'World my oyster': Mandurah author writes memoir of life in the bush

'World my oyster': Mandurah author writes memoir of life in the bush

Mustering a herd of cattle from a helicopter seems like an unusual job for most of us, but that's exactly what Mandurah author Greg Keynes did to make a living on the north coast of WA.

His new memoir The Flying Bushman shares stories from his days above the land during his aerial mustering years, along with detailing a harrowing helicopter crash that almost took his life, and took years to recover from.

Mr Keynes says he was inspired to share his story because most people never get the chance to experience bush life.

"It's an environment that is as close as a human can possibly get to the real natural world and the untouched rangeland and its flora and fauna is pretty much as it was thousands of years ago," he says.

Growing up on a family property in the Murchison region, Mr Keynes worked as a pastoralist and chopper pilot in the early 1980's which gave him the opportunity of seeing only places that could be reached by helicopter.

Reliving his days around his crash and mustering the Hamersley Range, Keynes says he was reminded of the true Aussie spirit.

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"It was demonstrated to me very clearly what I already knew, that country folk step up in times of real need," he says.

"When I had my helicopter crash the helicopter staff realised the urgency and put their necks on the line to set out in the dark with a doctor to removing me from the bottom of a gorge.

"If it weren't for them, I would undoubtedly be in a wheelchair today."

Set along the blue ranges and scouring river beds of the Pilbara, The Flying Bushman is an authentic Australian story of life above the land that Mr Keynes hopes will inspire others.

With three children and three grandchildren in tow, life is different these days but Mr Keynes has no intention of slowing down.

"I have a heap of magnificent bush photos I would like to put into a book of a very unique bush nature and particularly those from my helicopter," he says.

"I certainly have some books left in me yet and I am so fortunate - the world is my oyster."

The Flying Bushman (Gelding Press $29.99) is out now.