Wednesday, 1 April 2015

RFDS Pilots; one dead; one injured.

It was heart breaking to hear on the news tonight about an RFDS pilot shot dead and one wounded in the arm.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service has confirmed all three men who were involved in the target shooting incident, that left two men shot in a murder-suicide, were part of the RFDS.
Rockhampton based senior pilot Greg McNaughton was shot by his son Tim, who is also an apprentice engineer currently on leave from the RFDS Alice Springs base. Rockhampton senior base pilot Captain Lindsay Hart, is currently in a stable condition recovering in hospital. Rockhampton police are treating the shooting death of two men who were recreationally target shooting on a property near The Caves, just north of Rockhampton, as a murder-suicide. Three men were involved, with two killed and one injured. The injured man aged 54, is currently in the Rockhampton Base Hospital in a stable condition, and is not a suspect, said a police spokeswomen. In a statement from the RFDS, its chief executive officer, Nino Di Marco, confirmed two employees had been involved. “All of us at the RFDS (Queensland Section) are deeply saddened and shocked to hear the news of this terrible tragedy in Rockhampton,” Mr Marco said.
I have had the pleasure of touring both the Cairns base and the Townsville base of the RFDS whilst in these area's on business and the pilots and staff I met were amazing, helpful people.

                 The RFDS began as the dream of the Rev John Flynn, a minister with the Presbyterian Church.  He witnessed the daily struggle of pioneers living in remote areas where just two doctors provided the only medical care for an area of almost 2 million square kilometres. Flynn’s vision was to provide a ‘mantle of safety’ for these people and on 15 May 1928, his dream had become a reality with the opening of the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (later renamed the Royal Flying Doctor Service) in Cloncurry, Queensland. 
Over the next few years, the RFDS began to expand across the country
By the 1950s, the RFDS was acknowledged by former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies as perhaps the single greatest contribution to the effective settlement of the far distant country that we have witnessed in our time.
Until the 1960s, the Service rarely owned their own aircraft. They used contractors to provide aircraft, pilots and servicing. They progressively began to purchase their own aircraft and employ their own pilots and engineers.
Today, they own a fleet of 64 fully instrumented aircraft with the very latest in navigation technology. They operate 21 bases across Australia. Their pilots annually fly the equivalent of 25 round trips to the moon and their doctors and flight nurses are responsible for the care of over 270,000 patients!
A not for profit organisation, the RFDS is an emergency service that relies on the generosity of the Australian public to keep the Flying Doctor flying.            If you would like to donate please go to or telephone 1800 467 435 (for nationwide donations)

My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, and colleagues of the RFDS.

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