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Obituary: Stuart Sendall-King (1922–2020)

November 2020 | by Jo Lamb

Cessna Grand Caravan 208B visits Lydd airport enroute to the Netherlands. Members of the Global Forum along with Stuart King and MAF UK staff visited the airfield to see the plane and dedicate it for service in South Sudan.
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Mission Aviation Fellowship’s (MAF) co-founder, former RAF Flight Lieutenant, and Normandy Landings veteran Stuart Sendall-King has died aged 98.

Stuart was one of the early pioneers to take light aircraft from London to the remotest parts of Central Africa in 1948, launching the first operation in Sudan two years later.

He passed away peacefully in August at his home in Folkestone, Kent, in the Christian charity’s 75th year.

Highly skilled, tenacious, and dedicated to helping those in need, Stuart began a lifelong mission to reach the most isolated and forgotten people using aviation and technology. This vision blossomed into an international Christian charity and the world’s largest humanitarian airline.

Stuart received awards for his outstanding and enduring contribution to aviation, and his achievements have spanned more than seven decades, from supporting the D-Day Landings as an Engineer Officer, to becoming MAF’s General Director in 1973, to being appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur by the French Government in 2016.

Former British Army Chief, General the Lord Dannatt, a longstanding MAF supporter, said: ‘If ever there was a man who was inspired to turn a visionary idea into a reality, it was Stuart King. His inspiration was Christ himself, who started with just twelve followers but has changed the world.

‘Stuart started with one aircraft but has changed the lives of so many by his passion, leadership and conviction. Stuart King’s legacy is immense, and his family should be justifiably proud of all that he achieved in the service of Christ.’

Jo Lamb