RFDS helps deliver first baby born in Richmond in 15 years

RFDS helps deliver baby in Richmond

Article supplied by RFDS.

Jess Harvey was 35 weeks pregnant when she awoke in the middle of the night with contractions.

The only problem was, she was at home on a remote station two hours from Richmond — the nearest town — more than 500 kilometres from her nearest tertiary hospital, and 270 kilometres away from her partner Sam, who was at a mustering camp.

“I called my mum and just cried; this wasn’t how I planned it,” Jess said.  

Friends on the property drove Jess two hours to the health service in town, as her contractions got closer and closer together.

As there were no midwives stationed at the health service, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) based in Mount Isa, received an early morning call from Retrieval Services Queensland to assist.

The team of three including a doctor, a flight nurse, and pilot, touched down in Richmond a short time later.

RFDS Doctor Shima Ghedia said it was a privilege to assist in the delivery of Darby, the first baby to be born at the health service in Richmond in 15 years.

Flight Nurse Leanne Ashbacher

“Jess was an absolute trooper; Sam was there to support and cut the cord, our Flight Nurse (Midwifery) Leanne Ashbacher was incredible, and even our pilot got involved,” Dr Shima said.

“The local staff at the health centre were also overjoyed.”

Jess said the whole team were incredible.

“They were unreal, I cannot thank them enough. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would’ve done.”

Jess and baby Darby were flown by the RFDS crew to Townsville for further care and have since returned home to their property.

Doctor Shima said when the team finally touched back down in Mount Isa, there was yet another reason to celebrate that day, with RFDS Pilot Michael Flood hitting his milestone of 10,000 flight hours.

“Michael has been flying for more than 22 years and has worked with the Flying Doctor for many years, so this was a wonderful achievement,” she said.

“I’m so proud of the whole team and this was certainly a day all involved won’t forget any time soon.”

Providing vital care to those who need it most

Article supplied by RFDS

If you or someone you love has had a medical emergency in remote Queensland, you’ll understand how comforting it is to know the Flying Doctor is on its way.

Responding to life-threatening events that require urgent medical care is all in a day’s work for the Flying Doctor. This gripping video shows some of the emergencies the Flying Doctor team has been called to respond to. The Flying Doctor provides life-saving medical care in the most difficult of situations.

Pledge your support this Flying Doctor day on the 17th of May, with a gift in your Will so that future generations of Queenslanders can take comfort knowing the Flying Doctor will be there for them.

Pledge today to support the Flying Doctor in this extraordinarily kind and generous way.

If you would like to learn more about gifts in wills please contact Heather Stott on 07 3852 7586 or email giftinwill@rfdsqld.com.au

Airservices Australia seeks to decommission Bankstown & Camden airport beacons

decommission bankstown airport beacons

Article supplied by AOPA

Airservices is seeking industry feedback to understand if there is any operational requirement or impact on removal for the Bankstown and Camden aerodrome beacons before a decision for its decommissioning can be made.Changes to MOS 139 have removed the mandatory requirement for an Aerodrome Beacon and the evolution of other aerodrome lighting and the expansion of GNSS navigation capabilities across all levels of the industry means that that the historical need for an aerodrome beacon has changed considerably.Airservices Australia is proposing to decommission both the Bankstown and Camden Aerodrome Beacons (ABN) and remove them from operational service. Airservices has completed an internal risk assessment, consistent with our Safety Management System (SMS), for the decommissioning of the Bankstown and Camden Airport aerodrome beacons and identified a negligable impact on industry.

FEEDBACK SURVEY LINK:Airservices invites you to provide feedback using the survey form link provided below:https://engage.airservicesaustralia.com/…/bankstowncamd…

NOT A MEMBER? WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! Join today: www.aopa.com.au/membership

AOPA Australia | Your Freedom to Fly

Flying Doctor Community Transport is set to expand its service right across Victoria

Article supplied by RFDS.

This service expansion is made possible through an Australian Government’s Primary Health Networks (PHN) Program grant obtained by Western Victoria Primary Health Network. Western Victoria PHN has partnered with Murray PHN and Gippsland PHN so that the program can reach communities in the catchments of all three rural Victorian Primary Health Networks. While the exact locations of the new service hubs are still being finalised, RFDS Victoria is excited that all three PHNs have come together for this project.

