For 27 years, Super King Air 200 VH-MSZ has been transporting patients, doctors and flight nurses from our Broken Hill Base.
The aircraft, purchased in 1986, was renamed ‘Fred McKay’ in honour of Rev Dr Fred McKay, AC, CMG, OBE.
Fred was an icon of the RFDS, and is universally regarded for his personal commitment to those who live in the bush.
He was the successor of the Rev John Flynn, the founder of the Australian Inland Mission and a driving force behind what is now the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
And in a direct link to our past, it was Fred McKay who persuaded our chief executive officer, Clyde Thomson, to join the RFDS as a young pilot back in 1974.
The aircraft that bears Fred’s name has undergone several modifications during its time with us, including the retrofitting of a cargo door for easier stretcher access.
Fred McKay was the first King Air to be purchased by the RFDS. Its pressurised cabin allowed for the first time the above-turbulence transportation of patients with head and chest injuries.
In its time with the RFDS it has made 5,065 flights and flown more than 4.3 million km.
In order to maintain the safest and most efficient fleet possible, the Fred McKay will be sold this financial year to make way for newer aircraft.