Heaven?s not so far away, says Graham

FIFTEEN thousand feet above the ground may still be a long way from Heaven, but not to Graham Dooley.

There is no other place the 62-year-old Rockhampton Aero Club life member would rather be.

"I have always been interested in flying since I was 10 years old,'' he said.

"I love being up there looking down at everything.''

Mr Dooley has been flying planes for over 30 years and his passion for the sport and the club shows no sign of fading.

In fact, Mr Dooley is being awarded a Royal Federation Aero Club Federation Award for his commitment as president to the club.

Of course, in the 30 years Mr Dooley has been flying he has gathered an array of experiences.

Not all of them have been positive, he said as he recalls the time a bird flew into the side of the tail plane.

"I think I hit an owl or hawk and the whole plane shook and shuddered,'' he said.

"It felt like I got hit by a missile.''

But this was really the only scare Mr Dooley ever had. He said flying overall has brought him so much joy.

Today, Mr Dooley not only enjoys flying, he also enjoys watching new aero club members get to know each other.

"Seeing these people come out to the club and socialise is really rewarding,'' he said.

Mr Dooley also said he is pleased more women are learning to fly.

"We have three women in our club right now,'' he said.



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