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Joanna's Helicopter Ride at Seaworld

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After a fabulous day Whale-watching with Seaworld cruises. I stopped at the helicopter terminal and asked if I could check to see if it would be possible to fly with them. The staff were very friendly and accommodating, took me to have a good look at the helicopter and discuss the best ways to transfer. I asked the four ladies on my care support team if they would like to join me, and help with the transfer. Then a week before the flight I organised with Making Strides to practice and problem solve with two of my carers. Unfortunately, as good as the session was, we over complicated the process, and I came away quite nervous.

However, that same week a friend with similar spinal injuries went whale watching, supported by one of my team. So they stopped in again, at the helicopter area, talked with the staff and pilot. My friend was then able to reassure me that, with my chair having the height function, plus the addition of a tall strong pilot. The transfer would be okay. This put my mind at ease, because my friend has flown in helicopters before.

With all the stress, preparation and problem solving out of the way. On the day it was easy. The transfer in and out went well, and my seating posture was good. Thanks to the strength training at the gym. And it was so nice to be flying, and feeling some of the motions as the helicopter twisted and turned. We had great views flying around the Gold Coast.

The Seaworld staff were, very accommodating and patient. Due to the transfer process, the helicopter couldn’t be started until we were all secure. The pilot was very professional and skilled with the transfer. He made it look easy.

The planning, preparation, practice and problem solving, all paid off.

I had a fabulous flight! Loved it!

Would definitely do it again!

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