Steve’s back in the studio after his heart attack and subsequent surgery. As you’d expect, it was a major experience for him and he’s very appreciative of the support he’s received from our audience. He’s now a member of the zipper club, has been cleared to drive cars again, and is working towards his Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) medical so he can drive trains once again. You can read more about Steve’s unexpected journey on his Proceed Aspect site, but for now, he’s back and we’re producing episodes once again. This one unfolds with:
- 6:01 – We catch up with Marjorie Pagani, CEO of Angel Flight, who gives us a quick history of Angel Flight, and how the organisation is funded. She also updates us on their efforts to fly doctors, nurses, interns and locums into rural and regional areas that would otherwise take days to drive to. We discuss their criteria for pilots and opportunities for volunteering in other roles, then we chat about Marjorie’s background, her flying, and how she became involved with Angel Flight. We wrap up by looking at their relationship with CASA, the types of aircraft being used for their flights, and a reminder of how you can help keep Angel Flight going. You can learn more about Angel Flight through the FAQ on their website.
- 29:43 – Back in 2019, we interviewed Steve Padgett OAM for the Airwaves by Aviation Trader show that we were producing for the previous owners of Aviation Trader. The new owners of Aviation Trader have very generously agreed to let us run that interview on PCDU and here’s the first part of the three part chat we recorded back then. We hope you find it as interesting and inspiring as we do.
Steve’s career in aviation started in the 1960s during the heyday of Australian aviation, but it all began as Canterbury Boys High School where he joined the Air Training Corps and discovered he had a passion for flying. This led to a scholarship with the RAAF that allowed him to obtain his private pilot certificate. From there, he worked as a driver in airfeight and swept hangar floors to fund his commercial and instructor ratings, before eventually getting into marketing and working for Hawker de Havilland selling aircraft. This allowed him to work with people such as Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson (premier of QLD) and his regular pilot, Beryl Young, along with WW2 fighter pilots such as Brian “Blackjack” Walker. Eventually in 1979, he started his own company, partnering with Bib Stilwell selling Learjets and the Embraer Bandierante and Brasilia, before creating Aeromil Pacific in Queensland.
We wrap up this first part with a hint from Steve about starting, along with Don Kendell and Max Hazelton, the organisation that became the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA). As to Alliance Airlines and his work with the RAAF Cadets, well, they will also be covered in a later episode.