Preparation is key to a smooth landing

By Royal Flying Doctor Service, Queensland

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Currently, there are more than 2,000 landing strips in the RFDS network, many of which are used on a regular basis and many others that exist purely for emergency medical visits. RFDS pilots are trained to land in difficult locations and on runways where little information is provided, however with safety a top priority there are a number of things that private runway owners can do to ensure the RFDS can land on their property when medical assistance is required.

> Grading the airstrip – if a grader is not available, drag an old wooden sleeper behind a tracker to smooth out the surface of the runway. If a four wheel drive can comfortably travel at 80kms/hr along the runway, then it is suitable for an RFDS aircraft to land.

> Clear new growth from both ends of the strip.

> If you have battery or kerosene flares, ensure you have back up batteries for spare kerosene to use in an emergency.

> If your property uses a pre-selected UHF channel, please let the RFDS know so that in an emergency the pilot can clearly communicate with those on the ground.

> If a UHF channel has not been selected please switch to channel 5 – the RFDS emergency UHF channel.

If you have constructed an airstrip and want to notify the RFDS, or get more information on maintenance and construction, please email cwimpenny@rfdsqld.com.au