He lives among us, ready and willing to wing rural residents to the medical care they need, and Angel Flight Australia pilot Rob Evans has no intention of landing.
Volunteering his piloting skills and aircrafts since 2003, Mr Evans is now using his home base in Tenterfield to fly people - from Inverell, Glen Innes, Moree, Armidale, Broken Hill, and to the back of Bourke and beyond - to their city medical appointments.
The New England pilot has completed 138 volunteer flights for Angel Flight and relieved many country people of the stress from driving hours on end - plus saving them the oftentimes astronomical cost of travel.
Angel Flight Australia itself has reached a major milestone this month, having ticked over 20 million kilometres helping country people in need.
Mr Evans estimates - given each of his missions are on average 800 kilometres long - that he's clocked up over 110,000 of those sky miles himself.
"I have the aircraft, and I have the ability to give back to the community," he said simply of his motivations. "You are doing good, and it can be in different ways, very satisfying - but also very humbling."
His first mission was a relay between three aircrafts, taking a child to visit her father who was dying.
I think what has stuck me out of all of this over the years, is how extensive the need is in the country for easy access to medical facilities.- Rob Evans
"It was my first experience doing a mission, and they've come pretty often since then."
He's ferried people aged anywhere from 80 years old to babes in arms, and said while most flights were straightforward, there were many again which have left a lasting impression. And sadly, not all of those missions have happy endings.
"There would be a few missions like that that've left their mark," he said, thinking immediately of a "very good man" whom he'd taken home from palliative care.
"One flight I did from Brisbane to Longreach, I took a him home to die as were his wishes," Mr Evans explained.
"I took him up there, and a lot of people came to meet him, even the mayor was there.
"He lived for a few weeks after that... but he got what he wanted."
He tells of another, a teenage girl, who he and other Angel Flight volunteer pilots carried hundreds of times for kidney dialysis and then finally a kidney transplant. Ultimately, devastatingly, her surgery failed.
"We were able to make life easier for her and her family," Mr Evans said somberly, saying that sometimes that is all that could be done.
"Those types of missions make you appreciate what's really important."
Mr Evans' passion for flying took off at a young age, when he would fly with a friend at school who had gotten a scholarship and pilot's license in the Airforce.
"Several years later, I was going to university in Brisbane and I put myself through by restoring old pianos," he laughed.
"I had this pianola that I restored and sold for what was a lot of money for a fairly impoverished student, and I thought, 'what am I going to do with this money?' So I decided to blow it and get a pilot's license!"
Fast forward a few years and Mr Evans, working on a gold mine at Cape York Peninsula, bought his first plane in the 80's. Seeing "the need was there", he would occasionally take acquaintances to the city for treatment, before he joined with Angel Flight. A six-seater Piper Saratoga was the first aircraft used for the Aussie charity, however he now flies a four-seater Mooney.
"I think what has stuck me out of all of this over the years, is how extensive the need is in the country for easy access to medical facilities," he said.
"And the fact that if you fall into that group of people between those who are healthy and those are in an emergency, you can end up waiting a long time or even deciding not to get treatment.
"I got a surprise the other day - I did an Angel Flight from Glen Innes to Sydney, and the lady said to me, 'look for a few years we've been donating to Angel Flight, and I never thought I'd need it, and all of a sudden here I am'. It's amazing how things turn around."
Angel Flight coordinates non-emergency flights to assist country people to access specialist medical treatment, relying entirely on donations.
Find out more by visiting their website here.
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