An ultralight pilot from Federal is hoping to break a new Australian aviation record for the number of take-offs and landings in a single day to raise awareness of the plight of greyhounds and promote their adoption as pets.
Tim Howes, a proud owner of a greyhound adopted from Friends of the Hound, also wants to raise funds for the charity in his attempt next month and is hoping Tweed Shire Council will approve use of Murwillumbah Airfield for the attempt at this Thursday’s meeting.
The 27 year old aviator, who has been flying since the age of 13, plans to beat the current record of 102 take-offs and landings, aiming for 120.
He’ll complete the feat in an open cockpit ultralight aircraft.
A council report on the bid to use the airfield proposes various conditions including safety and non-exclusive use of the airfield.
The flights are planned to be conducted at a height of no more than 150m (500 feet), in a circuit pattern. The report says they would not be given special priority over any other aircraft in the air or on the ground.
A safety officer, who is a registered nurse, will observe the attempt and several safety pilots on the ground will monitor the flying throughout the day and have the right to call the aircraft in at any time.
There will also be two mechanics on the ground inspecting the aircraft every two hours. All flying will be conducted within gliding distance of the runway.
An estimated 20 to 30 aircraft movements are expected at the airfield during a Saturday, when the attempt is planned to be held.
Mr Howes told Echonetdaily that if council did not approve the airfield’s use, he had a backup plan for use of a private airstrip on a rural property near Lismore.
Friends of the Hound is a non-profit, volunteer based group that aims to educate the public about greyhound welfare and the breed’s suitability as family pets and companions.
Mr Howes said he has wanted to crack the record for some time and also wanted ‘to let people know about this good cause’.
‘So this was a perfect opportunity to do both.
‘Greyhounds are gentle, friendly and really affectionate. They are quiet, great with kids and other animals, and surprisingly lazy,’ he said.
Friends of the Hound president Lisa White said there were widespread misconceptions about the breed ‘and with Tim’s help we can promote greyhounds as pets and change the perception of them as “just a racing dog”.’
Mr Howes hopes to achieve the record and raise funds for the charity with help of friends and sponsors. The charity, which has more than 40 volunteers across NSW and Queensland, rescues and find homes for more than 100 unwanted greyhounds a year.
For further information and sponsorship opportunities visit fly.friendsofthehound.org.au.