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AUSTRALIAN June – July 2016 Vol 69 No 3 Price $7.75 incl GST

The Wonderful Waco

Searey Sojourn Around the Globe Cessna 120 Affordable Fun Flying


ESCAPE ARTIST #thecirruslife

CIRRUS AIRCRAFT AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND W: | E: P: AU 1300 204 170 | NZ +64 (0)274 438 373


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia MISSION STATEMENT AOPA stands for its members’ right to fly without unnecessary restrictions and costs. PRESIDENT Marc De Stoop IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Phillip Reiss 0418 255 099 VICE PRESIDENT & SECRETARY Jeff Muller 0415 244 259 VICE PRESIDENT & TREASURER Dr Tony Van Der Spek DIRECTORS Allan Bligh 0408 268 689 Spencer Ferrier 0437 747 747 Peter Holstein 0418 425 512 Robert Liddell Neill Rear MAGAZINE EDITOR Mark Smith Advertising 02 9791 9099 ART DIRECTOR Melinda Vassallo 0413 833 161 AOPA OFFICE Phone: Fax: Email:

+61 (0) 2 9791 9099 +61 (0) 2 9791 9355

CEO Aaron Stephenson 0417 292 209 Membership 02 9791 9099 Accounts 02 9791 9099 Address Hangar 600 Prentice Street Bankstown Airport NSW 2200 All mail: PO Box 26 Georges Hall NSW 2198 ©AOPA Australia 2016. This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without permission from AOPA. Printed by Graphic Impressions. AOPA by resolution of the Board has adopted database management practice that will allow selected and qualified aviation commercial interests access to the membership database for aviation promotional use that the Board deems acceptable as being informative to its members. The Privacy Act requires that members have the right to opt out of this marketing. Please advise the AOPA office if this is your desire.

Reporting Point The meeting at Tamworth on May 6 demonstrated that politicians do listen when enough people make noise. Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester admitted that in the short time he’s been in the job, people in the aviation industry have continually expressed their frustration at CASA’s actions. “I recognise there are issues with CASA. You’d have to be an idiot not to see that,” he said. Now we have their attention, the trick is to keep it. We need cool heads to present real solutions to the problems we’ve identified, and to keep the pressure on until the wheel starts to turn. At the meeting, CASA board chairman Jeff Boyd demonstrated that he is deeply passionate about general aviation and has long experience of the issues facing pilots, aircraft owners and small to mid-level operators. He is a voice of reason who is desperately trying to reform CASA with ideas borne from his real world experience as a professional pilot and licenced engineer. One of the issues he raised was the need to change the Civil Aviation Act. This is essential if we are to reform the mindset and culture within CASA. In the US, the FAA promotes aviation as a part of its charter. CASA is under no such obligation. The safety-at-any-cost mantra has stifled development within aviation manufacturing industries and strangled flying businesses with onerous red tape. If they were forced to consider the potential commercial effects on GA businesses of implementing some regulations, as opposed to blindly pushing safety as the only consideration, then regulations might become simpler, the stacks of paperwork smaller and operators might become profitable. I am not suggesting we don’t strive to make aviation as safe as possible. Irrelevant paperwork problems in an operations manual don’t make aviation safer. Forcing a private pilot who flies 40 hours a year to undergo the same medical tests as a pilot who flies 200 IFR hours a year on the same Class Two medical is also wrong. At times the industry feels the mandarins at CASA have the aim to keep the high capacity airlines and airforce flying, and view with suspicion the miscreants who fly lower capacity charter or private operations. Their response is to throw ridiculous medical standards at older pilots in the hope they leave the CASA system, or throw paperwork burdens at small charter and flight training businesses to send them to the wall. The result is a decline in aviation activity - people not flying and businesses not thriving. The bureaucrats in the halls of Aviation House, by and large, have never run an aviation business. They come from the ranks of disenfranchised flying instructors who never made it into the airlines or engineers who worked for the airlines, were made redundant, and found a new home at CASA. They can tell you where cracking problems occur on the 737 but don’t know one end of a C182 from another. They can audit paperwork and put a notice of non-compliance about the fact a company letter head is on the wrong side of the page (true story) but they know comparetively little about the aeroplanes they are auditing. I know there are exceptions to this. I know them personally and their employer’s actions frustrate them too. But there are so many problems with CASA and its systems it’s no wonder the industry is in a state of despair. Yes it’s scary. Aeroplanes in the air supposedly pose a risk to safety but with welltrained pilots flying aeroplanes maintained by competent engineers the risks are low. CASA is obsessed by rules that don’t contribute to either of the above. All they do is add to the burden of paperwork that leads to compliance in order to satisfy the bureaucrats. The time has come to change that. Mark Smith Editor I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016


Contents » AOPA At Work


Aircraft Review

President’s Report.........................................6

Think about Flying Politely .........................20

The SP 2000 ............................................... 34 Bell-47G......................................................... 48

Calendar of Events 2016 Events.....................................................8

Cover Feature

Cessna 120 ...................................................50

A WACO’s Tale ............................................ 42

Tech Talk



Tamworth Rally............................................. 12 World News................................................... 18 Aviation Humour ........................................ 22 Solar Impulse .............................................. 24

Weather Tools ............................................. 62

A Lifetime in Aviation................................ 26 Aero Expo 2016........................................... 28


Never Too Old or Too Young.................... 31

Merimbula..................................................... 54

Old Aeroplanes, Unexpected Rewards.....37


A World Journey at 80knots................... 56

Warbirds Willie Chew................................................... 64

Mike Jorgensen.............................................10 Head in the Clouds – Bas Scheffers....... 16


The Fokker D.VIII......................................... 68

Learning to Fly – David Bonnici.............. 17

Wings Over Illawarra................................. 46

Warbirds – News.......................................... 71


The Aero Expo 2016 4

JUN - JUL 2016


Letters Letters to the Editor....................................72

Membership Marketplace Classifieds......................................................77

AOPA Membership Form Join AOPA for great benefits................... 81

Short Final How Did You Start Your Day?................. 82


A World Journey

COVER PHOTO The joy of flying the WACO Pic: Mark Smith.


Allan Wood


The Cessna 120 I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



President’s Report

Eureka Update I am pleased to announce everybody involved (some 27 people) pulled together to produce the final Project Eureka document for circulation in early May. This was perfect timing with the punters betting on an early July election. I am very proud of both leading the team of professionals that contributed, and the final reform document that is Project Eureka. Over the 12 months taken to develop Eureka, it has become apparent that not all people in aviation agree with the final recommendations. At times I felt like Henry Kissinger, negotiating the final policy positions. I have done my level best to apply common sense in my final recommendations. Common sense has proven, over my many years in business life, to be the most important ingredient to successful outcomes. Above all, individual or personal/company gain must be precluded if there is to be successful, sensible, long term industry policy. History has shown, in the world of general aviation, this has been a major impediment in gaining the right industry policy outcomes. The abilities to separate personal gain, versus the gain for the overall industry has been sadly lacking. Even if you don’t agree with all the final recommendations in Eureka I ask you to look at the overall thrust of the brief and, on balance and for the sake of the industry, unite behind it. We need the political torch to gain attention and support from all MP’s now while the election is on. Without a united front we don’t stand to achieve any meaningful reforms. I invite all the affiliated aviation industry bodies, at this critical time, to unite behind a common reform policy platform. Why is AOPA USA so successful in maintaining GA friendly FAA regulations? It’s simple. They try to unseat MPs who don’t support GA. History shows it’s a very effective formula. I’m taking a leaf out of their book. With more results derived from of Eureka we at AOPA Australia will achieve increased membership, hopefully proportionally along the lines of the USA and Canada. Based on the North American ratios we should have 10,000+ members instead of 2600. Obviously lots more work to do. I note the recent release of The Australian Aviation Associations Forum TAAAF 2016 policy document. This document shows that both AOPA’s Eureka and the TAAAF are similarly inclined on many of the major policy reforms. The TAAAF policy is well-research, presented and argued in a very comprehensive document. I congratulate them on a quality policy document.


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STOP PRESS The Tamworth rally on the May 6, organised by Aviation Advertiser’s Ben Morgan, has been a huge political success. I congratulate Ben for the initiative of calling such a gathering. I also congratulate and thank the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, and CASA chairman Jeff Boyd on also having the courage to face the rally. Without Ben Morgan’s enthusiasm and passion for aviation and Barnaby Joyce’s help this event would not have happened. It will be remembered as a watershed in the reform process. Some 400 people from all states and territories (except NT) were represented. AOPA, along with other aviation affiliate organisations, actively supported Aviation Advertiser to stage the event. All three invited members, the Ministers and the Chairman, could not ignore the passion and honesty shown by the speakers from the floor. It certainly dramatically demonstrated the desperate state of general aviation in Australia. The meeting immediately has the desired result. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, on the evening of the rally, invited selected industry delegates to meet with Minister Chester in Canberra on May 25 to get a more detailed briefing on the state of the industry. This was a very positive outcome. AOPA will be there and will report the outcome in the next edition of Australian Pilot and Epilot Extra. This is beginning of a new reform process that will hopefully revitalise the general aviation industry in Australia.

Marc De Stoop President


Marc De Stoop AOPA President

Farewell To A Great Board Member AOPA director and secretary Jeff Muller is stepping down from the board. Although he will not be involved in day to day duties of the organisation, he will continue to contribute to AOPA as and when needed. Jeff has been on the AOPA board for nine and a half years, joining the board in late 2006. As a previous board member and secretary of Australian Warbirds Association he developed the close ties between AOPA and Warbirds that continues to this day. Jeff started his flying career in gliders and owned and flew his own glider for 10 years, progressing to powered flight as a private pilot with his instrument rating. He has considerable experience on Harvards and for many years flew a Cessna 337. He currently flies a L39 Aero Vodochody training jet that he part owns. Australian Pilot magazine has been Jeff’s major contribution to AOPA. He saw the need to upgrade what was a fairly pedestrian club-style publication to what it is today, a high quality glossy magazine, probably the best aviation magazine available both to

members of AOPA and on the newsstands. Jeff has worked tirelessly on the development of the magazine, working with and appointing editors, culminating in the current editorial stewardship of Mark Smith. The magazine is now an eclectic mix of GA, warbirds, antique and light sport aircraft - just what Jeff envisaged it would become. Jeff wants to make room for appointment of a younger director with fresh ideas, but will continue to support AOPA and will now have time to pursue his other interests, being a keen and competitive member of the Ferrari club and to continue flying his L39. We thank him for his calm and considered input on ongoing issues at the AOPA board table.

Welcome New Members Name


Roger Collins


Name Clive Creager

State QLD

Ian Downes


David Marteene


Tony DeGit


Luke Radunz


Alex Edwards


Shinn T Yeung


Gary Kildea


Murray McLachlan


Chris Gardiner Jason Holden


Vic Milovanovic


Trevor Lunn

Michael Robinson


Peter McCarthy


Richard Talbot


Mark Thoresen


Christian Uhrig


Peter Roberts

Peter Uther Andrew Chown


Nigel Weston


Geoff Barratt



Dale Bradshaw


Leigh Bryan


Paul Dewar


Rod Laurie


Rohan Osment


James Clarke

George Negrin Shane O’Halloran




Events 2016 NEW SOUTH WALES Sunday



Wagga Wagga Aero Club Hosts a lunch and associated flying event. All pilots and friends are invited to join and take in the surrounds of the airport and adjoining farm land. Details: 0418 449 856

Orange Aero Club Saturday



All pilots are welcome to fly in to Orange for a brunch on the second Saturday of each month. The aero club is open from 8am with food available from 11am to 2pm.


Kyneton Aero Club Fly-in and Airshow

Kyneton Aero Club celebrates its 50th anniversary with a community airshow on Sunday October 23 with support from the Rotary Club of Kyneton, the Rotary Club of Woodend and Macedon Ranges Shire Council. All funds raised will go to the Rotary Clubs of Kyneton and Woodend. Details: 0354 226 626.

22-23 OCT


Details: 0499 766 190

Straddie Fly-in Sat - Sun

18-19 JUNE

The Lismore Aviation Expo This annual event at Lismore Aerodrome is an information expo for the aviation sector. The weekend will include flying displays including aerobatic shows from Paul Bennet.




Breakfasts are held on the third Saturday of every month from 8.30am to 10am. Breakfast includes fruit platters, bacon and eggs, sausages and eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, creamed corn, tea, coffee and fruit juice.

Details: 0410 558 334

Details: 0425 292 391




Orange Aero Club Invites visitors to drop by any time from 5pm to enjoy fellowship with fellow aviators and a barbecue tea. Cooking normally starts about 6pm.

Details: 0499 766 190


22-24 JULY

Thangool fly-in and races Lunch is available for early arrivals from 12.30pm with an aviation safety forum in the afternoon and a pilot’s dinner in the evening. The Thangool races start at 12.30pm Saturday. Shuttle bus available.

Details: 0409 893 910



Cessna 200 Series Association Spring Fly In.

Fly in to Wollongong to visit HARS, the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, and take the train to historic Robertson host to the Big Potato and where the 1995 film Babe was made. A walk through the treetops is another highlight. There will be wining and dining as usual and lots of chat and laughter. Details: Annie 0418 853 635. Registration forms:



JUN - JUL 2016


Fri - Tues

30 SEPT -4 OCT

Shute Harbor, Whitsundays A fantastic series of events is being organised for aviation enthusiasts. Take scenic flights over the beautiful Whitsundays and the famous runway dinner will be held on Sunday. Details: 0430 172 325.


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How Much is Too Much Experience? Former military pilot Mike Jorgensen cannot understand why CASA is so difficult to deal with about his working future. certificates or MCC training, I would have no proof. Could he write me a letter? There answer was negative. The next day he called me again, and as he only just realised that my RAF flying was not actually Australian RAAF, then I was no longer eligible for the MCC exemption. He refused to put that in writing. He also refused to write that he wasn’t allowed to write to me. I told him that I was applying for an exemption based on the fact that CASA would consider “any other relevant experience”. He didn’t know what a Vickers VC-10 or a HS-125 was, and didn’t seem to understand. Schedule 1 ‘Alternative Requirements’, states that I must satisfy: My last full time flying job, was as a copilot on a four engine jet, with four flight crew, flying mainly IFR operations around Europe, the Middle East, America and the South Atlantic. The Royal Air Force provided me with great experiences including air to air refueling in war zones, medical evacuation flights, and cargo and passenger operations. After returning to Australia I set about upgrading my Australian CPL to an ATPL. Difficulties set in when my three year time limit was unfairly changed to two years and I had to repeat many of the now-expired exams. Finally I completed passes in all of the subjects, and I had blown my budget. The new Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) requirement is beyond my financial reach, but as luck would have it I discovered that there are


JUN - JUL 2016

exemptions available for certain experienced pilots. Ex-military pilots could be exempt, however my flying was mainly with the British RAF and the RNZAF, so that didn’t apply to me. CASA’s last condition said that other equivalent experience could be considered. Photocopies of my logbook were mailed to CASA. There was no response to that or the numerous emails that followed. A telephone call to licensing simply advised me that it was being looked into. I also forwarded an email from a British MCC school that told me that former RAF multi pilots were exempt from his course, and that they were granted MCC. Six months later and still no reply from CASA, I reached out on the phone again. I was soon told that I could have an exemption, but as CASA do not grant



 uccessful completion of a S course of training in MCC approved by EASA; or


Successful completion of the training required to qualify for an EASA type rating for a multi-crew certificated aircraft

How much more experience should I need to be considered exempt from paying thousands for an MCC course? Do CASA deliberately ignore answering letters and emails if the solution might be slightly tricky? Why are they seemingly prohibited from putting anything in writing? It’s soul destroying that my hard won experience as a professional pilot is ignored by an bureaucrat who is secure in his job, while I struggle financially due to these decisions that fly in the face of logic. This is my future we are talking about. n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Tamworth Rally Tells the Decision Makers: Mark Smith reports on a meeting that may prove to be a turning point in general aviation. Tamworth became the focal point of the battle to reform the general aviation industry when Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, CASA Chairman Jeff Boyd and fellow board member Anita Taylor met with more than 400 people who were given a chance to air their frustrations with CASA. Aviation Advertiser chief executive Ben Morgan and AOPA organised the event, which included a private meeting between Minister Chester and key figures from the general aviation industry before an open hangar meeting where attendees were able to ask questions of the assembled government representatives. Mr Morgan’s assessment of GA was stark. “The industry is on its knees, shackled by layers of regulation that are squeezing the life from otherwise viable businesses. Families are losing homes, pilots are losing jobs and Australia is missing out on the benefits of a strong aviation industry because for too long CASA has had an attitude that the more safety regulation that is thrown at the industry the better, even if a valid safety case isn’t made for the regulations.” Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he could hear the frustration in people’s voices when they talked about problems involving CASA, and that’s why he organised for the new Transport Minister to meet with people involved in the aviation industry. He admitted he had little knowledge of aviation, as did Minister


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Chester, but that it was important for the industry to present a united front with a united series of initiatives. “The place that all of us are going to reside in is the future, and what we have is time ahead of us. If we can work with you then hopefully we can bring about a better industry that takes some of the weight off your shoulders, that lets you stay in the air, lets you make a buck and helps this economy go a lot better,” Senator Joyce said in his opening remarks. Mr Morgan brought up the issue of ADSB implementation and said it was an example of the defiant attitude the regulator has towards the industry. “One of the issues the industry has been engaging with the government over, and to me it stands out as an example of the defiant nature and the wilful persistence of the regulator to act in a manner which is prejudicial to the industry, is ADSB compliance,” Mr Morgan said. He said that while no one in the industry would say ADSB is a bad thing, the decision to bring it in years ahead of the United States, potentially costing the industry millions of dollars extra, was a bad decision that the regulator refused to address. “The minister might think we are a bit emotional about this issue, but when it’s going to cost the industry $36 million that’s something worth getting emotional about.” Minister Darren Chester admitted he had already heard about problems within the aviation industry, even though he had only held the portfolio for 10 weeks.


