Guide Dogs get on board with Ansett-ANA

Ansett – ANA played a critical role if the early years of Guide Dogs Australia.

Ansett crew welcome some new recruits

Ansett – ANA transported dogs and clients when training was still being carried out at the National Centre in Kew, Victoria. In the early days, dogs were offered for training by donation. In 1968 the January appeal resulted in 130 dogs being offered with 11 being selected as suitable for further training. They were transported to the National Centre by Ansett-ANA.

Client and guide dog walking in front of Ansett passenger plane
Clients were also transported to Kew for training with their prospective dog and then flown home with their new family member.

Ansett aircraft being boarded by a Guide Dog with handler

As a result, there was a necessity for further training for both Guide Dogs and Ansett-ANA staff.

Ansett-ANA worked in close cooperation with Guide Dogs in the training of dogs, by making their parked aircraft available to the National Training Centre for guide dog familiarisation.

In the mid-60s around 50 dogs received aircraft familiarisation training, which included such refinements as ascending and descending the aircraft steps and general aircraft behaviour.

Ansett training for dogs

They also needed to be exposed to the new and strange noises associated with the aircraft and airport.

Ansett training included evacuating with a Guide Dog

In 1964, with the granting of permission for Guide Dogs to travel in the aircraft cabin with their owners by Ansett-ANA, workshops for aircrew had to include safety procedures for the evacuation of vision impaired passengers and their dogs.

Ansett training included evacuating with a Guide Dog

Staff were also exposed to one of the challenges of travel for the vision impaired by eating a plane meal while blindfolded!

Ansett staff training to eat blindfolded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can learn more about our 60th Anniversary here.