Humanitarian organization Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has lent its brand new Citabria aircraft to Prairie Aviation Training Centre (PATC) in Three Hills, Alberta. This is the first straight-from-the-factory aircraft that PATC has received, and MAF loaned the aircraft to the flight school to support the training of future aviators.
MAF Canada has been partnering with PATC to provide quality flight training for decades, and in 2017 PATC formally asked MAF to take on a larger role. This saw MAF taking over the complete management of the flight school in 2018.
The partnership between PATC and MAF not only builds strong, capable pilots, it equips many of them to go on to serve people in some of the most isolated places in the world today. MAF operated in over 35 countries around the world, and PATC is one of the training grounds for their Canadian pilots. The purchase, loan, and use in training of the Citabria aircraft is a gift that goes beyond what is seen immediately. The skills pilots gain from training on it will go on to change peoples’ lives for the better and reach people with medical care, supplies, staff, and hope for generations to come.
Through generous donors, the brand new Citabria aircraft was purchased by MAF and flown to PATC directly from the factory in Wisconsin by former student Matt Marples on January 29, 2021. The plane received an official dedication this week.
Lowell Deering, MAF Canada’s VP of Operations and Recruiting, explains why this partnership and the Citabria is so important: “Providing updated aircraft equipment to PATC provides great leverage to MAF for the future. About 45% of our current pilot workforce received flight training at PATC. Going forward, this percentage will likely increase. Better training at PATC means better pilots. This is a huge win for MAF and the people we serve.”
Citabria are certified aerobatic airplanes. The name “Citabria” is derived from the word ‘aerobatic’ spelled backwards. This Citabria will be used in the Upset Recovery training module, which is one of the last flight modules advanced students go through.
MAF Canada is very appreciative of the partnership and operations offered by PATC and are excited to see this partnership continue to flourish.
For more than 75 years, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has been using aviation and technology to reach isolated communities in the farthest corners of the earth. Today, we partner with over 1,500 organizations to deliver support, hope, healing, spiritual care, and community development to thousands of communities where flying is not a luxury but a lifeline.