JAARS, formerly Jungle Aviation and Radio Service, is a nonprofit organization that provides technical services assisting in Bible translation. JAARS is headquartered in Waxhaw, North Carolina.
JAARS serves Wycliffe Bible Translators and other relief and missions organizations worldwide by providing transportation by air, land or sea as well as through computing and information technology and other technical services.
William Cameron Townsend co-founded Wycliffe in 1934, and as the organization grew, he saw the need for airplanes and radio to reach remote areas around the world, to provide safe access to language groups. JAARS was originally formed in Peru in 1948 and moved to North Carolina in 1961.
The primary mission of JAARS is to serve Bible translators working with Wycliffe and SIL International in their efforts to translate parts of the Bible into the 2,393 language groups (200 million people) worldwide that have no part of the Scriptures in their language.
People who serve at the JAARS Center or overseas are typically members of Wycliffe Bible Translators. About three hundred Wycliffe members serve at the JAARS Center and more than 400 provide technical and transportation services globally. In addition, 234 volunteers provide invaluable help at the JAARS Center.
JAARS is the site for development on Translation Editor and other software resources for Bible translators.
JAARS aviation provides transport services to translators, support personnel, consultants, trainers and linguists; provides medical evacuations; and assists in disaster relief work. In some areas, support is also provided to Christian mission organizations, hospitals, local people and governments.
Since these services involve flying into steep, short, or otherwise difficult runways, JAARS provides its personnel with training in STOL and other specialised techniques.
Aircraft flown include:
- Bell JetRanger helicopter, flown in Papua New Guinea
- Bell LongRanger helicopter, flown in Papua New Guinea
- Robinson R44 helicopter, flown at the JAARS Center and in Cameroon
- Britten-Norman Islander, flown in Papua New Guinea
- Cessna 206, flown at the JAARS Center and in Brazil, Cameroon, and Papua New Guinea
- Helio Courier, flown at the JAARS Center and in Cameroon, Philippines, and Southeast Asia
- Beechcraft Super King Air, flown in Papua New Guinea
- Pilatus PC-12, flown in Southeast Asia
- Pilatus PC-6, flown in Southeast Asia
- Quest Kodiak, flown in Papua New Guinea
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