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Outback Flyers Meet for the First Time

On June 7th, some of Outback Patrol's most courageous volunteer pilots met for the first time. Their work means they rarely meet each other as they tackle flying patrols individually. They fly the teams that minister to thousands of people in outback towns at different times, but all they know of the others is by the 'whopping-big-lies' the townsfolk tell.

Their curiosity was satisfied in June at a Thanksgiving Rally. They were at the same place at the same time for the same reason. It sounded like a union convention. (Baptist, that is) ... held together by the Love of Christ and St. Paul's Acts 28:28 commission. Visit Outback Patrol's Appreciation Rally to read the report and see the pictures.

But the conversations were more about planning patrols than mere 'hangar-flying' about the past. "You've given me a genuine reason for my flying", several said. They toted up around 55,000 klm in the last few months. One said winning a family for Christ each thousand kms makes it all worthwhile.

Outback Flyers meeting for the first time.
Outback Flyers meeting for the first time.

Les Nixon (Georges Hall NBC) is at the right, then Bill Smart (Castle Hill CoC), Jenny Avery (Richmond Baptist), John Cross (Newcastle AOG) Lawrence Gillet (Castle Hill Fellowship), Steve Ward (Nelson Bay Cafe Church) and Phil Lamb (Warriewood Anglican). Garry Thompson (Belmont Baptist) and Des Porter (Caboolture Anglican) had gone flying. Each had exciting yarns to spin of their risky adventures over outback deserts, even bogged in sand, lost, no fuel, savage cross-winds, sleeping under the wing, and divinely-appointed changes.

John Cross's Saratoga, with Quizworx Matt and Chris.
John Cross's Saratoga, with Quizworx Matt and Chris.

They fly a dozen different teams for evange-living ministry to around 30 different towns inland which are too small for a church. Steve and Phil have been doing this for about 20 years or so, and John and Lawrence just began this year. Nixon started flying outback in 1961, motivated by the Anglican Revd. Len Daniels, who tested doing outback aviation ministry from Wilcannia during 1929-32. He was the world's first flying parson.

Visit: Click HERE to read about some of them.

These flyers are heading back there every month, climaxing with the Christmas Love Box Patrols in December, and they'll keep it up right into next year, as the Lord provides.

A few of the more remote places they go to regularly are Marree, Bedourie, Andamooka, Birdsville, Windorah, Jundah, Yaraka, Eromanga, Louth, Tibooburra and Thargomindah.

Places the pilots fly to ... an area larger than all of western Europe.
Places the pilots fly to ... an area larger than all of western Europe.
   
         
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