OBITUARY: FOOT was an outstanding pilot who had many natural abilities which helped define his career in the aviation industry spanning from 1978 to 2010.
Along with Ray and Pam, Foot was born to Ronald and Fay Gettens and lived in Sydney throughout his childhood years.
At the age of 17, Foot headed to the Northern Territory to work as a jackaroo on the Vestey cattle stations of Nutwood and Wave Hill. The managers, Tony Clarke and Ralph Hayes, became his mentors and this continued throughout his life.
In his early twenties, he obtained his helicopter license with guaranteed work at John Weymouth’s “Helimuster” which was based at Victoria River Downs Station and operated throughout Northern Australia. His invaluable experiences with mustering cattle on a horse combined well with his dare devil flying abilities. In his numerous log books, the official (and unofficial) hours on many Kimberley and Northern Territory properties records the mustering of these huge cattle herds.
It was on Nicholson Station that Foot met his future wife, jillaroo Rose Mott.
They moved to Maggieville out of Normanton in 1983 to run the helicopter operations there for a couple of years and were married at “Virginia” (Rose’s family property) near Glen Innes NSW in 1985.
After leaving the North, they moved south back to Sydney continuing in the employment of Weymouth with Foot learning to fly bigger flying machines, covering a wide variety of work.
His long association of 23 years with Kerry Packer and Channel Nine began in 1987 with an endorsement from long time mentor, Tony Clarke, who was the Pastoral Manager for K.P.
The Swiss family, Schwarzenbach, also employed Foot to fly them around their properties in NSW when they visited from London.
Foot and Rose took over the management of the family farm at Glen Innes over ten years ago which gave them a shared interest fulfilling the cycle of life back to the “cattle days” of the Kimberley only at this time they had to chase their livestock on a bike or on foot.
Foot was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 which sadly ended his flying career. He died on June 5th, 2013 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Rose, sons Tom and Jim and daughter, Alex.
A memorial service was held at the Clovelly Surf Lifesaving Club on the Northern Beaches in Sydney to celebrate Foot’s life and there was a fitting tribute of helicopter fly pasts by Channel Nine, Channel Seven and Westpac Rescue.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.