“My challenge as minister, and I experienced this as I walked in the room today, and I’ve had other meetings, is that I get completely different views on a whole range of issues. There is no simple answer. “I recognise there are issues with CASA. You’d have to be an idiot not to see that.” He went on to say that it was important to engage with government to help find answers to the difficulties being faced. CASA Chairman Jeff Boyd spoke next and admitted immediately that Part 61 had been a debacle that the organisation was working hard to fix. “There are a large raft of exemptions that we are drafting at the moment that were signed off. They should be out in the next fortnight and what they do is wind back lots of things to the old CAR 5 regulations, things like multiple instrument proficiency checks. “Roger Weeks is working on these exemptions which will run through until the end of the year when we hope to roll out an amendment to Part 61 which will basically be a new Part 61 but in the meantime, to keep people out there earning a living, there will be wide ranging exemptions. If they aren’t enough come back to me and I’ll go back to them to make sure they do more exemptions.” Mr Boyd was also unequivocal about his opposition to the decision to implement ADSB ahead of the United States. “I think it’s a stupid idea to bring it in three to four years ahead of the country that manufactures the equipment, but I came in afterwards and now I’m trying to unpick it.” He went on to say that it was very


Enough is Enough

Minister Darren Chester holds a copy of Project Eureka. hard, if not impossible, to roll it back, but that exemptions were available to give operators more time to install the equipment. However after spirited discussion about the number of exemptions required, Mr Boyd finally conceded that the continual issuing of individual exemptions for operators to delay installation of the ADSB equipment after the upcoming deadline was inefficient and that he would go back to Canberra and talk to the other agencies concerned to try and find out if the roll out could be deferred in line with other countries including the United States and New Zealand who have mandated the installation by 2020 and 2021 respectively. The SIDS program was also discussed with Mr Boyd saying that, following a meeting of chief engineers, it had been decided to allow private owners of 100 series Cessnas to now implement the inspections over a number of years in consultation with their LAMEs. He also admitted that he wasn’t fully conversant with the issue of the

Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce.

mandatory replacement of control cables and that he would take the participants concerns about the issue back to Canberra. “There has been a major shakeup in the airworthiness section recently so let me take this back to them and see what can be done,” he said. Responding to a question about reforming key areas of the regulations covering the strict liability provisions found in the Civil Aviation Act, Mr Boyd said that, in essence, that was the sort of discussion that needed to be had with people like the Deputy Prime Minister. “I’m a licenced engineer and a commercial pilot so I don’t like the idea of a strict liability either. If we have a high level meeting this is the sort of thing we need to talk about to change the act. “I believe the (Civil Aviation) act does need to be changed and we’ve got some ideas as a board of what we’d like to see changed in the act. That’s the sort of high level discussions

we can have to set a template to make things better in the longer term. At the moment I’m putting band aids on things to keep people operating.” Ken Cannane from Aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Business Association (AMROBA) raised the issue of increasing the powers of the CASA board. “The board has been created and that board needs more power to make the directions and control where we are heading. We lobbied hard to make the board more representative of industry. We support the board. “For the last 40 years the industry has been asking to harmonise the system with the United States FAR system and that’s what we want. We do not want to see a unique set of regulations in Australia.” He said it was important for the board to take responsibility for the problems within the industry and that it should make public the direction it wants CASA to move in. In response to Mr Cannane’s I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Tamworth Rally Cont’d comments, Mr Boyd said that the board was looking at moving toward a system of regulation like New Zealand has for general aviation. He said that the EASA regulations suit the “big end of town” being the major airlines but don’t do anything for regional aviation. Senator Nick Xenophon sent a message of support which was read by Mr Morgan. “I am sorry I cannot be here today to support you and the industry in your fight for a fair go. Just last night in a senate committee I asked CASA Director Air Safety why the ADSB requirement could not be delayed until 2021. The DAS said it would not be delayed and went so far as to say it may be cheaper if we do it early. I do not accept that position. I will not stand by and see general aviation being destroyed in Australia with a measure that will force more pilots to fly visually because of the cost involved.” Minister Chester praised Jeff Boyd, saying the CASA chairman was very much on the side of the industry. “We actually have someone in Jeff’s position who is on your side. I know people are frustrated - you’ve had 30 years of frustration. He’s been in the job 10 months and I’ve been in the job 10 weeks, and while I don’t expect sympathy because politicians never get much of that, he’s the bloke going into bat for you. He’s on the phone to me every day putting forward very positive, very practical solutions about how we get CASA working for the general aviation sector so I encourage you to work with him as much as you possibly can because I think he’s the best chance your

Minster Darren Chester, CASA Chairman Jeff Boyd and board member Anita Taylor.

industry’s had for quite some time.” The minister also thanked organisations like AOPA for sending through policy documents including Project Eureka, for consideration. “It’s important the conversation we’ve started here today doesn’t end here today so that’s why these documents are important to use. It’s why Jeff has been in my office twice this week going through them, looking at the good ideas you’ve got for the future. It’s not just about one issue, we accept that it’s a whole range of issues that are making it very difficult for your industry and we are determined to make sure you have a prosperous future.” n

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A New Bird By Bas Scheffers

With the company still growing in leaps and bounds as well as consolidating more staff in our office near Parafield, the time has come for OzRunways to get a company aircraft. Instead of using our own personal aeroplanes to get to an increasing number of airshows and fly-ins, we could travel in a faster and more suitable ride. In choosing the aeroplane there were a number of requirements: it had to be reasonably fast, comfortable, safe and carry some bigger items easily, and of course, represent good value. Comfortable to us means modern and that really only leaves Cirrus or Diamond. Of course a SR22 would be fastest and carry the most, but in the value proposition, the SR20 or DA40 is fast enough. If you are going 300nm away the time difference between 150kts or 180kts isn’t significant. Comparing the DA40 and SR20, the latter has more baggage space, a bit more speed and, after a test flight, we also found the cockpit more spacious and comfortable. Now there are far fewer SR20s than SR22s in the world, so our timing was actually quite good as multiple were on the market at the time. Our bird of choice became a 2003 SR20 with less than 700 hours on the Hobbs. It’s a basic setup with Avidyne PFD and MFD, Garmin 430 and an S-Tec 55 auto pilot and it’s all been working perfectly in the 25 flying hours since we took delivery. So what’s it like, getting used to a different aeroplane flying IFR? First of all there is the handling of the aircraft

itself. In the case of the Cirrus a lot is said about the transition training and people assume it’s a handful. My experience is that it flies like any other aeroplane; treat it with respect, fly it to the numbers from the POH, stay ahead of it and you’re not going to get into trouble. My best guess is that it’s the latter where people get unstuck. Staying ahead of the aeroplane can easily take a backseat if a suite of advanced avionics you are unfamiliar with is distracting you. So while I skipped the official conversion training, I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone coming from a very different kind of aircraft (like a C172) and/or new to the fancy gadgets. Coming from a DA40 with G500 and 430, like I did, the differences actually turned out to be quite small. With about two hours of VFR flying in an SR22 and SR20 in my logbook, it was time to take the new bird home to Adelaide from Tyabb after the air show. The weather would have allowed for VFR, but it would be nice to climb above the 3000ft overcast straight away and not have to deal with avoiding airspace, flying low over the bay or trying to get a VFR clearance, so we filed IFR. To get the full experience I decide to hand fly to cruise, which couldn’t be easier in the Cirrus. I’ve been told it was a specific design decision to make the AI span the entire width of the 10” screen, and the

Aviation Liability Solutions for private aircraft owners.


JUN - JUL 2016


result is that even if looking down at the GPS it’s so big in your peripheral vision that it’s almost impossible to drift off level. When you mention you are buying an SR20 the first thing people tell you is that the cruise speeds advertised are “a fantasy and to plan on 135 KTAS”. Levelling out at cruise I adjusted the power settings to what the book said should get me 150 KTAS and guess what? I got a 150kts. In this country, perpetually being well above ISA temperatures, you’ll never get the absolute top speed but 150 true at 6000ft is nothing to be sniffed at and the miles towards Adelaide flew by on auto pilot. After just 2.7 in the air, we were back at Parafield before noon on a Sunday having done exactly what we set out to do in buying this aeroplane – be able to go to more air shows and fly-ins to support OzRunways customers without sacrificing more family time than required. The only reason we didn’t fly home straight after the show was that I wanted some more time before taking it out at night; next time I’ll sleep in my own bed. And that’s the beauty of personal and business aviation in an IFR aircraft. Unless you are traveling from capital to capital, even a 150kt piston single will beat a 400kt airliner door-to-door and the experience is more likely to leave a smile on your face – not to mention the faces of your family. n


Living the Dream By David Bonnici

Like most student pilots I am my harshest critic. My recent thinking has been that I haven’t achieved anything as an aviator without a licence in my hand. Pilots like to talk about flying to anyone who’ll listen, but sometimes it takes nonflyers to remind us that what we do is pretty amazing, regardless of where or what we fly. I was at a party the other day and met a couple I haven’t seen for years but keep in touch with via Facebook. The first thing they said to me was how cool it was that I was flying because, A, flying is a really cool thing to do and, B, I’m following my dream – which many people don’t do whatever that may be. It got me thinking how lucky I was to have a dream that’s relatively easy to realise. Sure, it’s not simple or cheap and the highs are often matched by some confidence sapping lows, but it’s achievable. Many pilots lose touch with living the dream and continue to yearn for the grass on the other side of the fence – like the post-solo student who wants to fly crosscountry, the PPL who wants to fly for a living, the regional pilot who wants to fly 737s, or the A330 pilot who wishes they were an aerobatics champion. It took non-flyers to remind me that I am living the dream whenever I push the throttle forward and become airborne,

even if it is for yet more circuits. And that’s where I found myself yet again as weather continued to curtail my progress to my area solo at Ballarat. Clear and still autumnal weather seems to prefer Wednesdays to Saturdays, which can be frustrating for the weekend flyer. My last flight was meant to be a quick jaunt into the training area to make sure I remember forced landings and how to return to the circuit before going solo. However a 1200ft cloud base ensured that wasn’t going to happen. Circuits beckoned but I was mindful about spending another $300 on doing touch-and-gos only to find another way to stuff them up. However I had a different instructor than usual so I decided it would be a good idea to have a new set of eyes check out where I could improve, not that I really needed a reason to go up for a fly. My idea paid off with Tim noticing I was overthinking things to the point of missing some basics. Learning to fly is one of those pursuits where you can be told how to do something several different ways by different people. A case in point is turning base.

Different instructors at different schools have shown me their preferred method of how set up base leg. I’ve learned everything from cutting the engine to full idle as I turn, to reducing engine speed to 1700rpm after I compete the turn. I’ve been doing a kind of hybrid in the Warrior, where I’d reduce speed to 1700rpm as I turned. This of course makes the aircraft sink a little quicker meaning I’d be low on base, which made it more difficult to set things up on final. I also got into a bad habit of fixating on the speed and trimming to that rather than the aircraft’s attitude. I most likely had been told it before, but Tim’s simple advice of having half sky and half ground in the windscreen at 1700rpm couldn’t have been more timely or effective reminder. It had a flow-on effect of nice approaches to the numbers, bang on 70kts, and the best flares since Saturday Night Fever. All that’s needed now is the weather gods to come to the party while my mojo hangs around. n David Bonnici is a Melbourne journalist who is finally indulging a life-long obsession with aircraft by learning to fly. I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



World News

UK changes PPL medical standards. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that medical requirements for some private pilots will change. The move will lead to both cost and time savings for pilots and, in most cases, remove the need for General Practitioner (GP) or Authorised Medical Examiner involvement in the process. The change follows a public consultation, in which 96 percent of those responding agreed with the proposal. Once the change takes place later this year, the medical requirement for UK private pilot licence and national private pilot licence holders will be to meet the same standard as that required to hold a driver and vehicle licencing agency (DVLA) Group 1 Ordinary Driving Licence (ODL). These changes do not apply to pilots with commercial licences or those displaying at airshows who will still need to be approved as fit to fly by a specialist aviation medical examiner. The announcement is in line with the CAA’s top level principles for GA regulation: • Only regulate directly when necessary and do so proportionately • Deregulate where we can • Delegate where appropriate • Help create a vibrant and dynamic GA sector in the UK.


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First production Cirrus SF 50 Vision Flies. The revolutionary Cirrus SF-50 jet took another step towards FAA certification when test pilot Terry LeSage took the first production aircraft for its test flight in early May. Named P1, the first production jet has allowed Cirrus to test every design and build process along the way. “Pilot feedback on P1 is simple; the aircraft handled just great. It was unnoticeably different from C2 (the third of Cirrus’s test jets), with handling qualities matching those of its predecessors and all systems working as intended,” said Mr LeSage after the flight. Cirrus first welcomed the cabin of P1 to Duluth in April 2015 from their Grand Forks manufacturing facility, and have since seen it trimmed, drilled, assembled, bonded, receive hardware and systems installation, transition through wing and stabiliser hang, engine installation, flight controls and accessories mounted, and finally the first coat of primer applied. Full certification is expected within months. n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016


SAFETY A secure tiedown

Thinking about flying politely and safely Airmanship is a word with many interpretations. Mike Dalton weighs in with some examples. Airmanship is phrase we see tossed around a fair bit in the various publications and forums that abound our industry. It’s a broad phrase and it can have a variety of meanings depending on the context it is being used in. One online dictionary I looked to for a definition simply said “skill in flying an aircraft” while the all-knowing Wikipedia said “skill and knowledge applied to aerial navigation, similar to seamanship”. While both are good, I don’t think either address a very important trait that I consider fundamental for someone who demonstrates good airmanship. My observations over the past 30 years in the flying game suggest that most pilots display “skill and knowledge”. Let’s face it, if they didn’t then passing a flight review, rating renewal or obtaining a new endorsement or license would be unachievable. Sure, there are a number who barely scrape by on ability or some even where, if their instructor were being honest, they would be pointed toward


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the golf course. Overall however, we all operate with a fair level of skill and that’s reflected in the very low fatality rate in the Australian aviation landscape. So what’s missing? Recently I’ve seen a few examples that suggest that there’s a level of common sense missing as well as a lack of consideration for the consequences of your actions on others. Maybe that’s an unfortunate fundamental of human nature these days but I would like to think that talking about it from time to time might make people sit back and reflect on how they operate and decide if they could do better. Example 1 - Engine run ups. I know our instructors teach us to point the nose into wind to conduct this activity. I actually don’t recall if my instructor ever explained why we do it but I do recall him encouraging me to check what’s going to be behind me and to reposition if it’s not clear. One example of poor airmanship in this regard at a recent airshow resulted in a line of parked aircraft being directly


peppered with stones while another put taxiing aircraft at risk. The crews of both “offending” aircraft were very experienced and should have known better and fortunately there was no damage that couldn’t be rectified with a wash. But the example that was set for any upcoming pilot in attendance was poor to say the least and there was a clear disregard or lack of consideration for what or who was nearby. Example 2 - Tying down. The picture is of an aircraft I saw parked a few months back. It’s pretty obvious that the pilot has made no real attempt at securing the aircraft and in windy conditions (not uncommon at this airfield) this aircraft could easily have got loose and caused damage to other people’s property on the way to destroying itself. Again this sets a poor example to less experienced pilots who learn not just from their instructor but also from the example that you and I set for them. The lack of care displayed in this case may also have

Thinking about flying politely and safely

caused the owner some conflict with their insurer if the aircraft had got loose in the wind. Example 3 – Looking out. I was at another fly in recently where around 170 aircraft were registered as attending, with an extremely diverse range of aircraft types. Operations were being conducted on the main north south runway with a light and variable westerly of less than 10 knots and ops on runway 35 was the established pattern. A group of Tiger Moths arrived overhead and joined the circuit for 35 with the exception of one who joined for 17. I’m not sure of that pilot’s logic but he made the call for that runway and the rest of the Tigers appeared to wait for him to land. However a Grumman was also in the circuit for a landing on 35. Ok, I thought someone’s going around and will likely be annoyed but to my utter amazement (and frustration that I didn’t have a handy radio to alert them) both persisted and landed head to head on

Recently I’ve seen a few examples that suggest there’s a level of common sense missing as well as a lack of consideration for the consequences of your actions on others. the bitumen! They landed short of each other so there was no collision but that’s not the point: surely at some point both must have checked to see that the runway was clear to land on. One of the last pre landing checks I do every time is – “runway clear, clear to land” - even at a controlled aerodrome, but that was clearly not done in this case or perhaps one or the other wasn’t prepared to yield and go around. Not having a radio I do not know if they were even communicating. In no way am I suggesting that the Tiger pilot was at fault as landing a vintage taildragger with even a light cross wind has its challenges, but clearly neither of

them looked nor had the common sense to call going around. It’s pretty simply really: think before you act and consider what might happen and who you might be influencing or affecting. Think what’s behind you and what surface you are on before doing a run up, and when parking your aircraft make sure it is securely tied down in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. When operating at busy, non-controlled aerodromes, keep your eyes outside as much as possible and ensure the runway is clear before you continue your landing. If it’s not, GO AROUND. n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Aviation Humour Following the success of the last issue’s page of aviation fun, Australian Pilot presents another trip into the light side of flying. Possibly these aren’t so real to life.

Q. How many pilots does it take to change a light bulb? A. None. It’s done by the auto pilot. Q. How do you know when your date with a pilot is half over? A. He says: “but enough about me - wanna hear about my plane?” One mouse tells her girlfriend she dates a bat. “What is this ‘thing’ you are dating?” “It’s a bat, a mouse with wings!” “But he is so ugly!” “Well, yes, but he is a pilot!” Student pilot to irate instructor: “Think about it. I navigated through a boiling fluid swirling around a rotating sphere that is hurtling around a fusion reaction source at thousands of miles per hour. This system is moving in a circular motion around a black hole at who knows what speed, while the space it takes up is expanding. And I bounced six inches. SIX MEASLY INCHES! You need to get off my back.” Pilot: “Outer marker, inbound.” Tower: “Roger, cleared to land runway 36, winds 270 at 21, gusting 29, heavy rain, severe turbulence below 300, RVR 2,000 feet.” Pilot : “Roger. Cleared to land, and oh, let us know if it gets any worse.” Tower: “WORSE?”


