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.