In my father's footsteps

In my father's footsteps

MAF pilot Timon Kundig is a 'chip off the old block'! He inherited his passion for flying from his dad Emil.

Your name and job title? 

My name is Timon Kündig, married to Jennifer and we have 2 girls, Malia and Ariana. We are serving in Timor-Leste as a pilot family.

What was it like growing up as a MAF missionary kid overseas?  

You get to fly a lot! It’s been a great, rewarding experience to grow up as a MAF missionary kid. I have loved having a broader open worldview from my childhood. And the there are so many adventures that can only happen on the mission field. I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything, even with the challenges I faced.

Of all the countries you lived in did you have a favourite country - and why?

From growing up I would say that Madagascar is my favourite country because I have the most memories from there. I spent just over 12 years there and I went to school there, I had friends there and did all the crazy things you do growing up.

Is there a happy memory you can share about your dad growing up?

I really enjoyed our family camping adventures - we would pack our car and drive off to some rugged place and camp on the way. Then we would explore new areas and enjoy spending time together. We’d go on hikes, swim in waterfalls etc. These trips always had this adventurous atmosphere and I loved spending time with my dad on these trips. He is a great adventurer and he loved us (kids).

What were you doing before you came to MAF?

After high school, I studied to become an aircraft engineer and worked as an engineer for a bit before getting my pilot’s licenses. I then joined MAF on a short-term basis in Papua New Guinea where I worked in the hangar. God also used this time to confirm his call into mission for me. In PNG, I also met a lovely lady and we are married now and both have a heart for mission.

You obviously grew up around planes – is that what inspired you to become an MAF pilot?

Well yes I guess. I always have been fascinated with planes since an early age. Initially, I always wanted to become an airline pilot and fly the big 747s until I discovered that the flying that I liked was bush flying.

How did God confirm that calling on your life?  

God confirmed the calling into Mission Aviation Fellowship with a wife that had a heart for mission and He opened doors to MAF. It seemed that He always opened and closed doors, I just had to follow His leading.

What stage are you currently at with your training?

Right now I’m flying with MAF in Timor-Leste.  I have just had my first few medevacs. That’s a whole new kind of flying to me. I really like the value of it because the people are in need here and we are able to help them.

Where are you serving now and which country are you bound for next? 

We are destined for Papua New Guinea. Our road towards it has been a bit like mountain flying - up and around hills and ridges and then down following river bends perhaps. We had planned to serve with MAF in Arnhem Land until the visa situation changed and now we are in Timor-Leste. We have been here 2 weeks and we’re settling in well.

What have you learned from your dad over the years?

My dad is a force of nature! He has a huge tank of energy and loves life. He works hard and gets the job done right. I definitely learned to work hard and well from him but also at the same time to enjoy life in each situation.

Is there anything you would like to say to your dad this Father’s Day?

You’re the man! Thanks for being the best dad to me.

How will you be spending this Father’s Day?

I have no idea! I’m a new dad so I guess I’m open to ideas.

Do you think there may be a third generation of Kündig pilot’s in the pipeline?

Haha! Maybe one of our daughters will be inspired to become a pilot!

To read an interview with Timon's father, Emil, click here.

Inspire someone to become an MAF pilot or engineer this Father’s day…?