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One Fine Day..........


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The problem with flying is that it’s perceived as a fairly esoteric sport and as such the chances of being able to share any of the magic with your fellow office workers has about the same odds as winning the lottery.


On that basis I feel it’s only fair that I burden you lot with the joys of last Sunday’s flight.


I figure this way I don’t get the pitying looks and the quick change of subject, normally involving objects of a spherical nature and groups of men cuddling each other.



But first a brief explanation.



My aircraft of choice is the Skyranger – I’ve bought the kit and even as we speak it’s being rowed across the Atlantic by a team of swarthy, dedicated Frenchmen. Well, that’s an assumption I’ve made based on the time interval between the order being placed and the fact that I’m still waiting.


To that end I initially started my Ultralight flying with the Quicksilver 500. A rag and tube design with not to dissimilar flying characteristics to the Skyranger. And what a magnificent choice it was.


There is something almost mystical in flying an aircraft that responds with the same speed that I think at or slower. What other aircraft allows you to turn on to finals, take out the Thermos, pour a cup of coffee, drink said coffee with maybe a biscuit or two, clean up and still have time to round out, flare and touch down with barely a whisper from the tyres – it’s my kind of aircraft!



So you can understand how bewildered I felt when Dave, my instructor who’s conversant with Lightwings, Jabirus, Hunters, Quicksilvers and the Maquis de Sade stated that we wouldn’t be using the Quicksilver for my Cross Country navigational exercises as he wanted to use the tried and true navigational tools comprising a compass, map and stopwatch – with the Quicksilver we’d have to swap the stopwatch for a calendar - how mean is that?



So saying, he informed me that we would be using his personal Plastic Parrot to fly in. Now I’ve got nothing against Jabirus, in fact they’ve solved a long held curiosity of mine regarding where those white plastic bags that Woolies use go to after you’ve finished with them – I’d always thought they went to landfill so it’s nice to see they’ve been recycled in a positive manner. And notwithstanding the fact that the Aboriginal translation of Jabiru is “Shot Duckâ€Â. It’s just that they’re too fast and impossible to slow down – by me at any rate.



I’m quite comfortable flying along and being overtaken by geese, etc and you’ll never find any squashed bugs on a Quicksilver’s windscreen – they’ve got enough time to get out of the way before you hit them – the old see and avoid concept.


Speed is not what it’s all about. The objective behind my flying is to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.



Irrespective, I bit the bullet and for the last six or seven weeks I’ve been screaming around the countryside (literally) in the Plastic Parrot with Dave as my not so silent companion. Thankfully these circumstances came to an end last Saturday when Dave reluctantly awarded me the Cross Country Certification. Now I’d like to think the reluctance derived from the realisation that he would miss my company but I have the feeling that it was more from the complaints he’ll receive further up the track. Nevertheless, I had finished with the Jabiru.



My normal routine is to fly once a week; this restriction is based on purely financial constraints and has nothing to do with Dave’s pleading and/or threats. However as a celebration and a fervent desire to fly something that I liked, I rolled up the next morning and requested the Quicksilver. Dave was more than happy to oblige – I’ve since worked out that the happiness was derived from the logic that if I crash, the engine, mounted on the rear, would use me as an airbag as it hurtled forward driven by its mass and inertia. So it was a win-win situation.



The minute I was airborne all the old feelings returned. This aircraft climbs (with one up) like a love sick angel. I’ll agree that you have to decrease the power a little in order to see the instruments otherwise the vibration deems the panel a large blur but what aircraft isn’t with out its idiosyncrasies?


There is a feeling that I get when flying that transcends any attempt to verbalise it and makes you very aware of the old adage that it’s a privilege to fly not a right. For the next hour I wallowed in that glorious feeling. I was King of all I surveyed, which wasn’t a lot given my poor eyesight. Up and down, round and round, Dave didn’t want me to go to far due to his belief there were strong winds on their way, personally I think it’s a trust issue.


All too soon it was time to call a full stop landing. I parked the aircraft with a smile bigger than a Cheshire cats and disentangled myself from all the paraphernalia that manages to surround you in a small cockpit. I sat there for a while just reflecting on how incredibly lucky I was to have found a hobby that repaid so much and as I had my afternoon power nap that smile was still there.


Thank you for listening……






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Hi Doug I thought that you were describing the symptoms of an incurable non painful disease that seems to be prevalent in some quarters.





