Royal Flying Doctor Service

The service began in 1928, originally as an experiment known as the Aerial Medical Service (AMS) which was to run for a single year. This experiment was based in Cloncurry, Queensland. It was formed by Reverend John Flynn, the first Superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission (AIM), a branch of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
Flynn's missionary work involved the establishment of hospitals in bush communities. This, however, did not help those who lived far from any major community. In his public speaking he would often retell the tragic circumstances that had befallen several bush settlers. The fate of Jimmy Darcy, in 1917, was one of these stories.
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Darcy was a stockman in Western Australia. After being found injured, with a ruptured bladder, by some friends, he was transported over 30 miles (12 hours), to the nearest town, Halls Creek. Here, Darcy was met by FW Tuckett, the Postmaster, and the only man in the settlement trained in first aid. Tuckett said there was nothing he could reliably do for injuries so serious, and tried unsuccessfully to contact doctors at Wyndham, and then Derby, by telegraph. He eventually got through to a doctor in Perth. Through communication by morse code, Dr Holland guided Tuckett through two rather messy bladder operations utilising the only sharp instrument available, a pen knife. Due to the total absence of any medical facilities, Darcy had been operated on strapped to the Post Office counter, having first been made insensible with whisky. Holland then travelled 10 days to Halls Creek on a boat for cattle transport, a Model T Ford, a horse drawn carriage, and even on foot, only to find that Darcy had died the day before. To rub salt in the wound, the operations had been successful, but the stockman had died from an undiagnosed case of malaria and a ruptured abscess in his appendix.

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Within the first year of operations, the service flew approximately 20,000 miles in 50 flights, becoming the first comprehensive air ambulance service in the world. The service persisted through some very tough first few years, dealing with postwar Australia and the Great Depression of the 1930s. During its first few decades the service relied heavily on community fundraising, volunteer support and donations. This is still the mainstay of the service's funding, but it benefits greatly from State and Federal Government funding programmes that have since been introduced. Until the 1960s the service predominantly hired aircraft, pilots and service technicians from contractors. After this point, the service moved on to purchasing its own equipment and employing its own pilots and mechanics.
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The first aircraft operated by the "Aerial Medical Service" in 1928 was a de Havilland DH.50 hired from the fledgling Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service. It was replaced in 1934 by a DH.83 Fox Moth.
During the 1930s and 1940s the fleet consisted of a mix of de Havilland DH.50s, DH.83 Fox Moths, DH.84 Dragons, DH.104 Doves and the de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover.
From the 1950s to 1970s, the fleet included the Beechcraft Baron, Beechcraft Travel Air, Beechcraft Queen Air, Beechcraft Duke, Cessna 180, Cessna 182, Cessna 421, Piper Cherokee and Piper PA-31 Navajo.
Aircraft were provided by contractors until the 1960s. Subsequently the RFDS owned its own aircraft and employed its own pilots and engineers.
Preserved GAF Nomad on display at the RFDS base Broken Hill. This was not an actual RFDS aircraft but has been repainted to represent one of the Nomads based there.
A Hawker 800XP2 at Broome Airport. The aircraft is sponsored by Rio Tinto.
In the 1970s and 1980s the RFDS base at Broken Hill operated the Australian-made GAF Nomad.
From the 1980s to 2000s, the fleet included the Cessna 404 and Cessna 441.
For a time in the mid-2000s the aeromedical evacuation aircraft used were either the Pilatus PC-12 or the Beechcraft King Air 200 series. The internal configuration of these two aircraft varies in the different RFDS sections. Typically they are configured with two rear-facing seats which look onto two stretchers. In some aircraft, one stretcher can be removed quickly and two seats slipped into place instead.
Both the PC-12 and King Air are pressurised and so can be used to safely transport patients who would not otherwise tolerate the decreased atmospheric pressures involved in non-pressurised aircraft. By flying at a lower altitude than usual, the internal cabin pressure can be maintained throughout the flight at sea level. This is important for patients critically sensitive to pressure changes.

Source: wikipedia