Graphic: Packsaddle airstrip
Packsaddle locals have gathered at the new Shannon’s Creek Emergency Airstrip to familiarise themselves with emergency landing procedures, ensuring medical emergencies can be handled efficiently and safely.
The airstrip is a project of the NSW Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) and was constructed in 2015 as part of the ongoing Silver City Highway upgrade project. It is located along a section of the Highway, which can be closed off and utilised as an airstrip by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in medical emergencies.
The purpose of the day, held on 17th July, was to ensure the community is informed on the operational requirements of an airstrip on a highway- and able to assist in a voluntary capacity if required.
In attendance was local boy, Max age 11, who was recently airlifted from the strip after an accident left him with a broken femur and dislocated hip. Max himself helped the plane to land using the radio to give the pilot clearance to land, confirming that the strip was clear of wildlife and the road was closed.
During the exercise a brand new B350 RFDS landed at the strip, giving everyone present a first-hand experience of how landing a plane on an operational highway works.
Packsaddle resident and President of the South Eastern Section of the RFDS Ruth Sandow attended the Information session, along with Chair of the Victorian Section, Denis Henry.
‘This airstrip is a shining example of collaboration and hard work between government, service providers and the community,’ said Mrs Sandow.
Contact: Lily Cardis 0436 622 802