Lance Witton was sitting in a plane on the runway at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport two weeks ago, waiting for a storm to pass.
The man onboard with him was in a critical condition, having sustained serious internal injuries. Mr Witton had been on call for more than 10 hours, but this was an emergency and he needed to get the man to Royal Perth Hospital.
“We still had the storm cells hanging off to one side and we had to take off into them,” Mr Witton said.
“I tried one take-off and the wind gust was too strong so we had to abort it.
“We got him there though – we got up 26,000ft, over the top of the storm.”
The longest-serving pilot at the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s Kalgoorlie-Boulder base, Mr Witton has been doing this for 11 years. The 48-year-old has experienced some soaring highs with the RFDS, as well as some heart-wrenching lows. “Occasionally, you’ll get a flight where you’ve made a real difference,” he said.