It is with sadness that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia acknowledges the passing of our member, Mr Bruce Rhoades, on Sunday 1st September 2019, following a year long battle with brain cancer and leukemia.
Bruce was passionate about flying and used his skills as an experienced pilot to set-up the 1770 Castaway and Survivor holiday camps just north of Agnes Waters in Queensland. The destination was immensely popular with international backpackers seeking a genuine Australian adventure, and made successful through Bruce’s outgoing personality.
At it’s peak, Bruce’s company, Wyndham Aviation, was flying 300 people a month to Middle Island for 2 hour adventure trips in light aircraft, however, in 2017 one of his aircraft was involved in a fatal accident, which lead to an immense public battle with CASA.
Award-winning ABC and Melbourne Age Journalist Adele Ferguson revealed how Bruce’s company had been unfairly targeted by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and forced to close within ten days of the crash in pre-empting findings, which to this day, are yet to be made by the Queensland Coroner.
On behalf of the AOPA Australia membership we extend our sincere condolences to Bruce’s family and friends and our hearts are with them at this difficult time
A wake for Bruce Rhoades will be held on Saturday 12pm, 7th September 2019 at the Panthers Club in Bathurst NSW.