‘Amazing’ flight for one man
THERE was no medical emergency and no rescue effort.
The RACQ-CQ helicopter fired up its engines for mission Bucket List
Shannon Yasserie had always wanted to fly in a helicopter, but was left a tetraplegic after a freak accident on Slade Point Rd in 1999.
Whilst recovering from recent surgery, Mr Yasserie was talking with his friend Stephen Coppock about his wish.
Mr Coppock didn't waste any time and contacted RACQ-CQ Rescue with the special request.
Mr Yasserie mother had a teary eye when her son took off from Magpies Sporting Club just after 11.30am.
"It was amazing. I didn't expect it to be that good.
"It was the perfect day for it."
The pilot had another surprise in store, leaving the helicopter door open during the flight so strapped-in Mr Yasserie could feel the wind in his face.
Mr Yasserie said he had fun with the crew onboard.
"They were a good bunch of blokes, they made me laugh," he said.
"I'll remember it for a very long time.
"Going over the water was the best part, looking back towards Mackay."
During the planning of the flight, the service also discovered Mr Yasserie had a close connection to the rescue helicopter.
His father was airlifted to Townsville by RACQ-CQ Rescue in 2009 after suffering a stroke.
Mr Yasserie said RACQ had a huge impact on his family, by taking his dad to Townsville for specialist treatment.
His dad was gravely ill after the stroke but recovered and survived an extra four years before he died in September last year.
"Without RACQ-CQ Rescue, we wouldn't have had that time with Dad," Mr Yasserie said.
"My whole family is grateful for what they were able to do. "I know other people who have been airlifted by the rescue helicopter so I can definitely speak for the importance of the service."