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ATC: Alitalia 321, continue taxi to the holding position 20R south via tango. Check for workers along taxiway. Alitalia 321: Roger, 20R via tango. Workers checked, all are working.

Tower: “ Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o’clock, six miles!” Delta 351: “Give us another hint. We have digital watches!”

The flight attendant watched a passenger try to stuff his hopelessly overloaded bags into the overhead bin. Finally she informed him that he would have to check the oversized luggage. “When I fly other airlines,” he said irritably, “I never have this problem.” “Sir, when you fly other airlines, I don’t have this problem either,” she smiled and said

As the crowded airliner is about to take off, the peace is shattered by a five-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum. No matter what his frustrated, embarrassed mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously and kick the seats around him. Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, an elderly man in a Marine uniform is seen slowly walking forward up the aisle. Stopping the flustered mother with an upraised hand, the white-haired, courtly, softspoken Marine leans down and, motioning toward his chest, whispers something into the boy’s ear. Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his mother’s hand, and quietly fastens his seat belt. All the other passengers burst into spontaneous applause. As the Marine slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touches his sleeve. “Excuse me, sir,” she asks quietly, “but could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?” The Marine smiles serenely and gently confides, “I showed him my pilot’s wings, service stars, and battle ribbons, and explained that they entitle me to throw one passenger out the plane door on any flight I choose.” n


Fully revised Visual Flight Rules Guide Limited print run—don’t miss out!


(includes postage & handling)

available only at: I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Solar Impulse Conquers the Pacific

Renewable energy is on the world’s agenda. Solar Impulse shows the way forward. The revolutionary solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse has completed its longest flights over water, first when pilot André Borschberg flew for five days from Nagoya Japan to Kalaeloa Airport in Hawaii and the second when Bertrand Piccard undertook the next leg and landed more than 62 hours later at Moffett Field, San Francisco all without using a single drop of fuel. But the five-day, five-night journey, which set a record for the longest duration, non-stop, solo aeroplane flight, resulted in damage to the plane’s batteries that required lengthy repairs. Piccard says the flight is as much a test of human endurance as it is about demonstrating the importance of renewable energy technologies. He completed the three day trip from Hawaii to San Francisco sleeping as little as 20 minutes at a time while enduring the Solar Impulse’s cramped cockpit, which has no climate control equipment. He says the workload is quite high.


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“You have interviews, navigation control, and communications with the control center in Monaco. You have health checks, a lot of health checks. It’s very active, there are a lot of things to do, but you can nevertheless enjoy it.” Piccard and Borschberg have been taking turns flying the plane on an around-the-world trip since taking off from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in March last year. It made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China, Japan and Hawaii. During the day, the solar cells recharge the 633kg lithium batteries which allow the aircraft to fly at night and therefore to have virtually unlimited range. Borschberg says the project demonstrates the success that can be achieved when a team works toward the goal of a cleaner energy future. “To build an airplane the size of a 747 with the weight of a car, something which was considered impossible by the


aviation industry, we had to develop the right mindset in order to push the limits of the technologies. With partners who believed in the same vision we have developed solutions to make our airplanes very energy efficient. All these technologies can be used today in other applications to make our world more energy efficient as well.” Since the Solar Impulse left Abu Dhabi it has flown more than 313 hours, covering more than 22,000km, using only the sun for power. Bertrand Piccard is a medical doctor who specialised in psychiatry. He is also an explorer and aeronaut and made the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight. He co-founded the project. “If governments had the courage to promote clean technologies on a massive scale, our society could simultaneously reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, create jobs and stimulate sustainable growth,” says Piccard.

Solar Impulse Conquers the Pacific Ocean

Piccard says the flight is as much a test of human endurance as it is about demonstrating the importance of renewable energy technologies.

André Borschberg is an engineer and graduate in management science. He was a fighter pilot in the Swiss Airforce and is the co-founder and chief executive of the Solar Impulse project. Piccard and Borschberg are using the flight to demonstrate that actual alternative energy sources and new technologies can achieve what some consider impossible. The Solar Impulse 2 project aims to mobilise public enthusiasm for technologies that will allow decreased dependence on fossil fuels, and bring about increased acceptance of renewable energies.“We want to demonstrate that clean technology and renewable energy can achieve the impossible,” says Piccard, who is also chairman of the Solar Impulse organisation. “Renewable energy can become an integral part of our lives, and together we can help save our planet’s natural resources.” n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



A Lifetime in Aviation Allan Wood has been fixing aeroplanes for 77 years and has no plans to give up. Mark Smith met him. His hands have the roughness gained from years of manual work, but his eyes are clear and his memory sharp. At the age of 94, when most people are happy to simply wake up, Allan Wood spends his time working on aeroplanes. His calloused hands have helped maintain flying machines that are now considered rare classics, but to a 17-year-old apprentice they were the modern aircraft that needed attention. “I started at Adastra Airways in 1938. I was the hangar boy there for 12 months, sweeping up, helping the other engineers and learning,” he says. Adastra was a small company operating from Sydney airport. It began operations in 1934 when managing director Captain Frank Follett flew a subsidised passenger and mail service from Sydney to Bega in a Fox Moth. Over time its fleet expanded. “I worked on a Klemm Swallow VHUUJ, a Waco Biplane VH-UYD, and a DH-90 Dragonfly VH-AAD which was one of the new twin engined biplanes


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coming into service. “Years later I was on my way to Darwin and I called into Broken Hill and I couldn’t believe what I saw. The same Waco, UYD, in immaculate condition. It was 40 years since I worked on that aeroplane.” Interestingly UYD is still flying in South Australia. Allan’s next job was at Bankstown airfield with De Havilland. This was where he cut his teeth working on DH-86 Express aircraft operated by Mandated Airlines, a subsidiary of shipping company W.R Carpenter and Co. These four-engined biplanes were considered state of the art in 1939 and were used on services between Sydney and New Guinea. “In some ways servicing back then wasn’t much different to what is now. You did compression checks on the engines, and examined the airframe. But there was always more work to do on them. It’s hard to imagine four gypsy sixes on a biplane that is all fabric with wooden spars,” he recalls. “They weren’t immune from


problems, but I don’t recall any issues with timber rot, rather just fractures of ribs or fuselage longerons. “I leaned to work in wood as a part of my apprentiship. Everyone did.” WWII interrupted Allan’s civilian training and he joined the airforce as a general engineering fitter. This allowed him to gain experience on a variety of iconic fighter aircraft that were in operation. “I did a bit over 12 months on Kittyhawks, Cobras and occasionally Spitfires. Spitfires were hard to work on being typically British. Everything was inaccessible. The British built it, expecting it to last forever and not needing to be looked at. The Yanks provided for inspections so their aeroplanes were always better to work on and more satisfying.” Allan served for six years and after being demobbed his next job was at Butler Air Transport. His wartime service had included a lot of work on C-47s and this led to the next classic aeroplane type to come under his care. “We converted six C-47s to DC-3 standards. Eventually I had an A licence on the C-47/DC-3 airframes. An A licence

A Lifetime in Aviation

Photos: Mark Smith allowed me to be able to perform a complete overhaul. The B licence was the same, but applicable to engines.” In the early 1960s Allan was offered a job at fledgling aircraft manufacturer Victa, a position that brought him into contact with the Australian designed Airtourer and later, its four seat variant the Aircruiser. “When Victa got established and started producing aeroplanes in quantity I was appointed assistant service manager. My job was sorting out the problems that could only be found after time in service,” he says. “You’d see an aeroplane come out of a factory and then have problems and you’d look at it and think why did they do it that way? Some of those types of problems didn’t reveal themselves until the aeroplane had some time in the real world. Basically I was a trouble shooter.” Victa was working hard to produce a variety of new aircraft from its Sydney factory. Allan recalls one project that didn’t live up to its initial promise. “Prior to the Aircruiser, Luigi Pellergrini, who went on to design the successful Transavia Airtruk, designed the R2 which was named after the Richardson family that owned Victa. Merv, the head of Victa mowers, along with his brother Archibald, designed and built the R1 in around 1916. It crashed during test flights.” The R2 was an all metal low wing monoplane with four seats and was powered by a 180 0-360 Lycoming engine. Only one prototype was built. Allan had some interesting experiences during the test flight phase. “The R2 had a manual retractable undercarriage that was activated with a lever on the floor. One day the test pilot, Randal Green, had a problem when he pulled a bit hard on the lever and stripped the threads on the drive. He had to land with his foot holding the lever on the floor to keep the gear down. “The aeroplane was not a success, as there were many incidents when we were test flying it.” Allan learned to fly in 1964 on the Airtourer and flew the original wooden prototype of the design, VH-FMM, affectionately known at the time as Foxtrot Mickey Mouse. “It was a nice aeroplane to fly, but had a nasty aileron snatch. I was flying it once in bit turbulence when the stick jumped out

of my hand so violently that it hit the bloke next to me.” Allan’s work with Victa led to him becoming involved in the Aircruiser, another four seat design Victa hoped would find a ready market. This design came from the pen of Airtourer designer Dr Henry Millicer. “I had no involvement when it was being built but I got involved with the aircraft when it was released and we did test flying at Schofields. I had to troubleshoot engineering issues as they came up, which kept me off the street for a while,” he says with a grin. “One mod I made was to rivet a piece onto the rudder because we found with the bigger engine there wasn’t enough rudder influence. Henry had the idea that the cables were not tight enough, so he had me tighten them until the fuselage was bloody near bending like a boomerang. I stopped that nonsense and increased the size of the rudder. The design team didn’t want to do this. I modified it anyway and then Randy Green did some more test flying and found it very satisfactory. None of the design team even commented on it but it didn’t matter because we’d solved the problem.” Fifty years later, Allan is still looking after the prototype Aircruiser. “I feel something very special towards that aeroplane. But of course when I’m

working on it I remember back to the days when there was all the heartaches that went with the development including from people who should have been supportive for the aircraft but weren’t. “The directors of Victa, who I worked with closely, weren’t that keen on aviation because there was an organisation called the DCA who had a fair bit of a say in what they did, and this was foreign to people who were well off and used to ruling their own destiny. So when an order for 72 aeroplanes from the British Air Ministry came through it was kept quiet. I have the documents to prove it.” After such a long history working with aeroplanes it’s touching to hear Allan speak about a seminal moment when he was very young that may have ignited the aviation flame that has burned in him for 77 years. “I feel I’ve been involved in aviation since infancy. My mum was very supportive, she really was. Dad was as well, but mum was much more active in encouraging me. “I remember when I was very young. A bird flew into the lounge room, and of course I wanted to talk to it to find out how it managed to fly. But the bird wasn’t very cooperative and it flew away. My mum said ‘one day you’ll fly away like that’ and it did come to pass. In 1938 I joined Adastra and I never looked back.” n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Germany’s Aero Extravaganza


Friedrichshafen hosts Germany’s largest general aviation expo. Rob Akron went along. Aero-Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, bills itself as the global show for general aviation. Held each April, it is arguably the largest GA exposition in the world. Given the large range of cutting-edge exhibitors, the event is an insight in to what might become available on the Australian GA market within a few years. This year the event hosted around 650 companies from 38 countries, all marketing their products or innovations to an estimated 33,000 visitors of whom about 65% hold a pilots licence. I met the Blackshape team at last year’s Aero-Expo, and subsequently did a flight review of the Blackshape, a high performance ultralight. This year they showed off their new Blackshape model powered by a 115hp turbo rotax and announced that they have found an initial distributor in Australia and hope to make first deliveries later this year. Both the electric aircraft and the ultralight display areas seem to have


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expanded significantly compared to last year, with a corresponding relative reduction in corporate luxury aircraft and private jets being displayed. Pilot training stands were all around and also of note is the new dedicated section for drones and UAV’s, which as an industry still seems to be finding its home within the GA world. In the electric aircraft display area, technology company Siemens received a very honourable mention with several experimental aircraft on display. They are also in partnership with Pipistrel, experimenting with hybrid-electric engines. Physical energy limits of batteries mean a liquid fuel based range extender engine is needed, driving a generator if any comparable flight times are to be achieved. The true surprise here is the Siemens electrically-powered Extra 330L being displayed with a battery bank and an electric motor where the normal


AEIO560 is supposed to be. It certainly seems like an unusual platform for such a new powerplant concept. The logic is simple; their 230kW electric motor coupled with ultra-high performance batteries needed a testbed where they could push the powerplant to its limits and Extra was the perfect airframe partner. Siemens internal documents rate the motor at 260kW. The original Lycoming powered E330 runs a 280kW AEIO560 driving a constant speed propeller, so they really are not that far off. The motor and battery packs seem to have made a perfect fit in the engine bay. After walking around the airframe I couldn’t find a single modification other than the engine replacement. Even the propeller is an original MT variable prop, with the only change being that oil pressure for prop control is supplied by a new electrically driven pump. The rest is stock standard. The battery

Germany’s Aero Extravaganza

and motor combination, rated at 5kW per kg, is truly amazing giving relative capacities that would make even Tesla jealous. Current expected flight times under normal conditions (whatever that means for this plane) is about 30 minutes. Extra Aircraft wanted us to specifically clarify that, although they are very proud of their partnership with Siemens, this particular aircraft is owned wholly by Siemens AG as a testbed and Extra Aircraft is not planning any production or sale of electric aerobatic aircraft at this point in time. The Ultralight section of the event also had some amazing and innovative displays. It’s clear that several companies are now working on filling gaps coming out of new UL, VLA, and GA regulations. Interestingly I counted at least six light helicopter manufacturers producing small one or two-seat helicopters for the UL category. The most innovative was e-Volo with their all-electric Volocopter. The e-Volo concept scales up an electric multirotor drone to be able to carry two people and is controlled from the cockpit. Despite the radical new concept, e-Volo has been flying their aircraft unmanned for some months now, and completed its first manned test-flight about two weeks before the exhibition. The small startup company grew out of a kickstarter campaign combined with a government grant. They currently promise a 14 minute flight time with their aircraft. Options for fully autonomous unmanned versions and even a four-seat aircraft are in the planning stages. The company specifically discusses Australia as one of their major target markets across training, agriculture and light private transport. Whether the concept has true potential in this market will be something only the future can show us. An aircraft that caught my eye among the UL displays was a smaller scale L-39 replica. It’s an amazing looking machine, with the lead engineer explaining he simply wanted to have an L-39 jet without the acquisition or operational costs. The only way to effectively copy the shape of the original was through carbon layup, resulting in the hard-tobelieve empty weight under 280kg and thereby allowing registration in the ultra

E-Volo cockpit

BF 139



Germany’s Aero Extravaganza


Electric Extra 330

light category. The aptly named UL-39 has already flown and the company is in talks with manufacturers about creating a production version for sale to hobbyist enthusiasts. No price has been set, and if you are looking for jet experience you may be disappointed: the engineers pulled a piston engine out of a Yamaha motorcycle and used it to drive a beltdriven fandisc giving a cruise speed of 350kmh. Any future aircraft will be powered by an as yet undecided aviation engine, primarily because the test-team came to the conclusion that there was no effective way to determine the expected lifetime of a motorcycle engine for flight operations. A small company called Buecker & Funk presented a retro-aircraft for the event. Their FK 139 Clubman is intended to transport two passengers back to romantic flying days. Running a 117hp radial, the aircraft is certified under the UL category. Many many more displays with emerging technologies were to be seen, of which a solid percentage are likely to enter the mainstream market in coming years and eventually filter into the Australian market. n


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The Blackshape



Never too Old ... Or too Young

Never too Old...

Photos: Mark Smith

Two pilots, one much older than the other, show flying is for everyone who wants to get airborne. Mark Smith met them. Lt Col Charles Mollison (ret) had already lived a lifetime of achievements before he decided to learn to fly. At the tender age of 28 he was managing director of a printing firm. But his time in the citizen’s military forces (CMF) saw him change careers and enter the regular army with the rank of Captain. The 1960s were a turbulent time and the young army officer found himself involved in the Vietnam War, commanding various companies in country. In 1966 he was involved in the battle of Long Tan, one of Australia’s most noteworthy actions in the conflict.

After the war he spent the rest of his army career in various roles. Then in 1984, as a 47-year-old Lt Colonel, he was told he was too old for promotion and he’d be discharged at the age of 50, which was the mandatory retirement age for his rank. “They told me I was going to retire and for 24 hours I was pretty bloody angry,” he says “Then I thought hang on, I’d always had an ambition to sail around the world. So I realised I’d be able to do that now. So I went out and bought a 40 foot yacht and spent the next three years rebuilding it, got posted to Sydney because nobody

else in the Army wanted to be posted there, and got into ocean racing because I had a lot to learn. I then took long service leave to do a shakedown cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.” After his retirement came the trip. “I left Sydney on Australia Day 1986 and sailed back into Sydney Harbour on Australia Day 1996 – 10 years later.” While sailing the world he met a lady who would become his partner on his journey over the ocean and through life. “I met the love of my life during the trip and she became my third wife and sailed with me the rest of the way around the world. But she died about six years ago and that left a big hole.” Charles looked upward towards the sky and that’s when flying entered his life. “I decided to take up flying. At this stage I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



I was 75. I went off and got my RA-Aus fixed wing qualification. It cost me a lot more money than I had to spend, and they wanted even more for me to do the cross country so I thought I’d better get myself an aeroplane so I could do the bloody cross countries a bit more affordably. So I bought a Savannah. “I was a bit nervous about my first solo. I asked the instructor if he was sure. But once I finished I couldn’t wait to get my own aeroplane.” Once his pilot certificate was completed, Charles wasted no time spreading his wings on long flights. His nephew in


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Melbourne was also learning to fly and so an invitation to fly a long cross country with his uncle was immediately accepted. “After I’d finished my training my nephew had also started to learn to fly. I’d heard Lake Eyre had got some water in it so I rang him and said ‘what about coming up here and we’ll fly out to Lake Eyre and have a look.’ He said he’d be there the next day.” That trip took 22 hours and fired Charles’ enthusiasm for long flights across Australia. His next trip was heading south from his Gympie home base.


