A 46 year old gentleman from Denmark has a malignant melanoma and is required to frequently attend oncology appointments in Perth. These appointments are necessary for treatment and review of his condition.
"I was in Broome when I put in a request and was allocated both Angel flights for Paul of Denmark on the south coast of WA. The scheduled dates were 27 Oct and 30 Oct for the return flight. I had some business to attend to in Broome but planned to leave no later than 25 Oct in order to have sufficient time to rest and prepare for the first 3hr round trip flight. Upon arrival at Jandakot Paul rang me to introduce himself and wisely suggested I fly him up to Perth one day earlier, Sunday the 26th due to inclement weather predicted for the following day.
Fortunately I had no real issues with POT and so the first flight was successful with only a minor concern on my behalf for some anomalies with the mixture settings and EGT readings during the flight back to Jandakot. This I thought might probably be a teething problem with a new recently installed engine. Premier Aviation at Jandakot checked the engine thoroughly and discovered a partially blocked injector (apparently not uncommon with newly installed engines) and the issue was fixed in time for the return run. Once again the weather intervened with low broken cloud at 1000 feet plus an INTER issued on the Albany TAF resulting in a further 2 day delay for the return flight.
Paul, my 'patient' was very understanding of the situation and offered to stay with friends during the delay in getting home to his loving wife Pauline. I don't have words to adequately describe his courage and cheerfulness under the circumstances of his illness and the experience of being with him for those six hours of flying time was something I shall remember forever. We both listened to music during the flight and realised we shared similar likes and dislikes. Paul was kind enough to present me with a new album he had just created, he is an accomplished Flautist, and my wife Lily and I enjoyed playing his tracks later back at our home.
In spite of weather issues at that address, I applied for yet another flight on the 3 Nov from the same location, but missed out in getting it and so it's back to Broome within a week or so. No need for cabin heating up there! I feel so privileged to meet and to assist people like Paul and Pauline and I feel repaid many times over by their expressions of sheer gratitude and cheerfulness. For those of you that have contemplated joining Angel Flight as a pilot, I can only say do it! What can be better than helping someone whilst doing something you love and enjoy?"
For more mission stories please click here.