|MISSION 310 - MACKAY / BRISBANE / MACKAY|
Four year old Alister had a follow up appointment planned after the removal of a cataract from his right eye in 2003. Mum wanted to be able to return same day to minimise the days away from starting school. Dad is out of work and mum has just started a new job and wanted to avoid taking time off also.
Story and thank you from Jodi, Alister's mother.
Angel flight 1 by
Due to a period of high activity, no pilots were available for this flight. Angel Flight fully sponsored this commercial flight.
Angel flight 2 by Fred Malcolm
Comment by Fred
"The time is 4.30 on Thursday afternoon, and Jeff (my co-pilot for the evening) and I are preparing the aeroplane for the 2hr 10 min flight from Redcliffe to Mackay. Today our passengers are Jodi and Alister. Alister had an appointment at the Royal Children's Hospital today and has just had news that his patch only needs to be on for 2 hours each day. "
"Jodi and Alister were travelling very light, with only the bare essentials. All loaded into the aeroplane and setting course at 4.55. Our flight planned route would take us over Maroochydore, then inland direct to Rockhampton and onto Mackay via Probo. The weather was forecast to be good for the flight, however at ten thousand feet the cloud hampered our view of the coast and towns along the route."
"As we continued enroute, we had a very good view of a Jetcraft Metro doing the opposite direction coastal run. We managed to pass abeam the aircraft and Alister and Jodi had a good look."
"The sunset at 10,000ft on that evening was one of the most beautiful that I had seen. The golden colours of the sunset contrasting with the deep blues and the night time black made for a perfect picture."
"As we approached overhead Rockhampton, it was apparent that Brisbane air traffic controllers were having some equipment problems as the controller broadcast with a certain amount of urgency in his voice the "all aircraft this frequency, Brisbane has had radar failures and radar services are terminated". For the remainder of the flight we were operating on position reporting.
At 30nm from Mackay, we were calling the tower with our inbound report and on descent to 5000ft. The tower informed us that we were for bay 4 on the main apron and that the security officer would meet us there with the rest of Jodi and Alister's family.
The evening was clear and we could see the airport from 25nm out. Jodi pointed out the dozens of ships in the harbour waiting to be loaded at the port and on their way with their cargo."
"The night landing out of the way, we taxied up to bay 4 at Mackay airport. Alister was keen to see his dad and as soon as the engines were shut down he was out of the aeroplane.
To witness the family reunion was the best thing about this Angel flight.
After a few photos were taken and making sure that nothing was left in the aircraft, Jodi, Alister and family were off for dinner. It had been a long 13 hours so it was off to home and bed for some well-deserved shuteye.
For us, it was over to the fuel bowser to fill up and
then off into the darkness of southern night sky for a return leg