Hobby reaches new high for Angel Flight pilot
HOPPING off to the doctor's is something that many of us take for granted.
But for those living in remote rural areas, it's a task that needs the help of David Newby and his Piper Arrow.
The Angel Flight pilot is responsible for getting those in need to their medical appointments in the city, and it's a volunteer job he says comes with many rewards.
"I enjoy flying and I enjoy helping people so this was a great way to combine the two,” he said.
The Bundaberg man started off as a recreational pilot 13 years ago before recently taking up post with charity organisation Angel Flight.
He said on a typical call-out, he would travel to rural areas such as Theodore, Monto or Gayndah to pick up residents and charter them to their Brisbane medical appointments and back.
Mr Newby said he decided to join Angel Flight when he realised his passion for flying could be used for something more.
"I just love the freedom of getting out,” he said.
"I thought it would be a great opportunity to be able to fly and help people at the same time.”
Angel Flight is a charity that co-ordinates non-emergency flights to help country people trying to deal with bad health, poor finances and daunting distance.
Flights are conducted by volunteer pilots in their own aircraft.
Volunteer pilots come from all walks of life and donate their time, their skills and most of their aircraft costs for each flight.
Angel Flight co-ordinator and media officer Julie Scott said it was people like Mr Newby who helped the volunteer organisation stay up in the air.
"The free flights are provided by volunteer pilots who donate their time and the use of their planes to assist country people struggling with illness,” she said.
"Mr Newby not only volunteers his time to fly country people to their medical appointments, but does guest speaking about Angel Flight and their free services.
"This volunteer is a hero in our eyes and is deserving of some recognition for his humble contribution.”