Jeremy Rowsell and Jim Hazelton, who are following in the pioneering steps of Charles Kingsford Smith and other aviators, are scheduled to arrive back in Sydney’s Bankstown airport this morning, Tuesday 19th April, at around 8.30 am AEST.
As they emulate Kingsford Smith’s 1928 trans-Pacific trip in a single-engine Beechcraft 36, the first 10,000 kms have taken them via Hawaii and Samoa to Norfolk Island. “Smithy,” as he was known, gained fame as the first man to fly from America to Australia in a three-engined monoplane called the Southern Cross. He later set the record for a Sydney to London trip before disappearing off the coast of Burma in 1935.
“Even with the modern flight technology at our disposal, physically, mentally and logistically it’s been a real challenge,” said Jeremy.
“Jim’s expertise and experience has been invaluable – especially when we had to turn back to San Francisco with full tanks. He’s almost 80, but he’s still got it.”
“We’ve had a few little dramas like our radio failing and having to turn back and land with full fuel tanks, then finding that the Middle East crisis has affected the supply of aviation fuel, forcing us to fly longer legs, but so far so good.”
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, particularly in Kiribati (Samoa) and here in Norfolk Island where people have been extremely supportive once they found out what we were doing and for whom.”
While re-creating aviation history has long been his dream, Jeremy, a long-time supporter of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), is also aiming to raise money to help RFDS buy seven flight data recorders for their aircraft. They will enable RFDS aircraft to carry additional weight, in the shape of sophisticated medical equipment and clinicians to the remotest corners of NSW.
“I’ve flown across the Pacific for the RFDS because I know that if I were in trouble they would fly anywhere in Australia to help me.”
Clyde Thomson, Executive Director of the RFDS SE Section said, “I’d like to be the first to congratulate Jeremy and Jim on a magnificent achievement – flying across the Pacific is a true feat of skill and endurance.”
“We are very grateful that they chose the Royal Flying Doctor Service to receive the proceeds of their flight. The support of people in the community, like Jim and Jeremy, helps ensure the continuation of our services to people in rural and remote areas of Australia”.
Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section)
More information about Flying 4 The Doctors can be found at www.flying4thedoctors.com
Follow the journey on RFDS social media: FACEBOOK / TWITTER / YOUTUBE / FLICKR
Please support us by donating now to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.