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Northern NSW : Rescue Aut 2016
After 24 years and 3508 flights, Air Crewman legend Peter Praniess has retired from the Service. Described as ‘brilliant’, ‘helpful and honest’ by colleagues, Peter is held in high regard as an Air Crewman, and as a person. All-up, Peter has 41 years’ aviation experience and came to the Service with a military background having crewed on ‘Hueys’ (Bell UH-1 Iroquois military helicopters) and operating as loadmaster on C130 Hercules. The military took him all over Australia, and he spent three years at Williamtown, which opened up his eyes to the Hunter. Peter says his two most difficult missions with the Service were winching people out of the beach caves at Frazer Park. ‘You lose sight of the rescue crewmen when you winch them into the cave,’ he says. ‘It’s just like fishing. It’s not often you get a rescue crewman shake your hand after a mission, but that happened on both those occasions, with Pete Martine and Glen Ramplin.’ His time now will be split between fishing, golf, the TAB and the all- important honey-do days, when wife Colleen says ‘Honey, do this, and honey do that ...’ Arriving back to the base after completing his last mission Oi, Oi, Oi Ian ‘Ossie’ Osborne described his job as special and the same can be said about the man himself. ‘Ossie’ said farewell to the Rescue Helicopter on 7 April after 25 years of service to the community. A wonderful pilot who clocked up more than 17,000 flight hours in everything from Bell 47s to Boeing 747s, he is one of nature’s gentlemen. Doubling as the Service’s chaplain for many years he kept in close contact with thousands of patients as they recuperated from their injuries. The 65-year-old had a couple of stints with the Service and also worked as a helicopter pilot for NSW Police and as a commercial airline pilot. He showed extraordinary skill during the 2007 rescue of stranded seamen aboard the Pasha Bulker off Nobbys Beach. ‘It has been awesome, unbelievable really,’ he said. ‘T he best job in the world but we couldn’t do it without the support of our community.’ In just a few weeks the Service said goodbye to three people who between them collected more than 75 years of work with the Rescue Helicopter. Rescue Crewmen Peter Praniess joined ‘Ossie’ on the day of his last flight into Broadmeadow Base. Peter Praniess, Ian Osborne and Peter Cummings Honey-do days await 20 Rescue Magazine AUTUMN 2016
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