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Hi Doug, Nice story, perhaps you should consider writing comedy for a living. 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif


Now we've all congratulated you on getting your 'nav' endorsement but I'm beginning to wonder why you bothered. After all, your chosen mode of air transport is soooooo sloooow that it'll never reach your intended destination, and your gonna need a huge bladder. Must admit though, there're plenty of gaps in your plane just in case :big_grin:


C-Ya Doug, hmmm, perhaps not, I'll pass by too fast



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Guest pelorus32

Submit it to the RAA mag - they need this sort of stuff very badly.


Good on you!!





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Crumbs - don't those plastic bags break down after a certain time? Must remember to carry more gaffa tape in the Jabby.keen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gif


Great story Doug - and told like a true aussie - enjoyed it so much.





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Geoff - Thank you.


Ross - Not incurable - I've been told there's a 12 step programme!


Doug - Sadly there is no smiley icon for total disdain so I'll just point out the obvious. I have a XC endoresment which would infer that I can fly to Adelaide. You still have to go round and round in circles.


Be afraid - be very afraid.......006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif


Mike - very tempting thought with all the fame and adulation not to mention the groupies that would result by submitting it to such a highly regarded magazine.


The only problem is that whilst Dave is a technophobe and there is zero chance of him reading this he does receive the magazine on a monthly basis and out of our two instructors I have the horrible suspicion that he is the one that can read.....:)


BigPete - High praise indeed! I'm a naturlised Aussie - came out from pommieland 45 years ago...!





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Guest b1rd

I didn't know Dave was conversant with the Marquis De Sade ! That explains a lot. References to whipping along down wind with tail up I thought were purely aeronautical. Oh well never mind ... I'm signed up now. No turning back ... well .... I'll be watchful.


I'm with you Doug. Slow seat o' the pants stuff. A veritable time machine to a long gone era. A real joy and a privilege is right. All of us who experience this are very fortunate. But shhhhhh don't let it out to the general public otherwise everyone'll be in on it. Let them fly their plastic parrots.


Disclaimer 1: I didn't mean it Dave .... I was only joking. I'm happy to continue lessons in the lightwing.


Disclaimer 2: I've nothing against the plastic parrots Darren and would be delighted to go up as a free passenger again.



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Guest Fred Bear
The only problem is that whilst Dave is a technophobe and there is zero chance of him reading this

Gosh, I just hit the print button. Eyes peeled on the notice board in Daves office folks 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif Seriously good stuff Doug. Plastic Parrot. Hmmm, I am waiting for the Bantam to go back online mate so I can get down to that 50kt once again and then maybe we can fly side-by-side. No change with the Plastic Parrot (maybe in reverse) and that could be hard. Written with amazing whit (as most of your posts are). Hope to catch you out there soon.



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Great story Doug, could of been written by Henry (Lawson that is) himself, cept I dont think he held a pilots certificate. Please keep them coming. And like you I can't understand why the rest of the world isn't consumed by the thrill of flight.





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And we're back...!


Darren - What ever happened to the Oaks Flying News? Given the number of forum members that fly from the Oaks we should be able to contribute something every (flyable) week.


B1rd's taking lessons so there's a few laughs there - even if we just post photos of model planes!


BTW B1rd - Don't hurt the Lightwing B1rd I want to get my tail wheel endorsement in her.


David -


And like you I can't understand why the rest of the world isn't consumed by the thrill of flight.

. I think today we're looking at a society that wants instantaneous satisfaction which isn't possible with what we do. A great part of the buzz I get when flying is knowing how hard I've worked to get here - finally reaping the dividends.Greg - It takes four hundred plastic bags to create a Jabiru but we shouldn't be facetious. Apparently there is quite a lengthy checklist to complete before you are allowed to purchase a Jabiru.


From what I can gather and please be aware that these are only a few of the enabling criteria that I know of.


a) Four out of the five voices in your head must agree with your choice.


b) Anyone found having a personality will be automatically disqualified.


c) The ability to be distracted by shiny objects.


d) Exceedingly low level of expectation.


e) Cannot let reality affect any decisions.


f) You must produce a certificate that proves you have purchased shares in either the Opera House and/or the Harbour Bridge


006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif 006_laugh.gif.d4257c62d3c07cda468378b239946970.gif 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif





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Somebody seems to be being a bit unkind to all those who bought Jabiru or fly them. What is a surprise is that there are so many of them up there.


I can't recall seeing any other plastic fantastics around Central Qld but will look for some at Old station.



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Guest Fred Bear
Darren - What ever happened to the Oaks Flying News?

Let's fire the thread up again shall we? Nothing better to do now this weekend.



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