TRACEY BENDINGER | Culture | Contact

“I know it’s the last thing I should be thinking about when I board the plane, but it’s literally all I think about,” Stacey Little tells The Advocate while at the Betoota Domestic Airport waiting to board her two-propeller plane to the State’s capital, Brisbane.

“It’s always the right propeller, it bursts into flames and in my mind I watch the plane plummet. I am always in the plane, but I am also watching on as it happens”

“It’s pretty annoying actually”

“Doesn’t do much for my fear of flying, haha [sic]” Stacey laughs awkwardly.

Diamantina Express Airways, Betoota’s equivalent of Regional Express, operates the world’s largest fleet of Saab 340 aircraft, all of which are ex-American Eagle Airlines aircraft.

And despite Stacey’s fear of the small planes crashing to their fiery death, Diamantina Express Airways is actually one of Betoota’s safest airlines, with only 2 reported safety incidents.

In 2016 a DE001 flight was forced to take evasive action to avoid a glider while climbing airspace out of Betoota.

The other occurred in 2017 when the right propeller sheared off the plane forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing – miraculously no one was hurt in the landing.

Our reporter made the executive decision not to tell Stacey about the airline’s incident history, which is eerily close to the visions she has of her own volition.

More to come.


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