Living The Dream & raising funds for RFDS

This is what living the aviation dream is all about.

A syndicate of five pilots, who got together to buy an aircraft which has been based at Essendon Fields Airport for five years, and use it when they can for holidays, family, work travel or important Angel Flights. Now the aircraft has been entered in Australia’s greatest outback air race to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). David Markus, one of the plane’s owners, along with Eric and their wives Regine and Rachel will travel over 8800kms over a period of 14 days to compete in the iconic Outback Air Race (OAR) 2022 starting in August.

“The owners have been flying together for the past five years and have enjoyed it immensely. Four of the five pilots fly Angel Flights (which fly non-urgent sick or injured remote rural people for medical treatment to the capital cities) when we can align our time, the plane’s availability and the need for an Angel Flight,’’ David said.

“We fly regularly as individuals with friends or as a group. I recently travelled to Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island, with two of the other syndicate members sharing the flying and the experience. The group of owners is made up of four engineers and a vet. Two of us are semi-retired and three of us are still working. The plane is used for work trips whenever we can arrange it,’’ he said

“We (the owners) all love to look after our favourite toy (2015 Cirrus SR22 G5 Australis aircraft) and call it our ‘time machine’ because it whisks us away to magical places like King Island, Flinders Island, Uluru or other amazing outback destinations in just a few hours of travel,’’ David said.

David said this will be the aircraft’s first Outback Air Race and was inspired by Eric, who has wanted to do it for many years. David and Eric registered to do the race last year, but it had to be postponed due to COVID risks to 2022. The Outback Air Race extends from the Northern Territory, Queensland and NSW, with aircraft travelling from Darwin to Coffs Harbour via Cooinda, Adels Grove, Karumba, Undara, Airlie Beach, Gladstone, Roma and Goondiwindi.

When David and Eric decided to first enter their beloved 2015 Cirrus SR22 G5 Australis aircraft in the OAR they had hoped to raise $15,000 for the RFDS – yet remarkably so far they have raised more than $20,000 and the amount keeps growing.

“The OAR has run for many years as a fund-raising event for the Royal Flying Doctors Service, so it’s a tradition we support and we all know the RFDS do a great job of supporting the health of rural Australia,’’ David said.

“We also love that we are supporting a fellow Essendon Fields resident by simply doing what we love. We’ll be able to see first hand the impact from our fundraising efforts, as we’re located literally across the tarmac in Hangar 14 with ACJC!” he finished.

When the OAR begins on August 29 you can follow the progress of David and Erik and their planes by clicking here, or if you’d like to contribute to David and Erik’s fundraising efforts, you can click here.