Angel Flight & IFFR- kindred spirits of the sky

Angel Flight & IFFR- kindred spirits of the sky

One of the best kept secrets in Rotary is the number of Fellowships, over 100 recently counted which cater for the special interest of their many members.

Rotary Fellowships are international groups that share a common passion. Being part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world, explore a hobby or profession, and enhance your Rotary experience.

These groups help expand skills, foster vocational development, and enhance the Rotary experience by exploring interests while developing connections around the world.

The International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians (“IFFR”) is one such group of like-minded aviation enthusiasts, some of whom are either aspiring, current or past pilots, who enjoy the fun and fellowship of getting together twice a year in interesting places around the globe.

Globally they are some 1,200 IFFR members, mostly active Rotarians, who proudly wear their IFFR “Wings” spreading the word about Rotary in their respective communities whilst linking their passion for aviation through offering “Service Above Self”, often engaging as volunteers in the emerging concept of “Public Benefit Flying”.

In Australia and New Zealand there are some 120 members in the ranks of IFFR. The concept of Public Benefit Flying is very familiar to them, some also being active pilots or Earth Angels for Angel Flight.

According to Mike McFarlane, who is a long time Angel Flight pilot volunteer and currently IFFR’s VP Asia & Australasia, “There is no better form of flying for a pilot than Angel Flights where you can enjoy your passion for aviation and at the same time make a real and visible difference to another person in need of ongoing medical help”.

Rob Hannemann who is the current IFFR Australian President 2022-24 and an Angel Flight pilot believes there is a natural fit between Angel Flight volunteers and IFFR members. Both groups are dedicated to doing good in the world. He believes, “there is the opportunity for other Angel Flight folk to join in the adventures of IFFR on six-monthly Fly-Aways plus importantly more IFFR members become part of Angel Flight family”.

Angel Flight CEO Marjorie Pagani sees great scope for working together for our mutual benefit building on Rotary’s “Service Above Self” to involve more Rotarians in the activities of Angel flight and IFFR. As Marjorie says, “In a similar vein to Rotary, the success of Angel Flight is due to the fact that our volunteers gain enormous satisfaction from giving their skills and resources to help fellow Australians in need. It is their way of making a very personal contribution to the community in which they live. The natural synergy between Rotary and Angel Flight has led to an enduring relationship and one we intend to build upon to bolster our community service position and ultimately, help more people in need. ”

There is no doubt that Angel Flight, Rotary and IFFR are community service kindred spirits; committed to doing good in the world by extending a helping hand and providing their talents, skills and resources to those in need.

The next two IFFR Australian FlyAways are in Queensland- 12-15th April from Toowoomba and another in October with details upon request. Angel Flight Pilots and Earth Angels would be most welcome to join in the fun and fellowship; just call Rob or Mike for the weekend details.

For information on IFFR or Angel Flight, please contact PP Rob Hannemann, Australian IFFR President 2022-24 on 0439 754 290 or PP Mike McFarlane IFFR WPE 2024-26 on 0418 317 418.

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IFFR “Tango around the Outback” FLY IN- June 2023

Article supplied by International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians.

After the RI Convention in Melbourne, 57 intrepid IFFR members, partners and friends set forth to discover the outback; the long-way around via Warrnambool, Mildura, Broken Hill, Echuca and returning safely to Melbourne. 

Reflecting the global nature of Rotary there were folk from Australia, Denmark, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States travelling on the “Tango Round the Outback” in eight GA Aircraft, a twin-engine King Air, and a 50-seater luxury coach plus the odd mini-bus for the pilots and an SUV when the weather rained upon us!! 

And rained it did, with 4” or 100mm in and around Broken Hill the night we arrived!!!   

Our safety committee did well recommending the GA Aircraft remain in Mildura and avoid the unsavoury weather including heavy rain, low cloud and poor visibility. 

There were so many highlights experienced by our touring group on the “Tango” for brevity’s sake they included: 

  • A fabulous pre-Tango shared platter styled dinner at the Longrain Restaurant in Melbourne; 
  • Flying above and around the 12 Apostles, then seeing them at ground level; 
  • Walking the Otway Treetops on the way to the Great Ocean Road; 
  • Coaching to the Ansett Air Museum in Hamilton; 
  • Visiting the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum by day and by night; 
  • Experiencing a campsite-oven dinner hosted by Pres Nardia and the Rotary Club of Mildura Deakin; 
  • The amazing flora of the Australian Inland Botanical Gardens; 
  • Enjoying local wines and fine produce at Trentham Estate, Mildura and Balgownie Estates, Bendigo; 
  • Broken Hill Royal Flying Doctors, the Broken Hill Aero club lunch and cocktails at the Sculptures on sunset; 
  • Local touring in Broken Hill with the Big Picture, the Line of Load arranged by our IFFR member Bruce Church; 
  • Dining with the Rotary Club of Broken Hill during its weekly meeting at the Musician’s Club; 
  • Sight-seeing the highlights of “Mad Max”, the art and food in Silverton including lunch at the Silverton pub; 
  • Plying the Murray River on the PV “Rothbury” in Mildura & the oldest Paddle Steamer “Adelaide” in Echuca; 
  • Echuca attractions including the National Holden Museum and the Great Aussie Beer Shed; 
  • Showing off Australia’s unique “Silo Art” heading to Warracknabeal, Mildura plus returning thru Rochester; 
  • Accommodation was very comfortable, providing the best available locally during our extensive travels; 
  • Traditional Aussie food and a selection of drinks kept the inner man or woman happy in readiness for experiencing the next day’s adventure; 
  • Finally our “Tango Reflections” dinner at Element Hotel with great wine, fine food, and fellowship to finish. 

Thanks to the many “Tango” organisers, all the hotel staff, the various GA Aircraft providers, Kirkhope Aviation providing the King Air with our caring and very personable pilot Rob; lastly, but definitely not the least, our wonderful, exceedingly popular and very careful coach driver Ellen in our big Grey Alston Coach. 

To view the full article and photos head to the IFFR website