An emergency situation at the Saxby Round-Up on Saturday night was dealt with with typical Outback ingenuity.
When a rider at the Round-Up had a fall that required medical attention, the Royal Flying Doctor Service was tasked to the scene, 200km north-east of Julia Creek.
The only runway available did not have night landing lights but locals hit upon the traditional solution for this type of event – lighting toilet rolls to mark out the landing strip. Police Sgt Cath Purcell said it was an amazing sight and the rolls stayed alight long enough for a successful landing and take-off.
RFDS pilots are used to innovation when landing at remote air strips and used the “toilet roll” solution to airlift a patient from a property 180km north of Cloncurry in August 2016.
Pilot Geoff Cobden said they dip the rolls in diesel until soaked, and put them out on the runway,and once the pilot is overhead, they light them “and then I'll circle overhead to make sure they're set up correctly, and then land."