was the first Waodani that reached out to her own people along with Aunt Rachel. She made God’s story known to these people in a way only a Waodani could. Praise God for her life!”

The other four Read more

What is a Missionary?

From the Mission Aviation Fellowship:

Recently, my daughter came across the word missionary in a biography we were reading together. She asked, “What is a missionary?” I giggled with surprise. “Well, Honey, it’s a person who absolutely loves Jesus and wants others to love Him too. So, they choose to live their lives in such a way that helps others to see and know Him, by loving them and teaching them who Jesus is.” A few minutes later, she Read more

Missionary Aviation and Pilot Traditions

Getting dunked in the solo tank is a tradition most, if not all, Air Force pilots experience after their first solo in a military aircraft.  It seems Mission Aviation Fellowship has a similar tradition.

You can see the pictorial story of Aaron Hoffman, a recent arrival to Kalimantan, who landed his float plane after his first in-country solo as a mission pilot.

He probably should have worn his life vest.

Kalimantan is in Indonesia, and shares an island with Brunei.

See more at the MAF Blog.


Mission Aviation Completely Rebuilds Bush Plane

The blog of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) describes how the group took a 1980 Cessna 206 and broke it down to its smallest components in an extensive rebuild effort:

[The] 1980 Cessna TU206, named HC-BMO, served 20 years in Ecuador… After accumulating almost 10,000 flight hours (about 1.4 million miles) we reassigned it to Africa. But first, we routed it through Nampa for a new engine and a major airframe overhaul…

We drilled out and replaced over 11,000 rivets to expose and check every square inch of every surface. We inspected each Read more

Missionary, Military Aviation Goes Digital

Mission Aviation Fellowship recently noted the changeover to an “electronic flight bag” in their ops in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

Each of our pilots has an iPad. Flight documents are generated by our flight scheduler using Wingman, a flight operations planning tool developed by MAF…Additional documents including manuals, airport strip charts, airstrip photos, and other important references are available in electronic form.
In the morning before a pilot takes off on his first flight he connects to the wireless network with his iPad, and synchronizes it with the file server. In mere seconds he has all the flight documents he needs for the day…

In a coincidence of timing, the US Air Force published an article on precisely the same thing, albeit at a slightly higher price:  Read more

MAF Pilot Tells Tale of Engine Out Landing

Former MAF pilot John Miller tells a fascinating “So there I was…” about losing his engine in Indonesia:

Without warning, the plane began to shake as smoke fumes poured into the cabin.
Since they say in-flight fires are no fun, I quickly shut down the sick engine and watched, fascinated, as a wayward chunk of metal punched a hole in the engine cowling. My not-so-trusty Cessna had just become a powerless glider with two anxious occupants over not-so-friendly real estate below. Yes, I’d say this was definitely turning out to be an abnormal flight with lots of distractions.

Read more of the story and the comments below, which expand on this and related stories.

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