“I called up my son, who lives in Canberra, who I don’t see enough of, and asked him if he’d like to fly Brisbane to Melbourne and back. He flew up from Melbourne, we jumped in the Savannah and flew back down. While I was there I flew to Phillip Island from Riddles Creek to see my daughter. When I arrived the wind was blowing four bags directly across the strip. I called the local helicopter operator to see if I could land on the taxiway but got no response. I don’t know how but I managed to land in the cross wind.” Subsequent trips were to Tasmania, the red centre and a circumnavigation of Australia in company with four other Savannahs. “I flew to Tasmania via Flinders Island with my nephew. He was a bit worried about the water legs but I told him the engine doesn’t know it’s over water. We flew at 9500 feet on a beautiful clear day, keeping 15 minute schedules with Melbourne Centre.” By now Charles had close to 600 hours flying experience and was looking for another challenge. Despite being nearly 82, he knew what he wanted to do. “I thought a helicopter rating would be nice so I carted myself off down to Maroochydore. In the meantime CASA has the RPL so I ring them and ask if there is an RPL helicopter. Part 61 comes out and there is. I do my sums and I think I just have enough money to do it, so I start instruction,” he says. “Five hours, going well, 10 hours going well, 15 hours I don’t know if I’m ever going to get the hang of this, 20 hours, I think there is hope, 25 hours, I’m fine as long as there is no wind. If there is any wind, the helicopter seems to do what it likes. 30 hours, 35 hours I reckon I can fly this bloody thing. By 50 hours the CFI Graham takes me for a test flight, fail. Another week, another test flight, there’s no wind. Fly up to Gympie, take off, taxi left, taxi right, fly back to base and here’s your licence. “It was a ripper feeling. The best thing was I knew I could do it safely.” His advice to anyone of advancing years is simple. “Fixed wing training, just go for it. Even if you never buy an aeroplane or do anything with your licence the exercise of doing the training is so demanding and so fulfilling when you get that piece of paper, it’s worth it just for the feeling of achievement.”

Never too Old ... Or too Young

...or too Young Kyla Burgess is a young girl who is fuelling her passion for flying with pizza - at times making 150 Supremes or BBQ Meatlovers an hour which pays for her weekly flying lesson at Sunshine Coast Aero Club. “I work between five and seven days a week at Dominos. Flying is that important to me,” she says. Learning to fly wasn’t on the agenda for the diminutive 15-year-old until her dad Nathan started learning to fly. “It wasn’t something I ever thought about until my dad started. We used to live in Sydney near the airport and planes would fly over all the time, but I never thought anything of it.” “Then my Dad started to learn so I’d come down to the airport as well. I got to sit in the plane and then for my 14th

birthday he got me a flight with his instructor Ivan and ever since then I’ve just loved being up there in the air.” Nathan gives some insight into his daughter’s motivation for learning to fly. “She has always been a competitive kind of person. She competed in gymnastics from the age of four, and then she was into dancing. She has always been involved in individual sports where she is accountable for what is going on. She is really always competing with herself,” he says. “Then she had a back injury and had to stop gymnastics and she started going a bit stir crazy. But flying has really taken all of that energy and channelled it into something she can really sink her teeth into.” A pilot’s first solo is a pivotal moment in their flying career and Kyla’s was no different.

“I was sort of expecting it when he said just land after this circuit. Then he got out and the last thing he said was ‘make sure you lock the canopy’. “People at the aero club said it must have been a lot lighter because Ivan wasn’t in there,” she says with a laugh. “But once I took off it was a bit nerve wracking because I was like ‘now I’m actually up in the air I can’t back out’. “I think my Dad was more nervous than me. I was nervous but I was also focussed and I knew what I was doing because I’d done it a lot of times before. Everyone says it’s so pretty up there with the ocean and the like but I wasn’t paying attention to that. But now I’ve done a bit more solo flying I have started enjoying the view a bit more.” Nathan gives another perspective to Kyla’s first solo. “Normally she’s cool, calm and collected when you see her taxying in after a lesson but after her first solo, as she turned the corner off the taxiway, we could see her smiling,” he says. Kyla fits the term quiet achiever and didn’t tell her friends about learning to fly. When it was mentioned their initial response was disbelief. “I don’t really tell many people but when my friends found out they were like at first they said ‘no, no you don’t.’ They didn’t believe me but now they think it’s really cool. None of them want to learn though because they are scared of flying. “I tell them it’s not scary but I guess if they aren’t flying it they aren’t in control and they are relying on someone else.” Kyla’s adventurous spirit has seen her try aerobatics with another of the club’s instructors. Nathan can tell she really enjoyed the experience. “It was one of the few times I’ve seen her actually smiling in flight. They did a hammerhead and as the aeroplane headed vertically down Kyla’s laughing on the video.” When she finishes her pilot certificate Kyla has plans to continue her training, hoping to one day fly commercially. “It’s a limitless path really because I can keep applying myself, keep learning, get more endorsements and keep moving up,” she says. Her advice to any other young people who may be interested is simple. “Just do it, if it’s something you really want to do,” she says. “Live your dreams.” n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Performance and Style, Made in Australia The passing of Howard Hughes has left a hole in Australian aircraft production. As a tribute we reprint Rob Knight’s review of one of his last designs. Prefixed SP, and named the Speed, the newest of the late “Howie” Hughes’ Lightwings is very snappy to the eye. With its low wing and large windshield, it promises excellent visibility and its flowing lines predict a performance to match its name. Nick Hughes, Howie’s son, fitted his tall frame easily into the front seat and my shorter one was just as comfortable in the wide cockpit. I adjusted the rudder pedals then looked across the instrument panel. The tachometer, ASI and altimeter sit to the left of a recessed section displaying the glass panel. In the recess, to the right of the glass presentation, sits the manifold


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pressure gauge for setting the power when using the CSU and the VSI. Below the recess lies the engine instruments indicating the health of the engine. Above us was a row of airline style tumble switches including the ignition and other electrical services. The arrangement is imaginative, logical, easy to use, and makes the cockpit seem larger. Controlling the Speed’s castoring nosewheel with individual toe brakes and propeller slipstream against the big, classic Lightwing rudder was easy as we crossed the apron to the holding point. Then, with checks complete, we taxied onto runway 06, lined up and gently applied full power.


This is where the most unique design feature of this pretty little aeroplane, the side mounted stick, would have to prove itself. With just finger power, the weight came off the nose as we passed through 50kts and the aeroplane flew itself into the air at 60. You could fly this plane with the precision of a surgeon - muscles are redundant. Needing no trim adjustment, the Speed quickly settled at 65kts and the VSI steadied at 1050 fpm; performance a-\ plenty due to the variable pitch propeller. There was little turbulence to upset the attitude so I couldn’t check on the Speed’s stability, but it felt very solid – a good, safe

The SP 2000. Performance and Style, Made in Australia

This aeroplane looks like a thoroughbred, and flies beautifully with its racy lines and superb cockpit layout. It has an excellent flight handling envelope.

platform for aviating. Climbing turns were easy, the stick was light and responsive and the rudder was very positive. There was just a little overbanking tendency. Level at 2000ft, the ASI settled at 104 kts IAS with 28” Hg (throttle setting) and 5500 rpm. The old yardstick of 1mph per hp was history; the Speed had bettered that at 1kt per hp. In the level flight attitude the nose was low and the visibility all around was excellent. All turns were straight forward. The rudder pressures were light and rudder coordination to counter adverse yaw was easily accomplished. While at 45° bank in level flight the ASI held steady at 104

kts, a 60° banked turn did need full power to maintain height and speed against the rising induced drag, a feature of the low aspect ratio wing. Left turns or right turns, each was as easy as the other, and the lookout was a simple task, the low nose allowing me to return to the correct level flight attitude with ease. I found the layout of the controls excellent – the side stick and the throttle fell easily into my hands and the arrangement made flying the Speed an easy task. While unusual, to me the side stick is an innovative and winning item with no drawbacks. As I suspected, the stall at 40 kts indicated was a non-event except for the

high nose attitude – another attribute of low aspect ratio wings. Again, the side stick was easy to use and fingertip light. Regardless of the aeroplane configuration, each stall was preceded by a deepening buffet and then a gentle nose sag with little or no tendency for it to fall off on a wing. Instant recovery came with appropriate forward stick, and the IAS rose quickly. Stalling in both left and right turns gave a buffet with the nose sagging towards the lower wing. Recovery was quick, smooth, and very positive. This aeroplane has every attribute that a good stall trainer needs. Closing the throttle provided a nose I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



pitch down but little appreciable yaw. The small elevator trim change was easily countered by a tiny movement of the trim wheel nestled beside the throttle. We steadied at the best glide speed of 70kts. The nose was low in the glide with superb visibility of the world ahead, an important asset in an emergency when looking for a field. Easily trimmed to fly hands-off, it would be a simple matter to set up a glide while carrying out emergency procedures. Our return to the circuit saw us with no traffic other than a parachute dropping Cessna lurking somewhere behind us. Again, low wings made lookout in the circuit simple and positive. Downwind, we called for a touch and go, and base turn saw the power pulled and the speed slowly reduce. As the airspeed settled below the VFE of 80 kts, we set the electric flaps to half and the speed washed back to 70kts. A quick trim change and we were turning finals. It would be easy to feel crowded if trying tight circuits before having mastered this aircraft’s slipperiness. The touch and go was an easy flare, a comfortable float, and then no bounce, just a little rumble and squeak as the wheels touched the tarmac before we added power to go around. The yaw resulting from the power change was easy to correct with just a light touch of right rudder, and we climbed away at the right speed with just the smallest adjustment


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of nose down trim to hold it. The second approach was again done with half flap. This time there was a rising crosswind from the left and I noticed on the climb-out that countering both the asymmetric blade effect and the aircraft weathercocking due to the crosswind was easy with the available rudder. For the last approach we used full flap, steepening our path considerably with just a trickle of power as we crossed the boundary fence to flare on the runway numbers. This time the float was less but the landing was just as good as the previous two. The rollout was easy, still with ample rudder authority even as the airspeed diminished. We used minimal


braking but had we needed to, we could have stopped the Speed with a very short ground roll. This is an impressive aeroplane all around. If I was looking for a recreational aircraft, and especially if I was looking for a training platform, I would have to consider the SP 2000 Speed. I would ask Howie for just one modification – a flap indicator on the right wing (as well as the left) so the instructor could read it too. This aeroplane looks like a thoroughbred, and flies beautifully with its racy lines and superb cockpit layout. It has an excellent flight handling envelope. It’s a real pilot’s aeroplane, and it’s made right here in Australia. n

Old Aeroplanes, Unexpected Rewards


Old Aeroplanes, Unexpected Rewards

Tim Brownridge discovers a love of aviation in a most unusual circumstance. In 2007 I was working as an intensive care specialist in the surgical unit of a private hospital. I had just returned from leave and was working through all the dramas that had played out in the previous week. The first ward round of the week is always a bit of a slog and often involves the review of quite a few new and unfamiliar patients. I have to read progress notes,

check test results and radiology and then examine each of them. By lunchtime I had a handle on most of it. Next on the list was an elderly gentleman recovering from major abdominal surgery. Reading through his notes, it appeared he had had an uneventful bowel resection five days earlier but had failed to progress much since. Worryingly, he hadn’t been

out of bed, was barely touching his food, and spent much of each day sleeping. By that stage he should have been gingerly walking around the ward with a drip pole in one hand and catheter bag in the other. Part of the problem had been a fluid build-up around his lungs which made it difficult to breathe, but though this had been drained twice since his operation he I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Another of Tims passengers, 87 year old Trevor Rowe aged 87 who flew Lancasters in WWII

still languished. There was nothing much else to account for his lack of progress, except an element of heart failure. I went in to his room. A thin, sallow man with a weary face greeted me. He looked terrible. While I looked over his fragile frame and listened to his chest he smiled back stoically. Every movement he made was an effort; each answer to a question was polite but brief. From the look of his sunken eyes he had no fight left. All he really wanted from everyone was to stop fussing over him. The fluid around his lungs had accumulated again. I organised for another drain but that was not going to alter the bigger picture. A successful recovery did not look at all promising. I needed to speak to his family. The next day his wife and sons joined me in a small meeting room next to the ward. I explained the situation, his


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susceptibility to complications, his lack of reserves and the distinct possibility he was not going to recover. Conversations of this nature are never easy to have and how a family responds is very hard to predict. Reactions range from rational and accepting through to hysterical and hostile. The best approach is always to be frank and then ride out whatever happens next. In this case the conversation that followed went in another direction entirely and uncovered an unlikely and remarkable coincidence. After listening closely to what I had said, one of his sons said with understated pride that his dad had been a fighter pilot in the war. Incredibly he had survived being shot down three times over Italy! I was not sure where this was going. The son continued that dad’s attitude to life, as a result of his wartime experience,


was that every day since had been an unexpected blessing and gift. If clinging on to a few more days required invasive therapies in intensive care, where was the dignity in that? How could that be a fitting conclusion to such a distinguished and fulfilled life? The others agreed. To lighten the mood for a moment I changed the subject and mentioned my passion for old aircraft. I asked about his flying training. It turned out that he had joined the RAAF in 1942. He had done his initial ground studies in Victor Harbor before moving on to 1 EFTS Parafield and ab initio training on Tiger Moths. My ears pricked up. His elderly wife said he still had his log book somewhere at home. The next morning she rummaged around for a while and located it. On page 1, dated 21st Dec 1942, with two flights and a grand total of one flying

Old Aeroplanes, Unexpected Rewards

What were the odds of a dying man and his doctor had both flown the same biplane, 65 years apart?

hour to his name, the then 19-year-old cadet went up with instructor Sgt Lawrie for his third flight in a Tiger Moth. He logged 1.05 hrs that day learning basic handling manoeuvres. The next day he did another hour. The aircraft he flew on both occasions was A17-414, now registered VH-CDM and owned by me! What were the odds of a dying man and his doctor had both flown the same biplane, 65 years apart? The family and I were gobsmacked. A torrent of questions followed about its history and how the aeroplane came to me. Their smiles at what should have been a sombre time were irrepressible. I was suddenly like family. I showed them a picture of the aeroplane stored on my phone. It was as if a long lost heirloom had been returned to them. They were finally reunited with a relic of their family story, lovingly cared

for by me and other guardians over the intervening decades. News of the coincidence rapidly spread through the hospital. My tired patient was showered with admiration and for all the attention looked rather awkward! He flicked me a glance. There was no doubting the look of pleasure in his eyes. A moment of fellowship between two fliers! There was of course only one thing to be done. I took the family flying! Two sons and two grandchildren went aloft for their first ever flight in a Tiger Moth, and a very special one at that. As if it were meant to be, the weather that day was perfect. Emotions were high. When they arrived, CDM was already chocked outside the hangar, the morning sunlight glinting off de Havilland’s classic airframe. They were enthralled. During their flights each took the controls, leisurely sailing about the Adelaide Hills in the smooth air. Afterwards, climbing off the wing they circled around her, touched the fabric, ran a hand along the leading edge and gently moved the control surfaces. I was touched by their newly acquired admiration for the humble aeroplane in which they had just flown. For the two sons, with dad so sick, the whole experience was deeply moving. Here was the very machine he had flown in his youth. Here was a tangible connection to his past, and their beginnings. There were lots of questions about Tiger Moths, the Empire Air Training Scheme, and what the young pilots progressed to next. They left with a keen understanding and admiration for what their dad/grandad had committed to in 1942. It was undoubtedly one of the most gratifying days of flying I have ever had. We all returned to the hospital and crowded into the small room where the old aviator was lying. He shared in their joy as the days adventure was recounted. They had seen and flown in his old aeroplane! Sadly he passed away two days later, aged 84. He left behind a beautiful family who at the end, by one of life’s remarkable coincidences, had the chance to focus for

a brief moment on part of his early life as a RAAF pilot cadet. He had survived the war, enjoyed a long marriage with children and grandchildren, and gone on to a distinguished career in education. For a fleeting moment I had had the privilege of meeting him, an encounter enriched by the unlikely connection with a Tiger Moth. Over the 13 years I have owned the aeroplane, other remarkable connections have been made through the Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia, and elsewhere. It turns out the father of a nurse I regularly work with flew Lancasters at the end of the war. He flew A17-414 during his elementary training. I took him flying too! Jill was very anxious that I was extra careful with her 90 year old father but he wasn’t having any of it and wanted to fly a loop! And in the small town where I live there is a memorial to a local man who was lost piloting a Lancaster over Germany on October 4, 1943. He had only been with his squadron two months and was on his ninth sortie. Two relatives still living in the area remember him visiting their home in his blue uniform when they were children. He used to help on the milk round before the war. I’ve known these elderly gentleman 20 years but was only recently made aware of the connection between them and the memorial. His RAAF logbook, which they hold, confirmed he also flew A17-414 during his training at Parafield. I bought my Tiger Moth in 2003 because it was affordable and the whole notion of flying an old biplane seemed rather romantic. With time I have come to admire the amazingly robust design and what it can do with just 130HP if flown precisely. I love the way it drops its pants to today’s standards, dripping fuel and oil all over the place, throwing out a cloud of smoke at start up and making lots of noise from its straight out exhaust like an old tractor. I did not for a moment imagine it would also be a portal to the pilots of its past. That has been the ultimate reward given to me by A17-414. n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016


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A WACO’s Tale


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A WACO’s Tale

Photos: Mark Smith

This is the story of a Waco EGC-8 Special that was imported brand new in 1938. The first ‘owner’ was wealthy pastoralist G.B.S Falkiner.

