The Classic Safari Company Outback Air Race has hit Mount Isa for the first time in three years en route from Brisbane to Broome.
The race will touch down in Katherine on Sunday.
Arriving on Wednesday Race director Wayne Ovens said the race featuring 96 people in 38 aircraft has taken 15 months to get off the ground.
“It is not a speed race, it’s like a car rally,” Mr Ovens said.
“There is a start point and end point and you are scored about how closely you fly over each start and each point, each pilot determines how long to fly between the two points and it’s done out of the information in each GPS tracker.”
Mr Ovens said the race raises money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in its 90th anniversary year.
“The last call we were getting was $500,000,” he said.
Mr Ovens did the race as a pilot three years ago.
“We won the race then and I was asked to become the flight director for this race,” he said.
Scott Palmer and Caleb Duggan from Western Australia were taking part in their first race in a kit built RV7 FANS aircraft and they said they were enjoying the trip taking a few diversions along the way.
“We were a little bit early so we thought we’d do a detour,” Mr Palmer said.
“Today’s leg was from Longreach but we went out to take a look over Julia Creek and a few mine sites – we did that in the previous leg as well we went to Hamilton Island instead of Longreach!”
Despite the diversions Mr Palmer said they were still trying hard to win the race.
“We make allowances for what we do,” he said.
Also in the race and flying solo was a Coffs Harbour man with a famous aviation name, Alex Kingsford Smith,
“Charles Kingsford Smith was my great-great-uncle,” Alex said. “There was a little bit of a connection but mainly flying was a career I knew I would enjoy.”
On Thursday the race heads to Adels Grove for a rest day and expects to get to Broome on August 31.
With North West Star.
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