Dashing Eights to entertain crowd at Open Day

Port Macquarie, 27 October 2004

Nine QantasLink crew members, known as The Dashing Eights, will entertain the crowd performing their repertoire of more than 24 songs from the 60s to the 1990s at the airline's upcoming open day at Port Macquarie Airport on 13 November from 1.00pm.

In between entertaining everyone at the fun day out, band members will also operate a QantasLink Dash 8 50 seater aircraft charity flight for children from the Port Macquarie Hospital's Oncology Ward.

The Dashing Eights comprise: * Captain Rick Vella on lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals (and the band's founder);* First Officer Rob Anderson - lead vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar; * First Officer Tim Campbell - lead guitar; * Captain Steve Smart - bass and occasional rhythm guitar; * First Officer David Rix - rhythm guitar, saxophone and backing vocals, * First Officer Dean Wright - trombone, brass; * Flight Attendant Krystal Flack - saxophone and backing vocals; * Flight Attendant Paul Donnelly - keyboard and * Captain Mario Cipollone on drums.

QantasLink Captain and Dashing Eights spokesman Mario Cipollone, said that practice sessions were organised around the variable rosters. "Practice sessions are mostly held at a rehearsal studio not far from Sydney airport or in someone's backyard at other times," he said.

Highlights of the afternoon, along with the Dashing Eights will be the arrival of historic aircraft Super Constellation, known as Connie and DC3 Hawdon - the first time these aircraft have been in Port Macquarie - for static display, along with the BAC Strikemaster that is resident at the airport, a parachute demonstration, face painting and rides, amusements, showbags and a celebratory cake made by Port Macquarie TAFE students.

QantasLink will also operate a special Dash 8 charter flight from Sydney carrying children and carers from Ronald McDonald House to Port Macquarie for the festivities.

Free bus services will operate from the northern end of Horton Street to the airport and return on the half-hour all afternoon until around 5.00pm. There will be limited parking at the airport for the disabled and elderly.

QantasLink thanks AirServices Australia, Sydney Airport Corporation, Melbourne Airport Corporation, Hastings Council, NSW Rural Fire Service, Coates Hire, St Johns Ambulance, Rotary, The Ross Group, Travelscene Port Macquarie, Shell and Port Macquarie TAFE for their contribution in making the day possible.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3173)