Mission Aviation Fellowship has despatched its Quest Kodiak single-engined turboprop and four pilots to join three of MAF's other aircraft in the relief effort in Haiti.
The deployment is the first use of this aircraft in disaster relief work, says MAF, which has four Kodiaks in service and a further 14 on order.
The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-powered Kodiak was designed for missionary and humanitarian organisations seeking to replace piston-powered Cessna 182s and 206s with a larger aircraft that does not rely on leaded avgas - which is not readily available in remote regions.
MAF says: "The Kodiak can land on short, unpaved airstrips to get essential humanitarian help to its destination quickly and safely in the absence of viable roads. The Kodiak will greatly expand our ability to quickly take aid where it is most needed."
Disaster response has been an MAF area of expertise for more than 60 years. In past disasters, including the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, Hurricane Felix and Cyclone Sidr in 2007, and the Haitian hurricanes of 2008, MAF provided communications systems, delivered relief supplies, transported medical teams and assisted humanitarian organisations in reaching people and areas that had been otherwise cut off from assistance.
MAF says its flights bring desperately needed relief supplies to outlying towns and return to Port-au-Prince with expatriates who had been working in Haiti before the earthquake and are evacuating the country.