Ross Skerman is the current owner of a 1930s Waco. Mark Smith looks at the history of this unique aeroplane. There is an old saying that you never truly own anything valuable, rather you just borrow it until the next custodian comes along. This is very true with classic aircraft that continue to live on through successions of guardians, each of whom usually instil a touch of their own interpretation of the ongoing history of the aeroplane. The story of this Waco EGC-8 Special began in 1938 when wealthy pastoralist G.B.S. Falkiner imported it brand new in 1938. George Brereton Sadleir Falkiner took over Haddon Rig, a 33,185 Ha sheep property in central NSW after the death of his father in 1929. He got his pilot’s licence in 1930 and after surviving the great depression he was able to bring

the property into profitability. The Waco, registered VH-AAF, became his private mount for the next 22 years and was used as transport between his various properties. He held the firm opinion that his Waco was the safest aeroplane in the world and it was always maintained in immaculate condition. It was even used to spot stock during times of flood as well as for spraying insecticide for pest control. George died in 1961 and the Waco was sold by his estate in 1962 to Rockhampton charter company Country Air Services who overhauled it including the fitting of a Jacobs 300hp engine. The aircraft was re-registered for charter and tourist flights. I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



For a number of years it became a familiar sight, operating from beaches wearing a distinctive Jolly Roger title. The aeroplane was popular with passengers with its large windows and solid feel in the air, but pilots didn’t like the reduced forward visibility on the ground and the lack of an intermediate flap setting. It was passed onto a new owner in 1967 when Laurie Clarke from Darwin became the aeroplane’s next custodian. He flew it privately from Darwin for a number of years, with trips as far afield as Sydney, but in 1973 it was ground looped and put up for sale in a damaged condition. Gold Coast businessman Cliff Douglas bought it and restored it over many years until it flew once again, registered VH-CGE, in July 1985. Heartbreakingly it suffered another mishap and ended up on its roof on its first post-restoration flight. Greg and Nick Challinor became involved and rebuilt the aircraft at Luskintyre. It then went to Caboolture where it languished until Nigel Arnot bought the aircraft. “We were super lucky to get it because


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the aeroplane hadn’t flown for nine years and it was sitting in a hangar at Caboolture in a fairly sad state,” Nigel says at his maintenance facility at Boonah. “It wasn’t in bad condition but it was run down and required a lot of money to get back in the air. The owner, an airline pilot, needed to find another hangar for the aeroplane or sell it. In the end we were very lucky he sold it to us.” The ‘we’ is Nigel and his wife Mel, who is equally enthusiastic about the Waco. “It was an exciting time. It became a labour of love,” she says. The actual refurbishment took 18 months though Nigel says the Challinor brothers had done a lot of good work when they undertook the complete rebuild from 1985. “The wood was good, the fabric was ok, so it was basically a matter of going through the airframe, cleaning it up, completing a number of repairs and stripping it back to bare metal with the engine off. Basically we completely took it apart. Then when that was all done it was repainted,” Nigel says.


It was at this point that Ross Skerman became involved in the aircraft. A good friend of Mel, he fell in love with the Waco when he first saw it as the restoration was being completed. At that point it wasn’t for sale but he was persistent. “Ross asked if he could become a partner and so he bought a part of it, even though he’s not a pilot. Then later he wanted to own all of it and I thought what a perfect opportunity. So it still lives here and we get to use it whenever we want.” Despite having extensive experience on a variety of heavy tail wheel aircraft, Nigel had some misgivings about the first flight. “I was a bit nervous about the first flight. Everyone told me it was a bitch of a thing to fly. You have to remember it’s been flipped on its back twice. “It had been rebuilt at one stage on the Gold Coast and they brought in this you beaut test pilot to test it and on take-off he flipped it upside down as well.” But his worries about the flying characteristics of the big biplane proved

An Italian Wolf in LSA Clothing

Stylish teak cockpit to be unfounded. “Straight after I took off I thought this is beautiful. The flying characteristics are surprising. When you look at those little ailerons you wouldn’t expect it to have an amazing roll rate. It really rips around. It’s light in roll,” he says. “But the elevator is a different story. You pull back and you feel all the cables stretching and then it slowly changes direction.” Riding in the Waco takes you straight back to the 1930s, with its leather and wood interior, automotive-style wind up windows and of course the roar of the radial sitting in front of you. It’s an airy cabin with a high ceiling and lots of glass from which to survey the miles passing serenely by. Fuel burn is around 55 to 60 litres per hour, but when you are traveling in this much style such 21st century considerations hopefully fall to the back of your mind. In recent months the Waco has travelled from its home base at Boonah to Tyabb for an airshow and then on to Echuca for the Antique Aeroplane

Nigel and Mel Arnot Association of Australia’s national flyin where it was given the prestigious Presidents Choice Award. Accepting the award, Nigel praised the work that previous restorers had performed.

“The Challinors deserve a lot of the praise for the condition of the aeroplane. Their work under the fabric has ensured it will be around for a long time to come.” n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Wings Over Illawarra Takes Off Again

Pauls Bennetts team heads out for their display

The weather finally gave organisers of Wings over Illawarra the break they needed to allow one of Australia’s premier airshows to go ahead in style. Two years ago it was raging winds, last year torrential rain but this year the weather started cloudy but improved over the two days. After the success of the event organisers have already raised the flag for May 2017, ensuring its place on the Australian aviation calendar. n

Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB

Just SuperSTOL takes off


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Wings Over Illawarra Takes Off Again

Cessna A-37D-CE Dragonfly from Temora Aviation Museum

Photos: Phil Vabre and Dion Makowski/ Aviation Report

Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk

The Grumman Avenger and CAC Wirraway take off for their display I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Old But not Elderly

Great designs last for a long time. In the case of the Bell 47 it’s 70 years. Mark Smith looks at its history and continued use in training. Anyone older than 50 will probably remember the TV program M.A.S.H and its iconic opening where the first shots are of bubble-nosed helicopters bringing wounded into the chaos of a tent hospital somewhere in Korea. Those same people in their 50s may have watched the much loved Australian produced TV program Skippy. Front and centre was another bubble-nosed chopper that was instrumental, on film, of performing heroic acts. The link? They were both Bell 47s. Today if a person of that vintage is shown a profile drawing of the much loved American helicopter that was the first of the type to be given FAA certification,


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they’d say it was in either M.A.S.H or Skippy, such is the recognition of Arthur M. Young’s design. The 47 was based on the Bell Model 30, which while looking very different to the 47, actually had a similar structure beneath the outer covering. In March 1946 the design, in its present form, became the first helicopter to be certified for civilian use. More than 5600 were produced with Australia still having more than 25 on the register, and the US more than 1000. At the same time the Bell 47 was being built, Sikorsky produced the R4 Hoverfly. It doesn’t exist now. In the early 1950s Westland produced the Dragonfly, which is now only found in museums and will


never take to the air again. But the Bell 47 still flies in large numbers. A helicopter instructor, with many thousands of hours on the 47, explains that it’s a design where they got a lot of things right. From a training perspective it offers a very different experience to more modern platforms. “Although the R22 is a great little machine and I would not denigrate it in any way, there are some distinct extra advantages in flying a Bell 47 for the ab initio student or the qualified CPL undergoing grade 3 instructor training, or an ATPLH looking for a session of revision involving the basics of helicopter flying

The Bell 47, Old But not Elderly Photos: Mark Smith

Rhys Chapman in a Bell 47 outside a simulator - especially when the charge out rate is similar,” he says. “For the new pilot, the lowering of stress levels through having a stable helicopter when learning to hover, particularly at that very first solo, means that expensive helicopter time is utilised better to learn new processes and progress faster through the various competencies required.” In his opinion the R-22, currently the mainstay of helicopter training has a few issues. “There is the ongoing balancing ball issue with the R22 regarding navigation and licence check flights involving how much fuel that can be carried with two people on board. In some cases – less than 90 minutes including reserves! There is no such issue in the 47!” Another instructor uses an analogy regarding the 47 as a training platform. “The difference between the R22 and the 47 can be likened to a vehicle and how close you can safely get to the edge of a cliff and have time to stop before going over the cliff. The 47, with its inherent rotor energy and wide/strong skid gear, can be taken safely much closer if not right to the edge and recovered compared to the R22. Try demonstrating no flare auto rotational

landings (instructor training) or even tail rotor failures in the hover while rotating in an R22. Even hovering auto rotations can be difficult in the Robbie.” Rhys Chapman is an instructor at Airwork helicopters at Caboolture who spends his working day in a 47G. He’s also enthusiastic about the old girl. “You get such a great feel for the machine because it’s just so stable. The student has to learn to manipulate the throttle as well, something that flying a machine with a governor doesn’t really help you with. You get more of a feel in left and right pedal turns having to work the throttle to keep the power set correctly as well.” The heavy rotors and rugged construction means Rhys can teach all aspects of the syllabus in a realistic manner. “You can perform auto rotations all the way to the ground. Hovering autos as well. “Another bonus is that there is no cowling on a 47 meaning you can really show the student the inner workings of a helicopter, highlighting the importance of a thorough pre-flight inspection.” Flying a Bell 47 is very different to a Robinson R-22. For a start there is no

shoulder rubbing with the person next to you. The view through the bubble is second to none, something students love There is a big, solid stick between your legs. The instructor has one too so he doesn’t have his hand in the air like on a Robbie. Once started with the engine up to speed, it’s a balancing act between throttle, collective pitch and then the other controls that make helicopter flying the difficult exercise it’s renowned for, at least in the eyes of ab initio students. Unlike more modern helicopters the throttle governor is your left hand. Pull up the collective, wind on power, reduce and wind off power. Wind on power and be prepared to counter the resultant yaw with your feet. It’s the same with pedal turns. After a while it becomes second nature and is great training if you have a governor failure in a turbine machine. Rhys is young instructor who enjoys flying an aircraft older than he is. “I love the bit of nostalgia operating a machine that has stood the test of time that is still very reliable. It’s a bit thirsty on the fuel but apart from that you can’t fault them.” n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



A True Affordable Classic In the first of an occasional series Mike Dalton looks at a simple aeroplane that flies well and won’t break the bank. Cessna’s popular model 120 and slightly larger 140 were that company’s initial offering for the expected post WWII aviation boom in the US. The theory was that the thousands of returning airmen would want to keep flying on a recreational or business basis and many US manufacturers geared up for the potential boom in sales. In reality that never happened, but with 7664 of the 120 and 140 produced from 1946 to 1951, Cessna’s small singles were arguably one of most successful of the post war light aircraft and the precursor to Cessna’s magnificent range of piston engined singles developed and produced over the following decades. With more than 2092 still registered in the US backed up with excellent support


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and a large, active, type club these fun little machines represent excellent bang for buck and, overall, very cheap flying. The 140 was originally equipped with a Continental C85 horizontally opposed, 4 cylinder 85hp engine. Later the C90 was fitted or even a 108hp Lycoming O235 was authorised under the type certificate. The original fabric-covered wings were fitted with a plain flaps until the 140A introduced a metal covered wing with single wing strut and the fowler flaps which we all know from the 150 and 172. The 120 was the base model and dispensed with the flaps, electrics and rear “D” windows of the 140 although most have subsequently been upgraded to 140 spec (sans the flaps) which makes


differentiation between a 120 and a 140 a little of a challenge. Other than engine and the wing, the only other obvious change over the production was a revised main landing gear which put the main wheels further forward and eliminated the need for “wheel extenders” and a revised instrument panel. Structurally the fuselage is an aluminum monocoque arrangement and so typically Cessna. The main landing gear is courtesy of air racing legend Steve Wittman’s patented design and was originally fitted with Goodyear wheels and brakes with floating discs held in alignment with spring clips. These have proved troublesome and over the years and most have been converted to a McCauley or Cleveland set-up. There are

The Cessna 120- A True Affordable Classic

Photos: Mark Smith a few ADs and other than potential rear carry-through corrosion the fuselage isn’t susceptible to anything other than normal Cessna tail dragger challenges and access for inspections is excellent. Wings similarly are straightforward with aluminum spars and ribs and, unusually, the fabric is held down by clips or pop rivets rather than rib stitching. Again access for inspections is excellent and there are few issues other than corrosion. Fuel is supplied by a 46litre tank in each wing and selectable left, right or off. The C140A introduced the “both” position that pilots of more modern Cessnas are familiar with. Having owned a 1947 model 140 for the past 25 years and with around 800hrs on that one airframe I must admit from

Cost of ownership isn’t that painful. SIDs aside, acquisition costs, insurance and annual inspections aren’t that expensive. the outset to bias. But I have also flown many of the other American classics and frankly they are all fun and great private owner aeroplanes. The subject for this airtest is a 1947 model 120. This one has an interesting history in that she was flown from England to Australia in the 1990 World Vintage Air Rally and, like a number of participants, stayed down under. She has the ever reliable 100hp O200 fitted, full electrics and a heavily modified instrument panel that, during

the 1990 rally, boasted an IFR set up with lights and full instrumentation. Engine start, checks and run ups are exactly the same as a C150. Most have a pull start but this one has a lightweight starter fitted and comes with a push button start on the dash. Visibility over the nose is excellent and there is no need for S turns on the ground. The seats are comfortable enough although only the back rest is adjustable, but even a vertically challenged pilot shouldn’t have I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



much trouble reaching the pedals. The cabin is cozy with two on board but there is ample space for a modest luggage haul. One of the great things is that, given the entire cockpit and baggage area is compact and right on the CofG, there’s no balance issue and you can happily load until you reach MTOW. Take-off and landing is always the entertaining part with taildraggers and that’s no different with the 120/140 series. A pilot who has learnt and consolidated their skills in a C150 or C172 and has been taught to use their feet properly and to round out and hold off for landing shouldn’t have many issues transitioning. Take-off is straightforward with the tail generally becoming light and clear of the ground with a little positive forward stick. With the tail, up forward visibility is the same as a C150 and after keeping her straight with gentle rudder inputs, she will generally fly off by herself somewhere around 50kts. Best rate of climb speed is 63 knots and this should achieve around 600ft/min or so depending on load and density altitude. They are certainly not a spirited


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performer and density height will have a serious impact on performance. They are easy to trim out straight and level and on a longer trip (I’ve flown mine Melbourne to Perth and return) they require no more attention to keep them heading in the right direction than anything else. Cruise can be expected between 90 and 100kts depending on power setting and fuel burn is an economical 20lph for the C85 or O200 engine. They are not aerobatic rated unfortunately but the flight manual allows for steep turns, spins, stalls (except whip-stalls), lazy eights and chandelles. I’ve not spun mine but she certainly has spent many hours cutting lazy eights through the sky. You would be hard pressed to find a more benign stall. A power off clean stall in the usual manner gives no buffet, no wing drop and simply releasing the back pressure sorts it all out. If the aircraft is not fitted with an audible stall warning horn, like mine, the only indication you get that you are stalled (other than the nose attitude) is an ASI reading zero and a VSI showing


about 700fpm downward. Approach for circuit and landing presents no challenges and there is enough built in drag that slowing down for 70kts on base isn’t a challenge. The flaps make little difference on the 120/140 but the big fowlers on the 140A would make a significant difference akin to a C150. One big plus with the 120/140 is that you can side slip them with those small plain flaps, which certainly helps if one is a touch high on finals. Finals at 65kts and over the fence between 55 and 60 and she three-points just like a 150. Like all taildraggers, it isn’t over until the engine is shut down back at the hangar and the 120/140 is no different so you need to keep on your toes to keep her straight. The rudder is quite effective so in most conditions keeping it straight can be achieved with very small pedal inputs. Wheelers are a slightly different approach but not really any more of a challenge and there are a couple of different techniques for those. Cross winds are best tackled with the wing down wheeler approach. Cost of ownership isn’t that painful.

The Cessna 120- A True Affordable Classic

SIDS aside, acquisition costs, insurance and annual inspections aren’t that expensive and your overheads shouldn’t be more than around $5000 per year. They do need to be hangered, given the fabric wings, and depending on your home base that can be expensive for any aircraft type. SIDS is certainly an issue for any Cessna these days but with good access for inspections and readily available spares from the US it shouldn’t be an issue. The catch for potential buyers in Australia is that there is only 16 of them here and they only come onto the market very occasionally so you would need to go to the US to get one, and that raises a few challenges as I outlined in my article in the Dec 2015 Australian Pilot. That said, the initial purchase price of a pristine C140 in the US is in the mid $20,000s and is significantly cheaper than a Cub or Champ but a much more useful aircraft. Like many of these classic light planes they can be registered either as a normal category GA machine or with RA-Aus, although you do need to load frugally to

meet the 600kg limit of the latter. If the maintenance is being performed correctly then the overall cost of ownership won’t be much different between CASA and RA-Aus and there will be insignificant difference in the insurance costs. In summary, the 120/140 series are an

affordable fun machine that will not cost you any more each year than many boats do and certainly less than some golf club memberships. Looked after properly, they will be a reliable and economical machine and are guaranteed to keep you enjoying your flying. n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Merimbula - A jewel on the Sapphire Coast Merimbula provides a coastal get away that’s a short flight from Melbourne or Sydney. Mark Smith flew in. Merimbula is the sort of coastal town where you can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief once you arrive simply because you instantly feel relaxed and welcome. Flying at 110kts it’s less than two hours from Sydney, an hour from Canberra and two and a half hours from Melbourne. That makes it close enough for a quiet weekend away, though there is enough to do to fill in a week or two. The trip down the coast from Sydney is stunning, with rocky coastal vistas and stunning beaches. There are a million reasons to visit the bustling coastal town. Merimbula boasts some great fishing and there is no better way to get among the big ones than on a fishing charter. We chose Merimbula Marina and spent an enjoyable four hours on the water while managing to catch dinner. Another feature of the town are the huge oyster farms in the lake, which produce some of Australia’s finest oysters.


