Saturday, January 10, 2009

JAARS Receives First Kodiak Aircraft, Improving Access to "Bibleless" Peoples

(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new solution to support Bible translation for people lacking scriptures was turned over 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. “The Kodiak is well- poised to meet the challenging needs of the translation community in remote operations.”

The Kodiak, developed by the Quest Aircraft Company of Sandpoint Idaho, is a ten seat aircraft with a turboprop engine capable of short take-offs and landings that uses readily available jet fuel and can carry a 3,100 pound load.

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. This Kodiak will provide access to many of the people who live in Papua New Guinea’s rugged mountains and remote coastal areas.

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, but at least 340 more languages have no Scriptures.

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