Michael Taylor, Greg Ball and Alan Thompson will take to the skies again to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service when they compete in the Outback Air Race at the end of the month. Photo by Glenys Ball.A PERSONAL experience 29 years ago with his newborn baby son prompted farmer, pilot and grandfather Greg Ball to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
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Born a little earlier than expected in June 1983, one-day-old Ben had respiratory distress and was flown to Perth for treatment at the King Edward Memorial Hospital.

The outcome was a good one, but the memories of that distressing time and the wonderful treatment provided then is the catalyst for another flying adventure now.

Joined again by local farmers Michael Taylor and Alan Thompson, each of whom have also had firsthand experience with the RFDS, Mr Ball will participate for the second time in the Outback Air Race and will captain the team.

The Wagin Aero Club pilots first entered three years ago when the time trial race was between Broome and Airlie Beach, Queensland.

All participants in this year’s race must raise a minimum of $6000 for the RFDS to be allowed entry.

Starting this year’s race in Ceduna on August 27, The Flying Cockies (as they have been named), will track through South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to finish in Darwin.

Flying a Cessna 182 the stops include Arkaroola, Innaminka, Charleville, Longreach, Cloncurry, Adele’s Grove and Mataranka.

At each overnight stop various functions will raise more funds for the invaluable service provided by the RFDS, especially at remote locations.

The Flying Cockies will cover more than 4000 nautical miles from Wagin and return.

There are 19 competitors in fixed wing aircrafts hoping to raise at least $150,000.

Competitors pay their own expenses and all donations go to equipment for use on medical missions.

In its 15-year history the Outback Air Race has raised more than $1.2 million.

“Communities outside of Perth could not manage without the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” said Mr Ball.

“It supports the medical facilities we already have and contributes a life-saving service to patients who need to get to Perth quickly.

“The RFDS, although essential, is costly so we encourage the community to please donate to the cause and dig deep for the doctor.

“You never know when you or a member of your family or even one of your mates might be on board.”

Team caps promoting The Flying Cockies are available for a donation of $15 at various outlets in Wagin or by emailing [email protected]南京夜网.

All other donations can be made through the website www.outbackairrace南京夜网.au; clicking on The Flying Cockies team and the link to donations or alternatively, to Box 27 Wagin, 6315.

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