A documentary to be aired on the Seven Network is being produced on ‘Wallaby Airlines’ – the RAAF’s former Caribou fleet.
Sydney-based television producer Linda Woods has tracked down many people involved from all five decades of Wallaby Airlines “to tell the story of the aircraft and the people who flew her”.
Woods has discovered rare archive news footage and has gathered up the personal film and photos of many who served with Wallaby Airlines.
“Former crew include the pilot of the Caribou that was hijacked out of Timor at gunpoint,” Woods said.
“Up until a few years ago he was forbidden to talk publicly about the experience. In this television special, he will reveal what happened for the very first time.
“But it wasn’t just war and conflict. The Caribou has also been front and centre of search and rescue missions, natural disasters and medical evacuations.”
In 1964, the Caribous were purchased as a transport for troops and cargo in Vietnam. “Several of the planes were even flown directly from Toronto to Saigon, touching down on Australian soil for the first time only after the war ended in 1972,” Woods said.
“And for a transport plane, it’s what was in the back that mattered. They carried livestock, leaky bombs, VIPs such as Prince Charles and the cast and crew of Survivor 2000, entertainers including Bob Hope and even the Queen’s luggage during a royal tour.
“Their stories are funny, scary, amazing and enthralling.”
With a guaranteed broadcast date in Australia and worldwide interest, Woods is looking for supporters to help fund the production. She is calling on former crew, fans of the Caribou and on those with an interest in aviation to help.
Woods has established a crowd funding profile at Mobcaster – a site dedicated to helping fund film and television projects.
“There are some interesting rewards on offer. And you will be helping keep a very colourful history alive for generations to come,” Woods said.