lindsay hart pilot

It was a dark and stormy night and a baby is on the way

Date published

27 Oct 2021

For the past 15 years, pilot Lindsay Hart has flown in the Queensland skies with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section).

He’s now based in Rockhampton but it was Charleville where he first remembers seeing the Flying Doctor.  

“In the 1970s and 1980s the Charleville clinic aircraft used to fly into the family property and conduct a clinic at the school,” Lindsay said. 

“My mother was what they called the ‘local bush nurse’ and arranged the patients the Doctor would see.” 

After 15 years and countless flights there’s no doubt Lindsay has had some incredible experiences. 

Christmas night in 2008 was a particularly memorable night on the job.  

The weather was wild and stormy. A Longreach woman in labour had a breech baby. 

Doctors said she needed to get specialised care in Brisbane as soon as possible.  

“I’ll spare you the details, but it was a pretty rough trip from a pilot’s point of view,” Lindsay said. 

“Heavy rain pounded on the plane’s windscreen and lightning struck the building where the runway lights were powered, plunging the airfield into darkness about the time we arrived. 

“The local airport reservation office fixed the lights in record time, and we were able to collect the patient and depart for Brisbane.” 

The challenges didn’t end there. The weather on the return trip was still unfavourable with heavy rain, turbulence and icing occurring the plane. 

“Finally, at 29 thousand feet, we broke out of the top of the cloud and there was a weak little fingernail of a moon,” he said.  

“I would say it was one of the best sights I had encountered in a long time. 

“I’ve seen some incredible things in 15 years, but that night would be one of my most memorable experiences.” 

From there, the flight improved and the Mum and unborn bub survived due to the skill of the doctor and nurse.  

It’s jobs like this which inspired Lindsay to become a pilot. 

“I’m inspired by the opportunity to give injured or unwell people a second opportunity to discover what their real priorities in life are — as in their health, their families and their beliefs that sort of thing.” 

After many years in the role he’s got one bit of advice to other aspiring pilots. 

“Go for it. It can be hard work but it’s the best job in the world."