Amputee pilot on virtuous path


IT'S a sunny November morning on the tarmac at Western Junction Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Pilot Glenn Todhunter inspects the Ambulance Tasmania Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft at the start of his shift.

The former military pilot, who has only being based in Tasmania for the past 11 months, has flown across the state, from Strahan to Flinders Island, often flying multiple missions in a working day.

After leaving the service and watching former colleagues become commercial airline pilots and deciding that wasn't the life he wanted, Mr Todhunter looked towards working with the RFDS.

"To me it has a lot more meaning to use my skills and experience in a way that directly benefits people from my local community," Mr Todhunter said.

Despite it being a quiet day, there is a late mission called in to collect a patient from Strahan, deliver them to Hobart and return to base.

The professionalism of the crew - Mr Todhunter, flight paramedic Dean Lahey and the Ambulance Tasmania crews at Strahan and Hobart - is exemplary, and the scenery, as we fly over Cradle Mountain and the South-West, is stunning.

As someone with first-hand experience as a patient ("having had my life saved by an emergency services aircraft motivated me to help other people who have also experienced trauma") Mr Todhunter is glad to be working in his childhood dream job.

If he wasn't doing this, as a double amputee, he would still be looking to help others.

"I'd like to think I could become involved in disability advocacy work, and perhaps I'd pursue further academic study."

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