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Tours are available, which include the chance to sample the local catch. The Merimbula Wharf, situated on the point near the sea entrance to the lake, has a lovely café and an ocean aquarium where local and tropical marine life are displayed in 28 tanks. Merimbula has a treat that will keep the young passengers happy. Magic Mountain is a theme park that has waterslides, a toboggan run, a roller-coaster and many other fun attractions that will help tire the kids out. One of the stand out places for dinner is the local RSL. The view back towards the lake is stunning, while the meals are tasty and huge. The same goes for the Bowling Club situated a small walk from the centre of town. The town is also blessed with a range of cafes serving beautiful home-made food, plenty of seafood, and some great little shops to explore. The airport is to RPT standard, with


Rex operating services to Sydney and Melbourne, so an ASIC is required. There’s even an airport café so you can refuel yourself after you land, or before departure. Accommodation is plentiful, with something that will suit any taste and budget. Waking up with a view over the lake is a great way to start the day. A side trip from the airport is Frogs Hollow Flying Club at nearby Frogs Hollow Airfield. This 900m grass strip, which is 10nm north west of Merimbula, dates from 1937 and was the original airfield servicing the area until Merimbula Airport was completed in 1959. Every Sunday from 2pm the members gather for a chat and a fly. They are a friendly bunch and well worth visiting. Rental cars are available at Merimbula Airport, but if you are staying in town most attractions are within an easy walking distance. If you do hire a car, there’s a diverse

Merimbula - A jewel on the Sapphire Coast

Photos: Mark Smith

Killer Whale Museum

variety of places nearby to explore. The deep-water port of Eden is a pleasant 20 minute drive down the Princes Hwy through the forests of the national parks. The Killer Whale Museum is a must-see, with its displays documenting the history of whaling along the Sapphire Coast as well as detailing the curious partnership that built up between the local whalers and a pod of killer whales. After learning all about the whales it’s time to venture back on to the water. Cat Balou is a 16m catamaran that can carry 72 passengers and has been operated from Eden wharf by the same couple since 1987. The cruise around Twofold Bay is very informative, with an added bonus being the joy of seeing dolphins riding in the boat’s bow wave. From September to November they operate whale watching tours, allowing visitors the chance to see Southern Right, Minke and occasionally Blue whales as they migrate along the coast. Driving a bit further south takes visitors to Boydtown. Wealthy stockbroker Benjamin Boyd founded the outpost in

Waterpark for the kids

1843 with a dream to create a thriving port to complement his pastoral interests. But by 1849 the dream became a nightmare and the liquidators were called in. Today the Seahorse Inn is one of the few remaining buildings that were a part of Boydtown, the other notable one being Boyd’s Tower further along the road in Ben Boyd National Park. The Seahorse Inn serves lovely food in a tranquil setting, with the outside tables looking out on Twofold Bay. Boyd’s Tower was constructed in 1847 from sandstone mined in Sydney’s

Pyrmont and carted down the coast by steamer. It was originally supposed to be a lighthouse but was never used for that purpose. At one stage Boyd posted lookouts for his whaling fleet. Today it’s a silent reminder of one man’s folly, a costly monument that was built just as his empire was beginning to crumble. The whole Sapphire Coast is a treasure trove of history combining beautiful ocean views and lovely coastal hamlets. Merimbula, with its airport, offers the perfect gateway to the region. n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016


FEATURE Michael Smith prepares to splashdown on the Hudson River

A World Journey at 8 With little fanfare, Mike Smith flew around the world in a Searey. Mark Smith asked him why. Picture yourself in this situation. You are on a small, uninhabited island near the Arctic Circle. For a day or two you have ferried fuel to this airstrip which has incredibly unreliable weather. Your next stop is Japan, 18 long hours away, flying at 80kts. Then the weather authorities tell you clearance is not available due impending bad weather and low cloud at the destination. Call again in three hours for an update. You are on an abandoned Cold War airstrip. If you fly back to the island you left it might be another week before the next weather window with tail winds, if it comes at all at this time of year. You have an 18 hour flight ahead, arriving with an uncertain weather picture. It’s cold and


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you have been warned about giant rats that will begin to eat your aeroplane on the ground at the field you are sitting on. To stay or go was Mike Smith’s toughest decision as he flew his Searey from the United States back to Australia. But the flight started months earlier, with such problems not being contemplated when the cinema owning pilot decided he wanted to recreate a flight following the path of the old Qantas flying boats. “I didn’t plan on flying around the world. That came later. I had always been fascinated by the thought of a flying boat trip to the UK in 1938. That’s when Qantas started flying from Sydney to Southampton,” he says. “That’s why I decided to try and follow the route of the old flying boats as closely


as I could. There are some parts of the world where Qantas used to land that aren’t accessible today, like Basra in Iraq.” The service took off in Rose Bay and flew to England over 10 days, with the aircraft stopping overnight along the way. At the time a sea voyage took six weeks so the chance to complete the journey in a fraction of the time was welcome, but the price was huge. “A ticket from Sydney to Southampton was the equivalent of $60,000 today.” The flying boats weren’t efficient by modern standards but compared to ship transport, they were incredibly quick and so they found a ready market with the wealthy. Mike’s Searey doesn’t share the same level of luxury. “Yep, I can’t get up and walk around

A World Journey at 80 knots

80 knots and there is no silver service,” he laughs. “I don’t even have an autopilot.” The Searey qualifies as a ‘flying boat’ given it has a permanent hull, unlike a seaplane that is a land plane with floats added. “Given the tradition where a boat has to have a name, I called her Southern Sun because, it blends our cinema logo and the Southern Cross. I’m passionate about that image.” Mike was introduced to aviation via his grandfather who had been aircrew on Catalinas during WWII. “He was a great inspiration to me. He was on the board of a company and used to have to fly to London every year for meetings. We’d go out to see him off and you’d stay and watch the plane take off because it was such an unusual thing that someone was going on a plane,” he says. Originally yachting held Mike in its thrall, and today he’s still a member of

Mike arrives back in front of the Qantas hangar at Longreach

Melbourne’s Royal Yacht Club of Victoria in Williamstown. “I’ve been sailing since I was a little kid. One of the reasons I bought a Searey is that I’m a member of the yacht club and there is a nice big boat ramp where I can drive it into the water.” Mike deliberately kept the trip low key, with only his wife and a couple of other confidantes knowing what he was attempting. Even the staff at the cinemas he owns were only told that he was going on a trip and might be away for a couple of months. “It was a personal journey. I really did keep it quiet because I didn’t want the pressure of having told the world what I was doing. I didn’t want any sponsors which meant I didn’t have to do the whole social media thing to keep people happy. I just wanted to go out and do it.” “My first stop on the trip was Raymond

Island in Gippsland. I had to tell my mum what I was doing. She only found out when I was one and a half hours into the trip.” It was important to Mike that the trip started at Rose Bay, the home of the Qantas flying boats. So on Monday April 13, 2015, he landed and left soon after. Then it was on to Darwin, via a few stop off points along the way, for the first of many over water crossings. “By the time I got to Darwin I had about 470 hours experience and I’d never been into an international airport so I was pretty nervous, not only about that but also I was about to do the longest over water leg I’d ever done, a four hour flight to East Timor. “But it went OK since I’m still here.” The whole trip was VFR, though after leaving Darwin nearly all flights were planned using IFR airways but at VFR levels. I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Departing from Sydney Harbour

Mike planned to spend at least two days at each destination to enjoy the whole experience of his trip. East Timor was his first international stop and it was here that he learned not everyone is exposed to light general aviation aircraft as much as Australians. “Timor was on the original route so I was keen to stop there, and also visit one of our cinemas” he says. “The Timorese at the airport couldn’t believe how small the plane was. Normally Air Timor jets operate into Dili, along with UN aid aircraft. They were laughing their heads off at this ridiculous aeroplane. I think it was the smallest plane that had ever been to East Timor.” Another milestone that occurred early in the trip was crossing the equator. “I’ve been a sailor since I was a kid and crossing the equator is a big deal. So I decided if the conditions were right I’d land right on the equator, which I did. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have since


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the swell was a lot bigger than I realised. Waves are quite easy to judge but swell doesn’t become obvious until you are about three feet off the water.” The logistics of operating a small aircraft on such a long journey, across many countries, presents challenges not faced by pilots who have never left Australia. “Nearly every single time I got in the plane I was crossing an international boundary which meant I had to clear customs. You always need an airways clearance to enter someone else’s airspace, you need permission to land at the airport in a foreign registered aircraft, you have to clear local customs and you often have to have the equivalent of a carnet because effectively you are importing an aircraft for 24 hours. There is a lot of paper work to do. “The way you deal with that is with a ground handling agent, which at most airports is mandatory. I was initially annoyed


about having to pay for them but once into the trip they became my lifeline as a solo pilot. Places like Bangladesh, India and the Middle East have enormous amounts of paper work. Sometimes we were stamping dozens of different documents where each document might have half a dozen pages. It seemed there were six different people who had to stamp a document before you went out to your plane. I still wonder if all that paperwork ever saw the light of day again once I left.” The average cost of using a handling agent was about $500 a stop, but the highest was at Dubai where they charged $2500, which Mike managed to negotiate down a little. At one stage the local authorities wouldn’t let Mike go out to his aircraft to depart because they didn’t understand why he didn’t have a boarding pass. A quick thinking agent made one and he was allowed on his way. At another airport he was help up because there wasn’t a flight

A world journey at 80 knots

On one side Jordon, on the other side Israel

number on the boarding pass. This delay was solved by Mike writing SS1 (Southern Sun 1) on the document. “I’d often hear people complaining about the bureaucracy in many parts of the world. I’d read books by both adventuring pilots and sailors who had complained about enduring hours of rigmarole with paperwork, and how can the local authorities be so hopeless? “I thought that just wasn’t in the spirit of going on this trip so right from day one I decided that while it may not be a part of the joy of it, dealing with other country’s customs was a part of the experience. I thought it was hilarious it took three hours to process my paperwork but it only happened because they were interested in what I was doing.” Another delay that Mike learned to accept was ground staff wanting to get their picture taken with the Southern Sun, given such small aircraft rarely grace the hard stand at large airports across much

The trip also taught Mike the importance of wearing a uniform at airports that usually only deal with ‘professional’ pilots. of the world. The trip also taught Mike the importance of wearing a uniform at airports that usually only deal with ‘professional’ pilots. “I felt like an absolute imposter when I got my flying suit compete with epaulettes, but I’d heard from enough people who had done this sort of flying that if you don’t have stripes on your shoulder they won’t take you seriously and they won’t believe that you are the pilot.” “The proof was one day when I turned up to do an oil change on a day off. It took me an hour to convince the airfield authorities that I was actually a pilot. I had all the same ID I’d had the day before

when I landed but they didn’t believe I was a pilot because I wasn’t wearing a uniform and why would a real pilot change his own oil? He should have people to do that.” The Middle East presented some major challenges with both the route that had to be followed due to security conditions, and the local weather. “To get from Abu Dhabi to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia I had to follow a route that was 150miles longer than the direct track. That’s two hours extra flying in the hottest part of the world I flew in. I had to fly five hours out over the Persian Gulf, and it is blue water and blue sky as far as the eye can see, without a cloud in the sky. The horizon was very hard to see. I found it I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



The Thames

got incredibly tiring trying to work out the horizon. It was easier just to look at the EFIS, with an occasional glance out for traffic. Given there are no other VFR aircraft out there it wasn’t a problem. “When I arrived at Riyadh it was 53 degrees. The aircraft was sluggish, the temps were up and I was worried about getting off the ground with 13 hours of fuel the next day. So I ended up flying the next leg at night given the day forecast was for 50kt headwinds.” That leg from Riyadh to Aqaba was Mike’s longest of the trip to that point at 10.8 hours. After travelling through Europe, mid-June saw Mike finally land at Southampton, though his arrival caused a minor security scare. “I was marshalled in and a guy says ‘you have a bit of a crowd waiting for you’. I thought wow that’s amazing, how does anyone know I’m here. I walk into an office and there’s 15 people waiting for me. I took my phone out of my pocket to take a picture and in that time half of the people turned around, not wanting their picture taken. It turns out they said the French hadn’t sent my flight plan through and they didn’t know I was coming so I


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was actually being welcomed by Police Special Branch. “They spent two hours going through my bags. Do you know what it’s like having someone lift up your boxer shorts and run their fingers around the seams looking for drugs? “The only way it got resolved is that the girls in the office had found my website and were looking at where I’d been and saying ‘wow, this is amazing’. Gradually immigration went over to have a look, customs went to have a look and finally there was only Special Branch obsessing over what I had been doing. Finally they realised it would have to be a pretty complicated hoax to perform to smuggle drugs into the UK so it was all fine.” The original plan was to put Southern Sun in a container and send it home from the UK. Mike met his wife in the UK and, during a short holiday, decisions were made and plans changed. “My wife said she knew I’d always wanted to circumnavigate the world, but I always thought it would be on a yacht. So I decided to keep going. “Qantas didn’t fly that route but Imperial and Pan Am did. When they


started doing it in 1939 they had the range to fly from Southampton to Ireland, straight across to Canada and then to New York. I knew I couldn’t do that but I was excited at the prospect of flying to Iceland and Greenland.” Mike’s route took him across the North Atlantic Ocean, with entry into the United States via Goose Bay, Canada and Botwood in Newfoundland. His first port of call in the US was Bangor, Maine. One of the highlights of his trip across the US was landing on the Hudson River near the spot another famous pilot landed a few years ago. “Thankfully I was able to take off again,” he says with a laugh. After travelling through Alaska, Mike faced the prospect of the longest overwater leg of his trip from Attu Island (population zero), which is one of the most western of the Aleutian Islands, to Kushiro in Japan. For a number of weeks he’d been trying to get permission to land on one of the Russian Islands enroute, but with that not forthcoming his only option was a long trip across the North Pacific Ocean. After transporting 113 litres of fuel from

A World Journey at 80 knots Adak Island, Alaska’s southernmost town with a population of around 120, it was a case of waiting on Adak for a favourable weather report then making a long flight with a quick refuelling stop on Attu. The weather is notoriously changeable and he needed the assistance of tailwinds to aid his trip. The only other option available was abandon the whole attempt and either leave the Searey at Adak to await better weather later in the year, or fly back to the continental US and ship the Southern Sun home. “The weather window looked good, so I made the five hour flight from Adak to Attu, refuelled and then called Japan on the sat phone for a clearance, but fog was predicted and they wanted me to wait a few hours. The later I left Attu the better due to weather predicted in the morning in Japan, but I was also facing weather closing in on Attu in the early hours of the morning. I decided I’d need to split the difference and depart at midnight to arrive Japan late morning. It would mean 14 hours of an expected 17 hour flight in the dark, but I wanted to catch the tailwinds for as long as possible because they were forecast to dissipate as the day wore on. And when I did meet the front, I wanted it to be daylight.” The take-off was now going to be in pitch black conditions off an unlit runway. He taxied along the available length, deciding to take off towards the sea, and placed small LED torches at different points so he could see the runway edges. By this stage it was raining so Mike was forced to look out the side of his aircraft during the take-off run. “Experience told me rain dissipates from the windshield at speed, so it was just starting the take-off roll that was the problem. So I opened the side window, and tried again with my head out. Now I could see the LEDs blinking down the runway, even if I was getting wet. I took off my headset so it didn’t get saturated, as there were no radio calls worth making out here anyway.” “I was airborne in half the usable runway and with no obstacles I kept my nose low to keep plenty of speed margin and climbed surely but slowly. The first reaction upon take off was to weather vane into the wind, and the first few hundred feet were pretty bumpy, but I got focussed on the numbers and flew out into open water, not straight to Japan just yet, but to clear the mountain turbulence. It was bumpy for a while, but gradually it was less and less and the rain cleared soon after. Within half an hour I increased my true airspeed with cruise power settings at 1500ft to remain below

Short Final 05 Nuuk, Greenland.

the 2500ft freezing level and was bound for my first en route waypoint, half way to Japan.” That leg was the start of a 16.5 hour flight with ground speeds varying between 50 and 110kts. His arrival in Japan was also eventful as the weather at Kushiro necessitated a diversion to Nakashibetsu Airport. After a few hours waiting for the weather to clear, Mike flew into Kushiro with three hours fuel remaining. His total flight time for the day, from Adak to Attu, then Nakashibetsu and finally Kushiro was 21.8 hours. On November 12 Mike arrived back at Longreach, completing a lap of the world. Two days later the trip was over as Mike arrived home in Williamstown to a much larger crowd than had seen him depart. “I felt elated when I landed but also relieved it was all over. I certainly wasn’t over it during the trip but I did get back a full month later than I planned,” he says. “Plus you can’t help but reflect on some of the scary moments on the trip.”

After being back for a few months Mike’s life has returned to its normal routine interspersed with speaking engagements about his trip. “There are certainly other flying trips I’m thinking about but right now I’m enjoying flying to aero clubs talking about the trip. It’s become a great excuse to go to places I’ve never been before. When I went to Deniliquin in April it was the first fly-in I’d ever been to. “If I did do a big trip again I’d want to do it in a four seat version of the Searey, which they are working on, or something similar. Plus it would have to be powered by a diesel engine because I never want to experience the problems I had getting Avgas.” n More on Mikes blog southernsun/1/tpod.html I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



New Weather Tools to Keep You Safe

Bas Scheffers looks at what’s available in weather flight planning software. As pilots, our go-to place for weather is always NAIPS; it’s the official source of weather from Airservices and indispensable for highly localised short term forecasts. TAF and METARs leave little to the imagination and give you everything you need to know about the weather at your destination and if alternates are required. However the area forecasts leave a lot to be desired. They can be very hard to read and visualise, and nothing NAIPS offers helps you decide if a trip later in the week will be feasible. In this issue we look at some tools available that make both the NAIPS weather briefings easier to use, as well as those that help plan ahead. OZRUNWAYS WEATHER PLANNER By far the easiest way to make sense of an area forecast is the OzRunways weather page. You can reach it from the plan sheet by pressing the cloud icon after all the weather for your route has been downloaded. Using the back and forward buttons steps from waypoint to waypoint in your plan and shows the appropriate area forecast for each as well as the option of a graphical TAF if the waypoint is an aerodrome. Any subdivisions, troughs and other locations from the forecast are highlighted as a line on a schematic maps similar


JUN - JUL 2016


to the PCA. Tapping on the underlined text highlights the line on the map and vice versa, making it easy to visualise how the changing weather behaves relative to your track.

