HELICOPTER pilot Shaun McLellan spends most of his days transferring crews to off-shore coal vessels, not giving rides to families.
Yet, the Whitsunday Helicopter Group pilot said the joy flights over Finch Hatton Showgrounds for a one-of-a-kind view of the Pioneer Valley Show was a delightful change of pace.
While flying his passengers, he said he couldn't help noticing that "generally they get a big smile across their face".
Operating flights every five to 10 minutes on Sunday, the Whitsunday Helicopter Group tours proved a huge success with the Pioneer Valley Show crowd.
The 10-minute helicopter flights took off from the banks of Cattle Creek, hovering over the showgrounds before rising above the Ferris wheel, rides and food vendors to reveal the expansive green cane fields and the mountains that border the showgrounds.
Mackay grandmother Lucille Jones beamed as she and her grandson, Chester Jones,3, stepped off the helicopter.
"It was wonderful," Ms Jones shouted above the noise of the helicopter blades.
For Amanda Ward this flight was a special moment for her family.
She, her mother Fran Balmer, and her two children, Harvey, 3, and Marlie Ward, 1, hopped into the back seats of the helicopter as her husband Cameron Ward piloted the aircraft.
Ms Ward said her husband's love of flying has been passed on to their children.
Harvey said he was excited for the flight "because Daddy is flying".
"I want to be a helicopter pilot - or an astronaut," Harvey said.
At three, Harvey has already flown twice in his life, but it was the first flight for younger sister Marlie.
As they jumped off the helicopter, Ms Ward said her daughter Marlie "loved it".