PERTH Observatory tour guide Ed Jones will take to the skies in a Turbo Lance when he takes part in the triennial Australian Outback Air Race to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
It is the second time Mr Jones has participated in the two-week-long race that will cover 9,935km across some of the most remote areas of the continent.
“We have an incredible country, and to fly over it in a light aircraft is by far the best way to see it in its entirety,” he said.
“We are taking the time to fly over the Nullarbor Cliffs, Maralinga, Lake Eyre, Kangaroo Island, the Bungle Bungles and the Kimberly coastline which are just some of the many highlights of the trip.”
Mr Jones said living in remote areas of WA and the NT had given him an admiration for the vital work of the RFDS.
“This experience, plus travelling round the county for over 30 years as an Army Reservist, has made me really appreciate how important the RFDS is outside capital cities,” he said.
“Not just the emergency work they do, but also the routine clinics and contact they have with people living remotely is so important as well.
“A couple of years ago my neighbour’s family was visiting from the UK, the sister fell and injured her kidney in Busselton.
“The RFDS evacuated her to Perth for emergency treatment.
“This shows you don’t have to go far to appreciate the RFDS.”
Mr Jones, who has been a volunteer at the Perth Observatory in Bickley for five years, said his six-member team Turbo Safari was hoping to raise $20,000 for the RFDS.
“We will be hosting two starry sundowners at the Perth Observatory on February 7 and 15,” he said.
“It is a unique opportunity for people to come to the Observatory and raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”
Tickets cost $60 with all proceeds to the RFDS.
Attendees will receive a welcome drink and canaps upon arrival, experience a guided tour of the historical domes and telescope viewing, followed by light supper.