REMEMBERING BRIAN STOLTZFUS
On January 21, 2019, Missionary Flights International was deeply saddened to learn that one of MFI’s Board Members, Brian Stoltzfus, lost his life in a plane accident at the Stoltzfus airfield in Kidron, Ohio. Brian was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was a co-owner of Preferred Airparts, Priority Air Charter, and Preferred Turbine-3. He served as director of flight operations for Samaritan’s Purse in Eldoret, Kenya, East Africa. As a member of the MFI Board, Brian met the qualifications set forth by MFI’s founder, “[that they should] demonstrate interest in missions, have personal involvement in or knowledge of aviation, and/or have a business or professional background.” Brian was active in attending board meetings, helping to keep policy, and providing spiritual counsel to keep Missionary Flights on course with its mission to “Stand in the Gap.”
The Stoltzfus family has a long history with MFI after Brian’s dad, Ken, flew for MFI in 1972 during the busy summer months. Two of MFI’s original DC-3s were bought from Brian’s uncle, Karl. In January 2007, Brian was invited to join the MFI Board of Directors. During the 2010 earthquake crisis in Haiti, Brian’s company, Priority Air, provided two Cessna Caravans with pilots to assist in the disaster relief. Over the last few years, Brian and Preferred Airparts offered labor and facilities during significant maintenance performed on our two currently flying turbine DC-3s. The generosity of Brian and Preferred Airparts was also demonstrated to MFI by the availability of their own turbine DC-3 during times of need. Recently, Brian helped to acquire MFI’s third turbine DC-3 from South Africa. Brian had a passion to upgrade missionary aviation to turbine powered aircraft, and with his help all of MFI’s DC-3s are now turbine powered.
The hearts and prayers of the Missionary Flights family go out to Brian’s wife, Sandi, and the entire family. He will be missed as a friend, mentor, and fellow servant of the Lord. Because of his faith in the Lord Jesus, we are confident that he has heard the blessed words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”