formerly "The View From Up Here"

Formerly titled "The View From Up Here" this column began in the Liberty Gazette June 26, 2007.

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August 17, 2010 The Maverick Sport, a flying car with purpose

The Liberty Gazette
August 17, 2010

Linda: The concept of the flying car has been a dream of entrepreneurs for ages. Several varieties have been created, some amusing, such as the Mizar Flying Pinto with Cessna Skymaster-like wings and tail (1970's), and others showing commercial potential, such as Terrafugia’s Transition.

Inventors have mostly focused on developing a multipurpose vehicle for more advanced societies. I'm a bit skeptical on their practicality, though. While in car-mode a parking lot dent might render the vehicle non-airworthy, its value declining instantly. And, in these grossly litigious times, who would insure it? They say necessity is the mother of invention, and evidently there are people who deem a roadable aircraft a necessity. Is it? Let's be realistic. Everything here is temporary. You, me, our cars, our airplanes. What if we went beyond temporary? Enter I-TEC Founder and CEO, Steve Saint, inventor and builder of the Maverick Sport. This is not your grandfather's roadable aircraft. This incredible vehicle was created to carry the message that has eternal consequences - the Gospel of Christ.

Mike: I-TEC (Indigenous Peoples Technology and Education Center) was established to help indigenous churches overcome technical and educational hurdles that stand in the way of their independence. Check out

Born to a missionary family serving in Ecuador, Steve earned a degree in Economics from Wheaton College in Illinois and became a successful businessman, enabling him to continue supporting missionaries and make occasional mission trips back to Ecuador’s indigenous people. But something always called him back to aviation, something, you might say, he inherited from his dad, who was also a pilot.

Steve learned it was vital that the tribes choose their way of life and how they would shape their culture. Teaching and providing means for less dependence on outside aid would bolster their sense of dignity and allow them to set their own course.

Linda: So this year Steve Saint brought his Maverick Sport from Florida to AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the event where major aviation announcements are made and new products introduced, and showed thousands a whole new take on the flying car.

The Maverick Sport drives like a dune buggy, has an airboat propeller on the back, and deploys a parachute-like wing supported by a mast. It flies like a plane, carries up to 550 pounds, and will be certified by the FAA in the experimental category.

As exciting as this invention is, the rest of the story will move you. It is one of high personal cost, sacrifice, and forgiveness.

In 1956 five-year old Steve learned of the murder of his father, Nate, and four fellow missionaries by the Woadani tribe in Ecuador. Because the surviving missionaries continued to evangelize to the tribe, by the time Steve was 10, he was living amongst and was baptized by the very people who took his father’s life. Saint is especially close to Mincaye, one of the tribesmen who killed his father. Today, Steve and Mincaye speak together about God’s love. Steve’s Aunt Rachel continued the mission for many years and when she moved to Heaven the Woadani asked Steve to return to them. He did so until he felt his presence was interfering with their spiritual and economic growth, realizing the kind of help they needed, which is when he started I-TEC.

Perhaps you’ve read the book or seen the movie, End of the Spear ( I-TEC, and the Maverick Sport, are some of the good God has brought out of evil.

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