MAYOR Gerard O'Connell has left controversy on the Fraser Coast to make a last-minute flight to represent the region at the Avalon Air Show.
Cr O'Connell was forced to cancel his planned trip to Melbourne on Tuesday due to the impending flood peak in Maryborough.
His "captain's call" to send youngest councillor Daniel Sanderson as a replacement to high-level meetings drew criticisms from colleagues Rolf Light and Chris Loft.
Cr Loft was disappointed the mayor had chosen Cr Sanderson to attend rather than himself - claiming he had more business experience.
But after only one-and-a-half days, Cr Sanderson flew home on Friday morning after Cr O'Connell had arrived.
Speaking to the Chronicle from the prestigious air show in Melbourne, Cr O'Connell praised Cr Sanderson for his work.
"I thought he did an absolutely outstanding job," he said.
"He was quite instrumental in setting up two of the meetings I had yesterday (Thursday).
"I was always intending to come."
The meetings involved Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss as well as other government representatives and aviation stakeholders.
Run by Fraser Coast Opportunities, the region has a stall armed with marketing materials at the air show to promote aviation in the region.
Cr O'Connell said the delegation had generated a lot of interest among show patrons.
He said an assessment would be made on the feedback and expressions of interest received when the group returned on Saturday.