Flying Doctor Community Transport provides free transportation for eligible clients to their health appointments and social group activities. The service recognises that people living in rural communities can face additional barriers when it comes to accessing health care and social connection due to a geographically spread population and limited transport options. As such, the service aims to make it easier and more affordable for people to attend vital health care appointments, thereby enabling people to take control of their own health and reducing occurrences of missed appointments.

“The greatest cost to our health system is missed appointments,” says Scott Chapman, Chief Executive RFDS Victoria. “For the people who are having to go for cancer treatments or other things, they rely on their family to have to take a day off and come up from Melbourne to get them there, and so people just miss appointments. This service is designed to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“What we have seen with the success of this service is that we are not only helping individuals but contributing to healthy communities.”

Western Victoria Primary Health Network CEO Rowena Clift says they are excited to partner with RFDS Victoria to bring this great service to more communities.

“We are delighted to partner with RFDS Victoria. This unique and valuable service reaches into parts of our community where health services are not readily available or are some distance away. Through RFDS, people can receive the health assistance they need. We also look forward to the establishment of the new hubs in our region to further enhance this service for our community.”

The Flying Doctor Community Transport service originally launched in Heathcote in central Victoria in 2018, and expanded to Rochester in 2021. In these areas, RFDS Victoria’s partnerships with Heathcote Health and Rochester and Elmore District Health Service, respectively, have been a large driver for the program’s success.

“Having already established successful and supportive relationships in Heathcote and Rochester, we are excited by this opportunity to partner with three innovative PHNs,” says Melanie Trivett, General Manager for Primary Health Care, RFDS Victoria. “We look forward to working with Western Victoria Primary Health Network, Murray PHN and Gippsland PHN to develop a service that is run with the community, for the community.”

In addition to its strong partnerships, Flying Doctor Community Transport is made possible thanks to its very generous volunteer drivers. The volunteers are typically passionate locals who are committed to supporting their community, or health care students who are looking for some real world experience – in fact, some volunteers from the Heathcote and Rochester programs have gone on to join the Flying Doctor’s Mobile Patient Care (MPC) service.

“Once our new sites are confirmed, we will begin seeking expressions of interest from locals in those communities to join our team of volunteer drivers,” says Dr Trivett. “Volunteers are the backbone of community transport services, and so we are always looking for ways we can celebrate our volunteers and recognise their generous contributions, such as through our involvement in the inaugural Victorian Community Transport Week.”

To find out more about Flying Doctor Community Transport and its pending expansion, contact our team on 1300 887 678 or via communitytransport@rfdsvic.com.au. You can also keep an eye on our Facebook page for all updates.

Part 61 of CASR Flight crew licensing

Article supplied by CASA Part 61 of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) sets out the requirements and standards for the issue of flight crew licences, ratings and other authorisations. 

The rules cover what flight crew need to do to obtain and maintain licences, ratings and endorsement and the limitations that apply to exercising their privileges.

All training for the grant of a Part 61 licence, rating or endorsement must be conducted by the holder of a Part 141 or Part 142 certificate.

Who it affects  

Part 61 affects: 

  • > aspiring and existing Australian flight crew licence holders 
  • > pilots seeking to convert from an overseas pilot licence to the Australian equivalent, or obtain recognition of Australian military flight crew qualifications 
  • > flight training operators and their personnel 
  • > Australian aircraft operators employing flight crew. 


Part 61 of Civil Aviation Safety Regulations

Legislative instruments

Legislative instruments include exemptions to particular regulatory requirements in aviation regulations or a Manual of Standards, but which apply to a broad range of persons. Instruments related to this part will display in this space or you can view our list of legislative instruments.

31 legislative instruments available

Part 61 Manual of Standards

Incendiary Dropping Operations (Aerial Application Rating) Instrument 2020CASA EX136/20

Civil Aviation (Community Service Flights — Conditions on Flight Crew Licences) Instrument 2019CASA 09/19

Examiner Proficiency Checks (Extensions of Time and Substitute Proficiency Checks) Exemption Instrument 2021 (No. 1)CASA EX19/21

Flight crew licensing (miscellaneous exemptions)CASA EX66/21

Show 31 legislative instruments

Non-legislative instruments

Non-legislative instruments include exemptions to particular regulatory requirements in aviation regulations or a Manual of Standards, but which apply to a particular person. Non-legislative instruments related to this part will display in this space or your can view our list of non-legislative instruments.