New Weather Tools to Help Keep You Safe

OZRUNWAYS RADAR OVERLAY Thanks to highresolution weather radar being provided over the internet, every pilot within mobile range can have a clear view of the weather ahead. Keeping in mind that images will be delayed, it still provides the ability to avoid the most severe weather on your track. If you turn it on by pressing the cloud icon on top of the map, it also shows lightning strikes.

BOM New on is the imagery from the Japanese Himawari-8 satellite, a geostationary view that’s constantly updated, day and night, in very high resolution. Pressing play to put it on a loop will show how cloud build up and movement is progressing across the country. Using the layers button allows selection of various view types including visual, infrared and Zehr-enhanced images better for tracking of thunderstorms and cyclones. The Interactive Weather and Wave Forecast Maps (found under weather maps from the homepage) is a tool that visualises various forecasts over time. When it first loads, it shows a synoptic chart which is great for an overview of pressure systems. But change it to show wind speed and direction and it will show forecasts at the altitude you select, making it possible to see what area winds are doing up to a week away.

WINDYTY is the brainchild of Ivo, a pilot and kite surfer as well as computer programmer obsessed about wind. The website shows a world map with controls for selecting time and altitude of the wind and other overlays, up to two weeks ahead. In a way it is similar to what the BOM’s Interactive Weather and Wave Forecast provides, but with much more detail and an easier interface. The beautiful animation is based on the global GRIB winds distributed by NOAA and allows you to click any point on the map to get the wind speed and direction. This makes it the perfect tool for checking the week ahead and it’s surprisingly accurate. Of course it gets more accurate the closer to the current time and for on the day, using these result to calculate ground speed is very precise.

Windyty is also available an Android App on the Google Play Store and an iOS version is promised for the near future. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER All these tools can be a great help for any pilot and using them in combination will give you the best situational awareness about the weather now and in the future that any pilot has ever had in history. To make the most of them, make sure you have a SIM card in your tablet when you go flying, or tether it to your phone. That way, electronic flight bags like OzRunways can continually keep you updated and help you arrive at your destination as quickly and safely as possible. n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



Willie Chew, the SIAI-Marchetti S211 Godfather Willie Chew is Australia’s most experienced SIAI-Marchetti S211 pilot. Thankfully he’s passing those skills on to Australian Warbird owners. David Bonnici caught up with him. While the Australian Defence Force never operated the SIAI-Marchetti S211, the Italian-built jet did have a distinguished career here, wearing Republic of Singapore Air Force colours at RAAF Pearce near Perth. The curvy jets shared the Pearce training area with RAAF 2FTS PC-9s from 1993 until the turboprop Pilatus PC-21 replaced them in the advanced training role in 2008. Thankfully they avoided the scrapheap and remained in Perth where the Singapore Government appointed


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Sydney-based International Air Parts (IAP) to sell off the 20 flyable jets. With individual aircraft selling for as little as $175,000 and with relatively low complexity and operating costs, warbird enthusiasts in the US and their country of origin snapped them up. Fortunately, a few have remained in Australia where their orange and white RSAF training livery has become a familiar sight on the local warbird scene. Also remaining in Australia is one of Singapore’s most experienced S211 pilots and instructors, Willie ‘The


Godfather’ Chew. Willie trained generations of RSAF fighter pilots in the S211 and more recently a small batch of civilian pilots. “IAP bought the whole lot of the 211s and they got me back again to do all the flight tests and flight training,” Willie says. “I have to train the new owners and there are other people who trained on it. I think there are about 15 qualified S211 pilots in Australia at the moment.” The tandem seat SIAI-Marchetti S211 was developed in the mid-1970s as an


Photos: Mike Jorgenson

Singapore initially acquired 24 of the jets, which were assembled locally and became operational in 1984. Willie was among the first pilots.

The striking S211 streaks over the West Australian countryside.

economical jet trainer and light strike aircraft and had limited sales success. Singapore was the type’s first customer and it also served with the Haitian Air Force and Philippine Air Force, the latter continuing to operate it in both roles. Singapore initially acquired 24 of the jets, which were assembled locally and became operational in 1984. Willie was among the first pilots. “I have flown them from day one when Singapore bought the jets, and I am still flying the same jet now.”

Willie’s career also spans the life of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, which in less than 50 years grew from being a small training unit equipped with eight Cessna 172Ks to one of the most formidable air forces in the region. He joined in 1970, two years after the formation of the then Singapore Air Defence Command. Like many distinguished aviation careers, Willie’s happened totally by chance. “My ambition was to become an engineer,” he laughs.

“I was born in Penang, Malaysia. After I finished high school there was an advertisement in the newspaper saying ‘Singapore needs fighter pilots, we’ll provide you free transportation down to Singapore for the interview’. “I said, why not? Since it was free, and I was waiting for the results to go to university, I went down to Singapore for the interview and this is how I got myself into this.” By the time he joined the SADC it had equipped itself with BAC Strikemasters and ex-RAF Hawker Hunters. I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



“I qualified on the Hunter in the UK. At the time we didn’t have a training facility in Singapore, so we just did our basic training on the Cessna and then the Strikemaster. “After the Strikemaster we were sent to the UK for the Hunter training. Then I came back to Singapore in 1974 to serve on a Hunter squadron.” Despite the Hunter being a little old in the tooth, Willie says it was a fantastic aircraft to fly. “It’s a good looking aeroplane and at that time I think it was one of the nicest fighters to fly. The control was nice and it was very powerful with 10,000 pounds of thrust.” Willie also flew Lockheed T-33


JUN - JUL 2016

Shooting Stars, Jet Provosts and the sleek piston-engine SIAI-Marchetti SF260 before jumping into the cockpit of the S211. Despite only having a quarter of the thrust of the Hunter, Willie has always enjoyed flying the S211. “They are not high performance like the Hawk but they’re so much nicer to fly than something like the Jet Provost or L-39 and much more forgiving. “It’s a nice aircraft except the cockpit is a little bit small. If you’re a bigger sized person you have to squeeze in.” In 1993 the RSAF transferred its fastjet training operations to RAAF Pearce and Willie was among the first to make the move to Western Australia.


He retired from the air force a few years later but was back as a civilian instructor until his full retirement in 2004. He decided to stay in Australia. “From 1993 until 2004 my children were here and I don’t think they wanted to return. “I had been serving almost 11 years in Perth and when I retired I felt there was no point going back. I love Australia and the weather and everything.” The retirement of the S211s got him back in the saddle, and if he’s not training other pilots he does keep current in VH-DQJ based at Jandakot, which he is quick to points out does not belong to him.


“I can’t afford that,” he laughs. “If you’re an ex-air force pilot you can’t afford to buy the plane. “A Singaporean guy owns the jet. He lives in Singapore and bought it two years ago, but he parks it at Jandakot and he asked me to manage it for him.” At around $2000 an hour to operate, Willie generally flies the S211 when someone else is paying for his expertise, so going up just for fun isn’t really an option. “To be honest I’ve got more than 4000 hours on that jet. I’ve had enough fun on it and don’t get that many thrills out of it anymore. I fly to keep myself current, that’s about it. The owner once

in a while comes back to fly, most of the time I fly with him.” Indeed Willie’s flying has come full circle and you’re most likely to see him back behind the controls of a Cessna 172, which he hires from the Curtin Flying Club. “I have been flying for 40-something years,” he says. “I’m at the age where I just fly for fun and not really for anything else. If people need to be checked on the S211 then I’ll do the training for them. “Other than that I’ll get in the Cessna and just go and fly around.” n I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



The Fokker D.VIII – TAVAS does it again The Australian Vintage Aviation Society continues to expand its fleet. Andrew Carter talks about their latest piece of flying history. In June 1918, the German Air Force sponsored a fly-off fighter competition. Twelve companies entered 25 prototypes and of these, five were Fokker monoplanes. The Fokker D.VIII was the overall winner and a production order was placed for 400 of them. The D.VIII is a parasol monoplane, meaning an arrangement of cabane struts supports the single wing above the fuselage. It has the advantage of giving the pilot good downward visibility and a lot less drag than multiple wing aircraft. The thick wing of the D.VIII is internally


JUN - JUL 2016

braced and fully cantilevered. Unlike previous aircraft wings that were covered with linen, the D.VIII wing was covered entirely with plywood, which gave it great strength and rigidity. It was also one of the few wings of the WWI period to be tapered in both planform and thickness ratio. This not only increases aerodynamic efficiency but also structural efficiency, since taper reduces the wing weight and root bending stress for a given wing area. Wing damping in roll is also reduced by wing taper which translates to a higher rate of roll for a


given aileron-supplied rolling moment. Fokker must have really thought he had found the perfect wing design with the D.VIII as he used it extensively, scaled to various sizes, on nearly all his aircraft for many years after the war. The fuselage and tail structure are typical Fokker design and consist of welded mild steel frames covered with fabric. A 110hp Oberursel rotary engine supplied the power to the original aircraft although the airframe was tested with 145hp and 160hp engines. The maximum speed of the D.VIII was a reasonable 110


Photos: David White and Matt Fisher

Unlike a conventional engine that is fixed to the aircraft and turns the propeller, a rotary has the prop bolted to the engine and the entire engine spins around the crankshaft at about 1200 rpm.

Andrew Carter flies by in the D.VIII

knots at 6500 feet, but the climbing capability of the aircraft was outstanding. The D.VIII was finally pressed into service in the last few months of the war, far too late to make any sort of reputation in combat. Eighty-five Fokker D.VIIIs were in use at the time of the armistice. A total of 381 examples of the aircraft, known as the Flying Razor, were delivered to the German military. The Australian Vintage Aviation Society (TAVAS) obtained an accurate reproduction three years ago, minus engine and instruments. It is covered

in authentic linen, with the lozenge camouflage pattern printed on it. It wears the mark of 730/18, which we at TAVAS believe would have been the very next D.VIII off the production line had the war continued. Given the incredible authenticity of this build and finish, it qualifies for that title. To keep such an accurate reproduction authentic, it was imperative that it be powered with a rotary engine ‌ but WWI engines are difficult to come by. We were fortunate that someone in America was willing to part with an

original 1918 Gnome engine which had been built for war use, but the conflict ended before it could be fitted to an aircraft. It is believed to have ended up in the US, fitted to an airboat and found some time later in a shed, still on the rotting hull of the boat. Several years before TAVAS purchased the engine it had been running on a test stand, but we are unaware of it ever having been fitted to an aircraft. Once the Gnome engine arrived in Australia, TAVAS chief engineer Dave Walsh pulled it down and rebuilt it, I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



The D.VIII’s unusual control stick

teaching himself about rotary engines along the way. Unlike a conventional engine that is fixed to the aircraft and turns the propeller, a rotary has the prop bolted to the engine and the entire engine spins around the crankshaft at about 1200 rpm. This was a clever idea that came about when the forward speed of early aircraft was so low (40mph or less) that there was not sufficient air cooling of the cylinders and the engines overheated. Rotating the entire engine at high speed meant all the cylinders got the cooling they needed and higher horse power could be obtained. The engines also do not require a warm up like other engines, so within seconds of start you could be at full power climbing away to intercept an incoming enemy. The early rotary engines had one spark plug per cylinder and ran at full power or nothing – you could cut the spark to all cylinders with a kill switch mounted on the control yoke. The engine would continue to turn through momentum and fuel and oil would continue to run into the cylinders, but would be vented through the exhaust port unburnt – until the kill switch was released and the


JUN - JUL 2016

spark ignited the mixture and the engine roared to life again. The 160 Gnome differs in that it has two spark plugs plus per cylinder and two magnetos, one which only runs at full power and the other that allows you to run at full power, half power, quarter power or one eighth power by stopping the spark to certain cylinders. The operation is fairly simple. You have a fuel lever in the same location you would have a throttle in a conventional aircraft. Once the prop is hand swung and barks into life (and this thing really does bark), you simply move the fuel lever full forward initially, then back slightly, till you get peak rpm – and that’s it. I select 1/8th power and blip the switch momentarily to allow the crew to remove the chocks. Then you simply advance the mag switch through to full power, push forward on the stick to raise the tail a little bit and within a ridiculously short distance ease back and the aircraft is airborne. Keep easing back on the stick to keep the speed at 60kts and you find yourself climbing at a great rate. The controls are very responsive, but light compared to most small aircraft - although not as light as a dedicated


aerobatic one. The aircraft handles incredibly well and is a joy to fly. It can exceed Vne (110kts) straight and level if left in full power, so all level or descending segments are done at half power or less. It stalls at 36kts. The exceptionally clean design of the D.VIII means that for landings, even on 1/8th power, you must blip the switch for quite a few seconds at a time before releasing it momentarily and then holding it in again, to lose enough speed to be able to touch down. All landings are wheelers as there is virtually no give in the very rudimentary bungee suspension. You have to keep it in a level attitude until the speed decays to the point the tail naturally wants to drop. You don’t have brakes or even a steerable tail wheel as it only has a fixed skid – so you have to work at keeping it straight as best you can until it stops. The D.VIII is loud and blows smoke (it uses castor oil in a total loss system – about 10 litres per hour) and is an attraction anytime it flies. Its unique sound, sight, smell and performance ensured it was the highlight of the recent WWI air display at Caboolture over the Anzac Day weekend. n


Warbirds News By Phil Buckley

In March, the Classic Jets Fighter Museum announced their intention to close and sell off most of their collection. Confirmed sales so far include CAC Sabre A94-974, which its new owner plans to move to NSW and restore to flight using parts from another CAC Sabre airframe to be imported from the US, and the Mirage IIIO A3-16 which Queensland Aviation Museum has purchased.

CAC Sabre

HARS has finished repainting one of their C-47 Dakotas into a WWII-era RAAF olive drab and grey scheme. It was displayed at the Wings Over Illawarra airshow in April and is expected to fly again within three months of repairs being finished. The Qantas Founders Museum is seeking funds to restore their Super Constellation project, which they bought at auction with the aim to display at their growing museum at Longreach. The aircraft was left to rot on an airfield in Manilla for the past 25 years, but during its service it notched up an extensive warbird history in the US Navy as R7V-1 (later C-121J) Bu.131643 on the Pacific Missile Range.

The Bankstown Aviation Museum will close this month and move to Camden Airport where it is expected to reopen by September. Steve Death from Hazair has successfully test flown a Hawker Sea Fury at Moree. The aircraft has been restored for an owner in the United Kingdom and will be exported there once test flights are completed.

Seafury Various warbirds around Australia took part in Anzac Day flying activities, enabling many cities and towns to recall the role of the RAAF in times of war and peace. For the first time the Australian Warbirds Association (AWAL) participated in the evaluation process of display applications for these flypasts. AWAL has applied to CASA for approval to conduct display evaluations and approvals for warbirds and this was seen as an excellent opportunity for a trial run. CAC Sabre jet A94-959, which for 31 years was a feature on a pole in Bettles Park near RAAF Williamtown, has been refurbished and put on display at the front of Fighterworld Museum at the base. The RAAF Point Cook Museum replica Spitfire Mk 8 marked up as A58-492 UP-B, landed in Melbourne in April after its sea voyage from the UK. It was quickly rebuilt and has been placed on to its pole outside the main museum building.

The C-47 Temora Aviation Museum has conducted trials with the grounded CAC Sabre jet to see how a variety of newer types of ejections seats would fit into the cockpit. Martin Baker no longer supports the current ejection seat variant, grounding the Sabre due to an air force requirement that all RAAF fast jets be equipped with a working ejection seat. It is hoped if the trials are successful the Sabre will be allowed to fly again.




Letters Got something to say? We’d like to hear it so much we’re prepared to bribe you! The best letter to the editor wins an AOPA Airfield Directory App, valued at $49.99. Email your letters to:

Winner WINNER! ...of the AOPA Airfield Directory

Peter Driussi makes some observations from the last magazine. I have just started reading the April/May edition of Australian Pilot. My thoughts from the first half of the edition are that we are an industry in dire straits! The laughable “magic little red card”, Eureka

of statistics and understanding the impact of implemented changes. The industry is not afraid of change, we are afraid

report, fuel reserves, part 61 problems, more part 61

of having our hands tied behind our backs and being

problems and I am only up to page 16.

beaten to death with a piece of paper.

We need change, urgently. We have CASA making decisions and using the

The industry is calling out for your understanding and assistance; we will work with you if you are

excuse of improving safety. I would like to see the

just willing (and able) to listen to the needs of the

accident, incident and near miss statistics for the last

people (individuals, businesses, sole operators, clubs,

five years to see the immaculate safety record we

manufacturers etc.).

must now have with all these wonderful changes. What? You say there are still accidents?


Something is wrong CASA and it is something to do with industry consultation, revision/review

APR - MAY 2016


There is more at stake here than a few weekend pilots.



editor Neil Wright thinks the real battle should be about airports. I learned to fly years ago at Bankstown. Back then it was

them as airports. That went straight out the window. The

a thriving place, almost like a small town. Then someone

mantra to develop the area for non-aviation uses is all

had the bright idea to sell off the airport, and others like it


across the country. Suddenly property developers backed

I have a friend who flies out of Mildura. Same thing there.

by mega banks gained control and it’s been downhill since

GA is being forced out as the airport owners seek to drag

then. Now Bankstown is a ghost town. Oh the big end of

more and more money from their asset. This has to stop, or

town is happy. They got the assets for a bargain basement

GA will find itself priced out of business and private flyers

price because they were going to be forced to maintain

will be congregating on grass strips with no facilities.

Paul Harrison takes exception to a letter from a doctor about medical reform. Who the hell wrote that rubbish in the last edition about

Now I fly an RV-4 under RA-Aus. I haven’t held an

not taking CASA medical out of the process of certification

instrument rating for 15 years and have no intention of

for pilots to fly simple aeroplanes under day VFR? I’m

doing so. But if I want to carry more fuel or a passenger

surprised you published it given he/she didn’t have the

my aeroplane has to be in the VH category and I have to

courage to put their name to it.

have a class two medical. Why? Anyone from Avmed want

RA-Aus has shown for years that they can operate safely

to justify it? No, because you can’t other than to continue

with simple common-sense medical standards, which allow

to feather bed your private fiefdom, costing private pilots

a lot of people to enjoy the freedom of flight. I used to fly

huge amounts of money with no benefit to safety. RA-Aus

a Baron under the IFR for about 140 hours a year. In that

have proved that. The Americans are getting rid of their

operation I concede it could get stressful.

private pilot medical system. It’s time we did too.

