Helping others helps me

I consider myself pretty fortunate to have grown up with a loving family, a good education and living on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland – easily one of the best places around the world.

I’ve also always wanted to be able to help others and that has been part of the driving force behind Wings Around the World.

Sure, I want to fly around the world on the adventure of a lifetime and challenge myself beyond anything I have ever done before. Sure, I would love to break a world record in the process. But that’s not the entire plan.

What I really want to do, along with those reasons, is to be able to help others in some way, shape or form.

If I can inspire one teenager to believe they can step outside their comfort zone and achieve something they had never thought possible, or worse still, been told they couldn’t achieve by someone with no ability to dream, then I will have done a great thing.

Maybe, by my actions, if I can change the perspective of those lacking that ability to dream, those holding young people with passion and drive back, I will have done even more.

If we are not able to help each other, inspire each other and encourage each other we are lost.

That is one of the reasons I am delighted to be able to take part in Angel Flights.

For those that aren’t aware, as they describe on their website, Angel Flight Australia is a charity which coordinates non-emergency flights to assist country people access specialist medical treatment that would otherwise be unavailable to them because of the vast distance and high travel costs.

So, in essence, pilots go and pick up passengers in the country and take them somewhere to get treatment. For me, there’s the added bonus of helping someone and continuing to build my flying hours and experience. It’s a win-win.

Recently I flew alongside Ross Harrison for an Angel Flight out to St George in a Cirrus SR-22, VH-FBT.

We picked up a man who needed to be taken to the Toowoomba Base Hospital for treatment of his lung cancer. He was extremely grateful and I was over the moon just to be able to help a little.

The flight itself was great. It was a hot day so the aircraft engine temperatures had to be monitored constantly during climbs to ensure we didn’t overheat them. Overall the weather was nice with a little bit of cloud that we flew above in smooth air.

I look forward to the next opportunity I get to help someone on the path to my Wings Around the World journey.

The weather was fantastic!
The weather was fantastic!

 

Flying, flying & more flying to gain IFR

In recent weeks Lachie has been focused on his bread and butter. Not in the sandwich or toast sense, but in the flying sense.

One thing about flying long distances and particularly with something as audacious as flying around the world, is the need for experience, for hours in the air. When you’re just 17, 18 or event 19 for that matter it presents as the biggest challenge.

To that end Lachie has spent plenty of time in the cockpit with a determined focus on earning his Instrument Rating.

To the uninitiated, the Instrument Rating allows you to fly under the IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), which essentially means you can fly by reference only to flight instruments and you don’t need to see outside the aircraft.

It basically allows you to fly in the dark, fly in cloud and provides the ability to fly further and at more flexible times. Basically the world becomes your oyster, which, as Lachie explains, is what is needed for Wings Around The World.

“IFR is really important for my trip because I will be flying in the dark at various stage and through cloud at some stage over the 10 weeks,” Lachie said.

“Without this rating I wouldn’t be allowed to do that. It’ll also allow me to fly in minimal visibility.

“There is a lot more to it than following a GPS path and letting the aircraft fly itself on autopilot. You must be able to fly by hand and do different types of approaches from different navigation aids (both ground based and space based).

“There are also some new radio calls introduced because when you are flying under the IFR you get looked after better from Air Traffic Services. You are given separation from other IFR traffic within controlled airspace and advised of other IFR traffic whilst you are outside controlled airspace.”

Training for the Instrument Rating begins with the theoretical side that Lachie completed privately (a lot of students do it through a course), then on to simulator work, followed by actual time in the aircraft. And plenty of it.

Once these three steps are successfully completed there is a flight test in which the pilot is tested on everything from holding patterns to approaches to flying with limited instruments.

For Lachie the experience gained has been immeasurable and takes him one step closer to take-off in Wings Around The World journey.

“Overall, flying under the IFR is a lot more technical than flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules) however it is a lot less restricted and you do get looked after better,” Lachie said.

“I have probably three or four more practical flights to go before I take my test and then hopefully I can move on to the next stage of training for the trip.

“I’ve really enjoyed the concentrated training that I’ve been doing and with the team around me continuing to work hard on planning and sponsorship I have been able to really knuckle down to safe flying which is our number one focus.

“We’ve still got a way to go when it comes to financing the trip but I hope potential partners can see the effort we are putting in to giving me every skill possible to successfully complete the trip and prove huge achievements should not be restricted by age.”

Partnership opportunities with Wings Around The World range from financial contributions, through to partnering the team for events to take place throughout the preparation and conclusion of the trip, while the chance to assist with in-kind goods and services is also present.

With each partnership option comes the chance for individuals or organisations to integrate themselves with a truly global challenge that will generate publicity at each of the stops around the world, while maintaining a presence domestically in Australia, throughout this world circumnavigation odyssey.

For further information about WATW partnership opportunities contact Phil Harrip – phil@wingsaroundtheworld.com.au