Guidance material

Advisory material provides advice and guidance to explain particular regulatory requirements of a CASR Part. Guidance material relating to this part will appear in this space or you can view all our guidance material.

Draft material that is open for input, including Advisory Circulars, can be found on the Consultation Hub.

3 guidance material availableNight VFR ratingAdvisory Circular AC 61-05 provides guidance on night VFR (NVFR) ratings as well as operations under NVFR. It covers the hazards of night flying and advice on safely conducting night operations.Advisory Circular AC 61-05Teaching and assessing non-technical skills for single-pilot operationsAdvisory Circular AC 61-08 provides guidance to flight simulator users seeking approval. It covers information requirements for the applications, as well as the application method and information requirements for reign flight simulator approval.Advisory Circular AC 61-08Spin avoidance and stall recovery trainingAdvisory Circular AC 61-16 highlights the risks associated with advanced stalling training when conducted in aircraft that are not certified for intentional spinning.Advisory Circular AC 61-16

Related content

The process to become a pilotPilot licencesEnglish language standardsRatings, reviews and endorsements

Related rules and publications

Part 141 of CASR Recreational, private and commercial pilot flight training, other than certain integrated training coursesPart 142 of CASR Integrated and multi-crew pilot flight training, contracted recurrent training and contracted checkingFlight examiner handbook

2021 RFDS Local Hero Awards

Article supplied by RFDS.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) has announced our nine RFDS Local Hero Award winners for 2021. The annual awards, proudly supported by Ergon Energy Retail and Queensland Country Life, recognise Oueenslanders who have donated their time and energy to keep the Flying Doctor flying. Read about the Local Heroes below and vote for your favourite today!

Sam Hughes aka 'The Travelling Jackaroo'

Brisbane — Sam Hughes 

In March last year, 19-year-old Sam Hughes set off from Maleny in a bright orange, 1957 Chamberlain 9G tractor named ‘Slim’, towing an eye-catching trailer, which now features a small RFDS aircraft replica on top.

Sam, or the ‘Travelling Jackaroo’ as he is well-known, decided to drive his tractor around Australia, with the aim of raising funds for the Flying Doctor and Dolly’s Dream. In just 10 months, not only has Sam raised more than $50,000 for the RFDS, but he has also brought incredible awareness to the work of both organisations.

Bohdi Wochnik

Bundaberg — Bohdi Wocknik 

Inspired by three RFDS transfers of family members, Bohdi Wochnik has raised more than $25,000 for the Flying Doctor over the past 10 years. Bohdi’s younger sister was retrieved by the RFDS after she was bitten by a king brown snake, his grandad was transferred after he lost a finger, and his uncle was also flown by the Service following a helicopter accident.

His fundraising efforts have amassed from raft races that he has staged over the years at his family’s property. Now that 20-year-old Bohdi is working on a farm near Gin Gin, he is planning to pass the organisation of the event to his little sister to continue the incredible work.

Karen Koko

Cairns — Karen Koko

Lockhart River resident Karen Koko is a leader within her remote community. As a senior healthcare worker, she regularly provides advice and assistance to those in need.

Not originally from Lockhart, the community has accepted her with open arms. Karen’s praised for her extensive knowledge of her community and their health needs. She’s been called the heart and soul of the Lockhart River Primary Health Care Clinic.

The Bauer Family

Charleville — The Bauer Family 

For more than three generations, the Bauer family has supported the RFDS, with several members having been transferred during this time. When their son Angus was two years old, he was having difficulty breathing. As they rushed to Augathella Hospital, Angus turned blue in the car. The RFDS was called, and he was flown to Toowoomba.

The Bauers have regularly donated the proceeds from their cattle sales to the Flying Doctor. The most recent sale generated more than $17,000 for the RFDS.

David Crust

Longreach — David Crust

Before his death, David Crust spent many years fundraising, volunteering for and promoting the RFDS. From participating in treks to organising raffles at the local bowls club, ‘Crusty’ raised a significant amount of donations for the Flying Doctor.

Following a battle with cancer, the RFDS flew David to Longreach so he could spend his final days at home. An annual tournament is now held at the Longreach Bowls Club in memory of David, with the proceeds donated to the Flying Doctor

Justine Collins

Mount Isa — Justine Collins

Nurse, Justine Collins was on shift in Mount Isa when she received a call about an accident at a remote station around 25 minutes away. She immediately notified the RFDS and took the clinic ambulance, along with the warden, to the property.

