Chopper pilot’s outback memoir
An author and former Pilbara mustering pilot will offer a distinct insight into the outback lifestyle and harsh landscapes of the region when he releases his latest memoir.
WA author Greg Keynes will release his latest book, The Flying Bushman, in coming weeks.
The book will recount tales both dark and bright about running his aerial mustering business in the region during the 1980s.
A book with the same name was released in 2016, which focused more on photographs and snippets of memories of his experience working as a pastoralist and chopper pilot in the “bullish” 1980s. His latest book is a collection of stories about working life in the bush, lost family ties, his self-made career, falling in love, and the resilience of people in the Pilbara.
Keynes grew up in the Murchison outback before moving north, and said he had fond memories of working with people in the region.
“The people are special in the Pilbara,” he said.
“They always try to help you out, and they know what it’s like to be facing the elements.
“They go out of their way.
“They are lovely people.”
The book touches on darker issues, such as suicide and Keynes’ struggle with depression. It also details a fateful routine mustering accident in which he was faced with his mortality and the prospect of losing a leg.
Keynes said he wanted to help foster understanding between city and Pilbara people.
“This shows the emotion and practical jokes and just highlights what people do in the bush and also gives city people and so forth the opportunity to know about a bit — first-hand — of what goes on,” Keynes said.
“(It’s about) getting people to understand that there is a lot more that happens in the country than just the standard droving cattle or fixing fences.”
The Flying Bushman will be released on September 2.
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