Louis in RAAF Simulator

Graphic: Louis in RAAF Simulator

A once in a lifetime experience for Trekker

Date published

19 Jan 2022

Outback Car Trek enthusiast Louis De Stoop has for many years been a participant in the annual fundraiser and during an auction of the 2021 event, was the lucky purchaser of a RAAF Simulator experience.

Since its inception in 1990, the charity event has raised more than $30,000,000 for the Flying Doctor. 

Mr De Stoop first became a participant of the car rally in 2018 and has been involved ever since. 

“It makes you realise just how important these fundraisers are,” he said. 

“The Royal Flying Doctor Service provides lifesaving emergency retrieval and primary healthcare to people living in rural and remote communities, so we’re happy to give back and support them in any way.” 

During the 2021 fundraiser Trekkers travelled from West Wyalong, passing through a number of regional towns, plus dropped in at South Eastern Section Bases in Broken Hill and Dubbo to cover some 3,500 kilometres across New South Wales before finishing in Port Macquarie.

Louis in RAAF Simulator

It was during this trip that the regular auction was held, where Trekkers and support crew could raise even more funds for the Flying Doctor, and it was there that Mr De Stoop was the successful bidder of the RAAF Simulator experience. 

“I thought it was going to be a special experience, and I was interested to see the simulator,” Mr De Stoop explained about why he decided to bid on the prize. 

“Everyone in our group was keen to give something back because we know the auction was going to be important in raising funds for the RFDS.” 

Mr De Stoop said the Hawk-127 Simulator, which he flew on December 8th, at RAAF Base Williamtown, was an “incredible experience.”

Mr De Stoop said the Outback Car Trek is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about rural and remote communities and discover further just how the RFDS supports them and he will definitely be involved in the 2022 event. 

Commanding Officer No. 76 Squadron, Wing Commander James Atkinson said it’s not often they have the opportunity to show civilians the capabilities they have on base, so to have Louis take part in the Simulator experience was “special and rare.”