The patient, Paul Woods, had been trampled by a bull. While Justine didn’t know the full extent of his injuries, she knew that most of his ribs were broken and there was risk of a punctured lung. Justine recalls experiencing immense relief upon the RFDS arriving at the station.

Bronwyn Fitzgerald and Colleen Timms

Rockhampton — Bronwyn Fitzgerald and Colleen Timms

For several years, Bronwyn Fitzgerald and her mum, Colleen Timms, have knitted toys for the Woolworths Toy Drive, in support of the RFDS. Despite the fact the drive is conducted annually, the pair knit year round in preparation.

The toys are of great benefit to the Flying Doctor, helping comfort sick or injured children during what may be an unsettling experience. As acashier for RFDS corporate partner Woolworths, Bronwyn is also a great supporter of the in-store fundraising campaign which is staged each year.

Justin and Kate Boshammer

Roma — The Boshammer Family 

In November 2020, seven-month-old Zara Boshammer died as a result of a rare disease that she was diagnosed with after birth. Her parents Justin and Kate decided to honour their little girl with an event which raised funds for the RFDS and Steve Waugh Foundation, as well as a high flow oxygen facility for their local hospital in Miles.

Zara’s Day in 2020 raised more than $148,000for the three organisations. But the family were not yet done. They again staged a Zara’s Day event last year, raising another $30,000 for the RFDS, along with $60,000 for the Steve Waugh Foundation.

Blankets of Love Townsville

Townsville — Blankets of Love

The Blankets of Love group was established more than 20 years ago. Since then, a group of ladies have met regularly to create beautiful quilts for RFDS patients. 

Over the years, many ladies have contributed to the cause, creating quilts of all sizes to provide comfort to young patients of the Flying Doctor.

CASA Briefing – February 2022

casa briefing

Article supplied by CASA.

We’ve all come to expect the unexpected from COVID-19 and the start to 2022 has been no exception.

Once more our resilience is being tested but as indications emerge that the latest wave of Omicron infections may be peaking, at CASA we are focusing on our plans to work with industry on a safe recovery.

It was so good to see so many of you engaging with our flexible approach to transitioning to the flight operations regulations when we hit our critical 2 December milestone.

We also invited you to get ahead of the international curve with our new digital licences and to try out our refreshed website.

The website has improved search and navigation functionality from both mobile devices and desktops, and we have listened to your feedback.

We remain committed to helping you recover from the ravages of the coronavirus epidemic with plans to remove regulatory bottlenecks and assist the general aviation sector to operate efficiently and safely.

This aligns with commitments made by the federal government in its Aviation Recovery Framework which, according to the reports I have read, has been generally well-received by industry

Engineers’ scholarships now open

We’re offering three annual $5000 scholarships to help up-and-coming engineers achieve their Part 66 licence.

The scholarships will be open to people who have worked for a minimum of 2 years in aviation and have started structured training towards a maintenance licence, or who are doing on-the-job training. 

Fit to work after COVID-19?

Pilots, air traffic controllers and other members of the aviation community can find new guidance on our website to help them determine their fitness to return to work after a bout of COVID-19

A self-assessment checklist steps them through a series of questions about their COVID-19 experience and recovery.

Pilots, air traffic controllers and other members of the aviation community can find new guidance on our website to help them determine their fitness to return to work after a bout of COVID-19

A self-assessment checklist steps them through a series of questions about their COVID-19 experience and recovery.

AWB highlights R22/244 governor control issues

An Airworthiness Bulletin (AWB) has been released about governor control anomalies in Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters.

The bulletin applies to aircraft with an Engine Monitoring Unit (EMU) and is in response to several cases of the governor failing to control revolutions per minute under normal conditions.

CASA Wings Awards

We’re proud to sponsor the Australian Flying magazine’s CASA Wings Awards, which recognise the efforts of the many people who have dedicated their lives to general aviation through individual effort or as part of an aero club or flying school.

We wish to congratulate WardAir and Bathurst Aero Club – both based in the NSW Central Tablelands town – which were recognised as Flying training organisation of the year and Aero Club of the Year respectively.

Navigating New Rules

Can’t locate that Civil Aviation Advisory Publication (CAAP) you always refer to? Don’t know where to find the form to apply for something? It may no longer exist.

When the new flight operations rules began on 2 December, the guidance material and forms also needed to change.

