Wayne Thurston from Compass Helicopters at the Hervey Bay Airport.
Wayne Thurston from Compass Helicopters at the Hervey Bay Airport. Alistair Brightman

Joy flight chopper pilot enjoying challenge of new venture

A NEW tourism venture will be offering aerial views of our beautiful coastline, with the arrival of Compass Helicopters.

The joy-flight business set up shop in an empty hangar at Hervey Bay Airport six weeks ago, with chief pilot Wayne Thurston moving to the Fraser Coast after flying in the skies on the Gold Coast.

"It's much more relaxing up here," he joked.

"I'm quite enjoying the smaller town lifestyle.

"I think there's a lot of potential for the area and there's a lot of potential for us in the area."

But Mr Thurston won't be relaxing behind the controls.

He'll take tourists on an interactive flight that could encompass Fraser Island and white sandy beaches.

"The operation that we have is tailored for more smaller, couple-type experiences," he said

"Heading out and having a more personal experience."

He'll soon offer lunch flights to Fraser Island and Mr Thurston wants Hervey Bay to be a long-term home.

"We would love to be here for as long as possible," he said.

"We've had really great support from council, we've had fantastic support from FCO (Fraser Coast Opportunities).

"We do have the challenges - hopefully all the hard work will come off."

Mr Thurston also does aerial work for businesses.