Graphic: Mini plane inspires big donation
When aeromodeller Andrew Herzfeld set out to build a replica Rio Tinto Life-Flight PC-24 jet, he dreamed of using it to fundraise for RFDS WA.
When aeromodeller Andrew Herzfeld set out to build a replica Rio Tinto Life-Flight PC-24 jet, he dreamed of using it to fundraise for RFDS.
Incredibly, its first unveiling attracted so much attention online, it caught the eye of one of America’s most prolific philanthropists, film and TV producer Tyler Perry. He was so impressed by the model aircraft that he donated $38,000 to RFDS.
Perry is a keen aeromodeller with his own mini airfield at his estate in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also working on building a replica PC-24. Their shared passion means the pair have become fast friends.
“It’s absolutely surreal, I would never have dreamed so much interest would come from this,” Andrew said.
Built with plans supplied by Pilatus, Andrew’s model is built to one third of the scale of the original with astounding detail. It features full flight function, navigational lighting and LED screens in the cockpit. During his three year labour of love, RFDS WA gave him access to the Jandakot hangar to take photographs and measurements of the original jet, and supplied paint to create an exact match.
Andrew is planning to take the 70 kilogram model to field days and expos across WA to keep raising funds for RFDS.
“A friend was involved in an incident on the Nullarbor and was airlifted to Perth by RFDS, so I wanted to find a way to give back.”
Building the replica was an outlet for Andrew during a battle with bladder and kidney cancer.
“Having this passion project to work on kept me going through the difficult days of my treatment,” he said.
You can see more photos of the jet at Hertzy’s Hangar on Facebook.