Peter Brown likes the campaign against the magic red card. I want to applaud your editorial from the last issue. It’s time the industry really rose up against this one ridiculous impost. Why does my passport, which is an international identity document, last five years but my ridiculous ASIC only last two? Why do we need it anyway? Surely this is one thing CASA can abolish with the sweep of a sensible pen. It can’t be all that hard.

Keep up the pressure. It’s high time we joined the real world. Ed: Thanks for your comments Peter. Unfortunately the ASIC isn’t issued or administered by CASA but somewhere in the maze that is our homeland security agencies. We will keep up the fight. I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



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AEROSTARS Two of, Aerostar WGK 601P 1978 4000 hours Located Bankstown Missing one motor Machen conversion. Two new machen props AEROSTAR TLL 601P for parts. Motor and props 400 hours – t/r, calendar timed. A/frame unserviceable. Otherwise complete. Located Northam WA can dismantle and freight $50,000 for both Will split phone 0466 305 619


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AUSTER J5G AUTOCAR VH-JSG a J5G Autocar has finally become available for purchase and is ready for a new home and owner. This aircraft is immaculate and has won Best Auster/Aircraft at every flyin it has been to. JSG has been hangared since restoration, leaving it still looking new. • 180 Hp engine – carries good load off ground in a short distance • New leading edges • New and improved brakes • New alternating system For more details, please see or contact Grayden on:

TT 9900, Prop 0 hrs, 3 Blade, Eng 1500hrs, IO-520F, Previous IFR Rating, now VFR. Current 100 hr inspection. Cargo Pod, not fitted. Factory installed Camera floor opening with SID. 2 Blade Prop as spare, towing gear. Recently fitted Vortex Generators, Wing & Tailplane. Always Hangared, can be seen at Goulburn. $135,000 no GST. Duncan Bray 02 9699 4849, 0427 808 880, CESSNA 150K 1969 Engine T.B.O 1,525 Prop 800 VHF- AFD Many spares Always hangered. Call 08 8676 5093 (evenings please)

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CESSNA SKYCATCHER 162 Aircraft Registration:- 24/8182. Aircraft Airframe Total Time TT:- 250. Manufactured:- 2012. Location:- Moree. Selling Price:- $132000 (GST Inclusive) Horse Power:- 100. No Turbo. 1st Life Cycle. Serial No:- 1600198. Propeller Make: Macaulay. Construction:- Metal. Propeller TBO: 1750. Primary Avionics:- Garmin G300 MFD. Garmin Radios SL40. Garmin Transponder. Factory Optional Extras include Intercom, EGT Sensor, Ext Receptacle, Sun Visors and Aluminium Prop. Contact Details:- Andrew Crowe Mobile 0428 657 014

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run long range tanks o/size landing gear Codan HF 2xcom11A ADF Txpdr UHF 4 place intercom. Paint 6/10. Interior 6/10. Windows 9/10. Hangared at Tamworth very good cond. New annual insp $59K+GST Sensible offers considered (02) 6769 7513 I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



CESSNA C182RGii 1978 TTIS 5296 Lycoming O-540-J3C5D engine – no oil leaks, low oil use, compressions all good and even. ETR 1256, PTR 751, next annual due December 2016. All AD’s up to date. IFR. Hangared at Bacchus Marsh. Paint and interior excellent. Corrosion proofed. SID’s compliant, new control cables. LR tanks. Very original. Accurately rigged. Standard Cessna panel with 2 VOR’s, 2 ADF’s,2 VHF Radios, Cessna 300 auto-pilot, transponder, strobes. Fifth seat belt in rear seat, 5-place intercom. Co-pilot push-to-talk button. Windscreen excellent. All fittings operational. Original parts and service manual included. Very nice aircraft. – on the market for health reasons. $140,000 or offer – No GST. Mob 0428 388 663

CESSNA 150K 1969 Engine T.B.O 1,525 Prop 800 VHF- AFD Many spares Always hangered PH: 08 8676 5093 (evenings please)

100 hourly, Eng. 470HTR Prop1990 HTR Garmin 430W King GPS/COM Transponder, switching panel, Gear adv. system, VG kit a/c hangared $175.000 no GST. Contact Ken 0408 254 872 or email

MOONEY M20C TT4513.ETR520.PTR 1270. Fast and economic @ 38 LPH. Very good condition inside and out.Always hangered,nil corrosion. Constant speed retractable .$53k no gst Phone 0418 511 253


VH-PNN. 185 hrs TT. Lycoming IO 360. C.S. Hartzel. Dynon D100. VM 1000. Icom IC-A 210 com. GTX 327 Txpdr. Tru Track A/pilot with Alt hold coupled to Bendix King Skymap IIIC. Leather interior. Folding wings. Winner Avalon 2009-Champion Concours D’Elegance & Best Overall Sport Aircraft. $150,000 no GST. Ring Peter Nelson 0418 949 943 or email peternelson666@gmail .com

scale replica with C of A VH-XST Jabiru 3300 with Rotec liquid cooled heads & Rotec TBI. Airmaster elect 3 bladed prop King avionics. TT 60 hrs. Hangared at Jandakot Many mods but to scale as per a real Mark 8 $155k, no GST. Peter 0414 945 129 or

QUICKSILVER GT400, ultralight aircraft registered in 95.10 category. $7000. Looks and flies extremely well, suitable for a low time pilot or someone just wanting to return to simple, basic flying. Aircraft has been maintained extremely well, has a low hour Rotax 447 cdi ignition 40hp engine which uses 12 litres of fuel per hour. A GSC adjustable pitch propeller is included. Many quality instruments are fitted, all manuals and handbooks are supplied. Price includes Icom radio and Lightspeed anr headset. Currently based at Benalla. Phone Geoff on 0439 377 463 for more details.

WINJELL VH – WIJ KYNETON VIC One owner for 32 years since retired from RAAF. Always hangered. ETR 900 hours. PTR 900 hours. TT airframe 4950. 5000 hour centre section and wing attach fitting NDI inspection carried out. Fresh maintenance release. 4 seats, aerobatic, cruiser, tail wheel, 985 powered economical to run and is excellent value and a fantastic historic/ex military a/c AUD $120,000 ono. Call Roger Richards. Melbourne 0419 229 859 or Matt Richards 0417 396 101.



First Maule M9 available in Australia, for details contact Rob, email, 0425 252 550


JUN - JUL 2016

TIGER MOTH VH-LOW, Eng 700 to run, oil ring mod. All AD’s completed. Radio, electric intercom. Based Luskintyre NSW. $150,000 Phone 0410 325 644


Fully IFR, autopilot, modern avionics. 170kt TAS, air-con, leather interior. Excellent touring aircraft. Long standing well run syndicate. Aircraft hangared at YSBK. Shares $20,000ea. Contact: 0417 481 529

MEMBERS MARKETPLACE Plus workshop tools

(2nd hand); Full micrometer for engine shop, Honing top/complete 3” x 6”, Inclinometer, Oil filter cover cutter +more.

PARAFIELD SYDICATE SHARES AVAILABLE Archer 11. Fly $150 p hour wet and $75 pmonth fixed. See website or phone 0413 987 346.

½ share in Rockwell Commander Based in Mackay Queensland. Share mon­ey will be spent on an engine upgrade to a Lycoming 390. TT 2250 hrs, airframe in excellent condition, accident free, exterior 9/10, interior 9/10, IFR with Garmin 300, VOR, ADF, Century I Autopilot. Near new leather upholstery, very spacious and comortable aeroplane. Once flown would not want to fly anything else. Only one half share will be sold. Contact Gary on 0427 018 425.

Tools: Just about to finish building our RV14A. Won’t be needing our tools, benches and equipment soon. One build only - given full TLC. If you are thinking about building an aircraft soon (particularly an RV) we have a complete set of tools and accessories you will need for your build. More comprehensive than those packaged tool sets we bought and then had to add on and onto. Don’t forget the GST and freight costs to import tools +25% on to the purchase price. Replacement cost $8000+. Selling $5500. Contact for full inventory. Alan Carlisle 0403 323 973,

Tyres Retread Goodyear 4 off 6.50 – 10 8 PR; 1 Goodyear off 8.50 x 10 8 Ply, Citation (2nd hand); 1 off 22x8.00 x 10, 10ply; 1 off Aviator 8.5 x10, 10PR Contact: Euan 0412 418 345 or email

Classifieds It pays to advertise with us. Australian Pilot is distributed to members of AOPA and Australian Warbirds. It is also distributed to aviation executives and operators and has substantial newsstand sales. Total distribution 9000 copies bi-monthly, 6 issues per year.

To advertise, email or telephone AOPA on 02 9791 9099

MUSTANG FLIGHTS. DA40 DIAMOND STAR: Syndicate shares available 2007 model with G1000 & GFC700 based at Camden. NO UPFRONT FEES, minimum 3 month commitment, $400 per month fixed and $125 per hour. No min hrs (subject to insurance). Photos & info on www. Call David on 0450 172 299 or email info@​

Fly in a real P51 Caboolture QLD. PH 0410 325 644, 02 4963 4024


Continental IO-360-C engine with around 700 + hrs to run (with full history) for Cessna 337 D. Private owner / pilot will pay reasonable price to get another engine for my 337 and get her airborne again. Contact Marcus 0458 333 200

HELICOPTER Pilots interested in forming a Bell 47 Helicopter Syndicate Contact Jim 0419 600 071

FOR HIRE GRUMMAN TIGER for pvt hire: TOWNSVILLE. Rate negotiable depending on wet or dry hire. Email

Find us on Facebook Aircraft Owners And Pilots Association Australia

OTHER Assorted Spare Parts

Parts suitable for Rockwell Commander. Turbo prop. Assorted spare. I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016




LUSKINTYRE AIRFIELD For Sale. Share in Luskintyre Airfield. Situated in the picturesque Hunter Valley NSW. Hangarage for one aircraft included.

Aviation Resort

3 HOURS FROM SYDNEY 2 hangars, three houses. Farming operation on 300 acres and accommodation income from houses $1.4 million. For brochure and details call 0413 963 438 or email

Aircraft manufacturing opportunity.

Tooling, drawing components for the Typhoon and Cyclone aircraft. With the latest styling could be easily upgraded to the 600kg LS aircraft. $60,000. Retiring. 07 3205 4452 or 0431 693 280. Leave message if not answered.

GOULBURN AIRPORT Lot 19 Cummins Close, Unique opportunity to secure land at Goulburn Airport. 400 sq m vacant land at Goulburn Airport. Perfect for hangar / aircraft storage. Close to taxiway and runway Good access to site for vehicles Trish Graham 02 4822 1555

SHARK BAY AIR CHARTER IS FOR SALE Laid back lifestyle in an idyllic location while supporting yourself by flying. Includes 2 SE aircraft with regular work Ideal for owner/operator, rather than an investor POA. Phone 08 9948 1773


Archer Park is a pilot’s paradise: 75 Acres of luxurious privacy located in Hervey Bay. 2x brick aircraft hangars, 3x runways, internal asphalt roads. Large brick colonial residence. $1.5 million. Ph. 0412 75 99 77. Email:


Prime site for sale next to the Whitsunday Airport with 1400m sealed runway. Fly in/fly out to your tropical paradise. Gateway to the magnificent Whitsunday Islands and reef. 4.4 hectares (11 acres) of vacant land zoned rural residential with development approval for a four lot subdivision. Mostly level, partly cleared land featuring rain forest and a seasonal creek. Easy road access to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Town water, electricity and telephone lines to the property boundary. $795,000 Mobile 0417-645268 email:

PACIFIC HAVEN AIRPARK QLD 4659 Frazer coast Hervey Bay. 2 Acres large brick four bedroom lowset residence 4 Car garage large boat shed. Hanger with asphalt taxi ways to 3000ft bitummen runway with pal lig Above ground swimming pool. 20.000Gallon watertanks to house. Full share to your private airfield 5 min to Burrum river boat ramp $595,000. mob 0438 00 4471


1904 granite home extended 2003, 4 bedrooms and office, dinning room, enormous fire place, evaporative cooling, 11m indoor pool. Separate small house nearby for rent or for guest overflow. Elevated position oversees airstrip and views. 300 acres, numerous sheds. 45,000L house water storage, damns and springs. Grass airstrip 800m x 100m extendable with small additional land to 1000m fully fenced, cone markers, two windsocks clear approaches. Two hangars 15 x 18m and 12 x 8.5m both with power, water, concrete floors and aprons. Minutes by air from Temora. 150 nm from Sydney, $1.6M. ONO. Ph 02 6976 4280 or 0429 021097


JUN - JUL 2016



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Mail to form to: AOPA. PO Box 26, Georges Hall NSW 2198 Or Fax to: (02) 97991 9355 I AUSTRALIAN PILOT l JUN - JUL 2016



How Did Your Day Start? Adam Cartwright enjoys a great start to his day. When I arrived at home base this morning I was greeted by an enthusiastic Jeremy (CFI Skythrills); “My 9am Student had to cancel…want to commit formation aviation?” Do I? You bet! The cloud is about 2500ft, stratus, overcast with two huge holes. There’s nil wind. We refuel, pre-flight and then sit down for a formation brief. We decide that I will lead out and Jeremy will lead back. We agree on a pairs take-off and landing (we take-off and land together in echelon formation) and we plan to change from parade formation to tactical tail chase once clear of the cloud. We choose the call sign ‘Dragon formation’ as we will be flying the Nanchang CJ6 warbirds for this sortie so it’s sort of obligatory. Still used as a military flight training aircraft in China, these aircraft are well-loved for their benign handling characteristics, big aerobatics capability and they make a superb formation platform with fantastic visibility. I’m designated the call sign ‘Dragon one’ and Jeremy will be ‘Dragon two’. We strap in and I use all three arms to simultaneously pump the primer, hold the hand operated brake and start the supercharged 285hp radial noise maker. And what a beautiful sound we make! Two roaring Dragons taxing in close proximity, lining up in echelon right and then, with an empathic nod of my head, together we launch ourselves down the runway and climb upwards towards the low cloud base. I line up a huge hole in the distance, check temps and pressures, and make sure my wingman is tucked in nice and close. He is - almost close enough to touch in perfect echelon right position! We rocket out from under the gloomy overcast. The sun lights up the cockpit as we pull up through the hole and above the thin stratus layer. As lead, the usual tasks of lookout, navigation and radio are my accountability, and I must also give careful consideration for manoeuvring with my wingman. Manoeuvers need to be deliberate and smoothly executed. But my wingman is Jeremy, a skilled professional. While I am careful to roll on and roll off bank smoothly and deliberately to signal intent, I’m not


JUN - JUL 2016

here to make it too easy. I push 45 degrees of bank, then 60, then 75 and laugh out loud as a head check confirms Dragon two is maintaining station perfectly, tucked in nice and close. He looks like an extension of my aircraft. Close is where you want to be when formation flying as leaving a wide spacing requires far more power and makes staying in position much harder in high bank turns. Staying close enough is the biggest challenge when first learning formation as your natural instinct is to put distance between you and the other aircraft. Time for us to go tactical so we stretch out to a line astern formation with 1000ft spacing. The cloud spreads out far below in a splendid sparkling sunlit carpet. I start a G warm up by pulling 3G in a turn to the right and reversing for the same to the left. A head check confirms Dragon two is on my six in line astern position, so I start a series of wingovers to the left and right and throw in a loop. It’s like Dragon two is on a fixed rope! What a display! The earth rolls and tumbles as I add in a few rolls; the cloud carpet becomes the ceiling and then the floor. No matter what I do Dragon two stays locked in position. I laugh out loud again and we swap lead so it’s my turn to do the chasing. Unlike parade formations where a wingman needs to constantly jockey the throttle to maintain position, I don’t touch the throttle; I just use lead and lag to maintain spacing. Point the nose aft of the leader to increase spacing and point it forward to close the distance. Dragon two breaks left, then right and follows up with wingovers and into a roll. My body is my primary instrument. Apart from occasional glances at pressures and temps I do not look inside the cockpit. I feel the G and the stick position lets me know where the stall angle of attack is. I don’t know where we are and I’m beginning to wonder which way is up! My focus is on the attitude of the lead aircraft and maintaining the correct spacing. Fantastic. My mantra is ‘hang in there’ and maintain the spacing. Jeremy calls me back into parade formation so I re-join echelon right and we head for home base. The Chang


pushes through 170kt on the descent and I’m hard working to stay in tight as bank angles reach 60 degrees. All I see is the imaginary formation line drawn between the aileron hinge and the spinner on the leader and I’m working hard to stay right on it; getting too hot on the line so I ease the throttle, lagging behind the line so increase throttle. Repeating the mantra to stay in close, match bank, think the control inputs and they will happen. Jeremy announces us into the circuit and I stay glued to his wing all the way round onto finals. I have not looked forward towards the airfield yet - it’s all about that imaginary line on the lead. I don’t know my airspeed but I trust my lead to line me up with the runway and manage airspeed. I get the gear down signal followed shortly afterwards with flaps down signal so I start glancing at the runway, then back to lead. Over the fence, we flare and I’m down. “Two down” I call to let him know I’m on the deck and under control. A short debrief with a focus on safety issues and improvements and suddenly the sortie is over. I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung my eager craft though footless halls of air, Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue, I’ve topped the wind swept heights with easy grace. What a brilliant way to start the day. This is the essence of flight for me. I have shouted with the sheer joy of it, and laughed with easy excitement. I’ll go to sleep tonight with images of tumbling clouds and of Dragon two dancing and weaving through the sunlit sky. I get what John Magee was saying; I feel his delight in flying. I hope your day starts out just as well and your flying brings you as much fun. If it doesn’t, think about aerobatics and formation endorsements. Free yourself from the constraints of straight and level flight to increase your enjoyment. n


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Australian Pilot is the bi-monthly publication of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia; the only association dedicated en...

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