19 January 2018 © Scott Palmer
Western Australian pilots Scott Palmer (a member of the Aviation Association of WA) and Caleb Duggan will be taking part in the 2018 Outback Air Race from Brisbane to Broome from 19-31 August 2018.
The race is a GPS-based navigation time trial, held every three years.
In 2018, 41 aircraft from across Australia (and New Zealand) will take part.
The Air Race began in 1996, to raise much-needed funds to support the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service, whose government funding has remained largely unchanged since 2006, despite demand for their critical services increasing.
Participants and spectators in the Outback Air Race have raised over $2.1 million since the first race and these funds have gone towards outfitting RFDS aircraft with essential medical equipment vital for treating sick and injured patients.
Last year, the RFDS made an average of 915 patient contacts or transports, and flew 72,358 kilometres daily. It ran 14,471 healthcare clinics, operated 67 aircraft, 22 bases, 5 health facilities and had 1,072 full-time equivalent staff. In 2018, they celebrate 90 years of service.
This year’s race takes place across Australia’s top end – East to West, Brisbane to Broome, over two weeks. The race starts in Brisbane on the 18th of August, with participants making stops in Bundaberg, Longreach, Mount Isa, Adels Grove, Daly Waters, Katherine, Kunnunurra, and Broome (in addition to having to get to the start point and back home again).
The race itself covers approximately 3,940km, but the round trip from Perth totals around 10,817 km. This involves around 40 hours of flying time and over 1,300 litres of fuel.
Scott and Caleb will be flying is a custom-built Vans RV7A, a small two-seat aircraft with an average cruise speed of around 277 kilometres per hour.
Scott and Caleb aim to raise $4,000 for the Royal Flying Doctors before the race and even more during the race.
If you would like to make a small donation to the team’s RFDS fundraising efforts (100% goes to the Perth RFDS), you can access their team’s page here: https://oar18.everydayhero.com/au/teamzic