Monday, May 14, 2018

Many Photos as the Vintage Aircraft Pilgrimage Celebrating 90 Years of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Calls into at Longreach Airport

As we posted below, 25 vintage and General Aviation (GA) aircraft are presently completing 'The Great Pilgrimage' from Western New South Wales to Mount Isa in North West Queensland to celebrate 90 years of service of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).  The aircraft - many from the Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia (AAAA) - will take nine days to fly from Dubbo to Mount Isa via Moree, Roma, Charleville, Longreach, Winton, Cloncurry and Julia Creek.

On Saturday 12 May, all of 'The Great Pilgrimage' aircraft were noted arriving into Longreach Airport from Charleville.  They were again 'led' by Current RFDS Beech B200C King Air VH-MSZ "FlyDoc 221".  One lowlight however was that one of the Tiger Moth aircraft participating suffered a minor mishap when landing at Longreach Airport sustaining damage to its propeller and front section.

Meanwhile, the gates at Longreach Airport were thrown open during the afternoon on Sunday 13 May - a rest day for the aircraft and pilots - with a public viewing of all the participating aircraft being held on the airport parking apron.  Local plane spotter Calen H attended and as well as providing these awesome photos, he reports that a good-sized crowd passed through the gates and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to look over the aircraft and speak to the pilots!

The RFDS is a valuable community service that has helped thousands of people in regional and rural areas of Australia over its lifetime, and now it is celebrating those years of service with this event.  The event will also include a re-enactment of the RFDS's inaugural flight from Cloncurry to Julia Creek on May 17, 1928 to attend to two patients at a bush hospital.

From Longreach Airport, the aircraft are due to depart and then touch down at Winton Airport on Monday 14 May.  They will then continue to Cloncurry, Julia Creek before finishing at Mount Isa on Thursday 17 May.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Calen H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by Calen Harvey  ©

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