I SEE THE LIGHT: RFDS pilot John Ruddeck has put together a number of new lights for the Morven airstrip.
I SEE THE LIGHT: RFDS pilot John Ruddeck has put together a number of new lights for the Morven airstrip. Andrew Messenger

Donation gives RFDS access to Morven

MORVEN has never had proper airstrip lighting, making emergency RFDS landings at night difficult. Until now.

Long-term RFDS pilot John Ruddeck said it all changed a few weeks ago, when the service was almost forced to use burning toilet paper to direct an emergency flight.

The ambulance did it, as it usually does – but it got the town thinking.

When police called him up to see what could be done, he knew exactly who to call.

Not only has John Walton at Aero Associates provided lighting in the past, they’ve been friends for over two decades.

When the RFDS wanted to light the strip at Rollo station, between Cunnamulla and Balonne, Mr Walton, son of Nancy Bird Walton, was there ready.

Mr Walton designs his own landing lights, and Mr Ruddeck was only calling for a quote.

“They’re on the way,” he was told.

“There’ll be no receipt. It’s the least I could do for you.”

They arrived last week. They’re battery-powered, but will light 1000m of red dirt runway in the worst conditions for 400 hours constant burning.

Morven has never had lights, according to Mr Ruddeck, because the medics have dealt with most problems.

But if you’re ever in need of very quick help at night-time, you know who to thank.


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