Flying remains a great love for John Hillard, but his compassion has taken that to even greater heights.
For as long as he can, the retired Mount Beauty pilot plans to continue to take to the skies.
Mr Hillard began volunteering with Angel Flight Australia, a job he has loved, more than 15 years ago.
His skills and plane have been used for fights around Australia, providing free non-emergency transport for rural, outback and regional residents.
"As a recreational pilot, most of the flying you do is just for practice or aimlessly flying around mountains just for the pleasure of it," Mr Hillard said.
"Angel Flight gives me an opportunity to do something worthwhile.
"I'm pleased to be doing something for people who are faced with problems, it suits everyone."
Angel Flight Australia relies solely on volunteers and donations and has been operating since 2003.
But it does not act as an alternative to an air ambulance or the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
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Mr Hillard joined the charity in 2007 when he lived in Adelaide, his inspiration coming from a friend and Angel Flight pilot of the time who went on to become its chief executive. He is now one of 3602 registered volunteer pilots in Australia, flying at least once a year.
Mr Hillard quickly points out the "terrific" job done by Angel Flight.
"They're all a nice bunch of people," he said.
"In some way the ground crews' commitments are much greater; they're terrific, and it can be demanding for them too."
Throughout the years, the charity has flown people to say goodbye to dying relatives, delivered food, medicine and supplies to flood zones, as well as repatriating some people otherwise stranded.
"I want to be flying anyway, so why not? It's a virtual circle, and everyone wins," he said.
"I could go out and poke around, or I could get out and do something useful."
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