Get your pilot guides to understand our rules

Our guides to help pilots and operators understand the rules of the air are now updated and refreshed.

A fully reviewed and revised Visual Flight Rules Guide (VFRG) and an updated Part 91 Plain English Guide (Part 91 PEG) are now available to download.

Drama in the skies: listen to our Close Calls podcast

What caused a worrying change in engine sound over the highlands of Papua New Guinea? How did the crew of a Citation II corporate jet react to a catastrophic engine failure?

The answers to these questions and more lie in our gripping Close Calls podcast series.

Check out our new website

Our new look website is now up and running. The new site is mobile friendly on all devices and designed to make it easier for you to find the information you’re looking for, know and follow the rules, apply for a licence, permission or authorisation, and use our online services. 

We’ve worked closely with people across our aviation community throughout all stages of development.

Have your say on proposed drone regs amendments

The drone industry is rapidly expanding. To keep pace with growth and demand in the sector, laws governing drones must be regularly reviewed to provide effective and efficient safety regulations for all airspace users and the community.

We are consulting on proposed amendments to drone rules that will benefit industry and operators.

Advanced air mobility set to take off

Advanced air mobility is a step closer to reality after we signed a memorandum of understanding in December, in collaboration with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, Airservices Australia, and the state of Victoria.

Advanced air mobility refers to emerging aviation technologies, such as electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, to move people and cargo.

Find out how we will support growth and innovation in the advanced air mobility sector.

Thank God for the Flying Doctor

Article supplied by RFDS

Far North Queensland cattle producer and tourist operator Lyn French has a lifelong association with the Flying Doctor.

So too, does her husband Rob, whose ancestors worked closely with the aerial ambulance and then the RFDS to help bring transceivers to Queensland stations.

For more than 150 years the French family has lived on Gilberton Station, an 88,000-acre seventh generation cattle station approximately 500 kilometres west of Townsville.

Lyn says if it wasn’t for the Flying Doctor’s emergency and primary health care services her family would struggle to live in such a remote location.

“Growing up, my mother was always saying ‘thank God for the Flying Doctor’ and I never understood what she meant because I didn’t know life without them.”

Now married, with children and grandchildren of her own, Lyn says she truly appreciates and understands the importance of her mother’s words.

“There’s been a few accidents where we wouldn’t have survived without the RFDS.

“The worst incident we had was in 1999, when our daughter Anna was only six years old. She had a horrific accident while mustering, sustaining a compound fracture to her leg and breaking her pelvis in three places.

“Being an hour from the homestead meant we had to unsaddle our horses, make a bed on the back of the ute, tie Anna’s legs together with the rein of the horse bridle to keep her stable, and travel the 20 kilometres home at a snail’s pace to call for help.

“By the time we contacted the Flying Doctor, Anna had gone into shock. I don’t know what the outcome would have been if the RFDS wasn’t able to fly her to Townsville. As it was, she spent three months in traction before coming home in a full body cast for another eight weeks.

“So, in my mother’s words: ‘thank God for the Flying Doctor!’

“They’re such a constant in our lives — they’re our GP, our chemist, our dentist, emotional support and our mantel of safety — we really couldn’t live where we do without them.”

In 2001, Gilberton Station hosted the first RFDS Field Days for the Cairns-based health promotions team and Lyn says it’s the best thing to happen to their community.

“From the young to the old, RFDS staff have taught all in our community so much about primary health care. We’ve learned about medical issues we weren’t aware of, how to treat snake bites, respond to farming accidents, administer medication and how to prioritise our health and wellbeing.”

As a mother of three, Lyn said administering medication would not be possible without the RFDS medical chest.

“Our chest holds items ranging from antibiotics to heart attack medication and injections for pain relief.

“Everything is safely labelled, so when the doctor prescribes a medication we can easily identify and administer it appropriately.”

More recently, the French family has also come to appreciate the Flying Doctor’s telehealth service.

“My elderly father-in-law has had some health issues over the past few years and to be able to access healthcare from home has been a godsend.

He’s able to regularly chat to his doctor without making the eight-hour trip to Cairns.

“I’m so grateful for all of the services provided by the RFDS and to have had a lifelong association with such an iconic organisation. My children, and now grandchildren, have grown up idolizing the Flying Doctor and I have no doubt the French family will be associated with the RFDS for generations to come.”READ MORE STAFF AND PATIENT STORIES