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Sunshine Coast Blues

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Guest Vigilant

I suppose it isn't the most memorable trip as thousands do it every year, but for me this year it took on special meaning as it was my first foray into the wild blue yonder.


Based at Buderim for long service leave my parents nicely vacated and left me the place to myself, whilst they spent some of the money I need to buy an aircraft (er sorry to all those that have children and have joined the SKI club - spend the kids inheritance ;) ).


Checking out a few flying school options on the net I settled on Sun coast Cooloola Flying School and messaged Peter Rosendale. The reply was super quick and very friendly so a call was made that put me in contact with the CFI Jennifer Beck. Initially the plan was to fly out of Maroochydore as it was the closest, but the advise was to drive to Gympie as there is a transit time from Maroochydore (I will get those codes that everyone uses down pat one day) to the training area which must be flown by the instructor and there is less traffic etc to bother a student and scare an instructor at Gympie.


Good old dad left the car for me as well so on a bit of a windy day I called who Jennifer said "Come up and have a look at the place and see what you think". Well it was a good drive and another message to Peter Beatie, your mad if you want to dam the Mary, too many people, too many houses and not enough water! Believe me I saw better areas west of Gympie with lots of valleys and no houses. There were plenty of signs that said the same thing and others like "Peter my horses can't waterski"


On arrival Jennifer showed me around and we did a pre flight of the schools Sportstar and a look at their Gazelle. Nothing against Gazelles but I kind of liked the Sportstar - new shiny, you know the things that attract the big kid in all of us. ;)


The wind was a bit gusty but Jennifer said what do you think and well it was in for a penny, in for a pound! Up we went for .4 hour. With me getting on the controls and my face about split in two from the smile I couldn't feel a thing!! I went on to clock up just shy of six hours for my time in Queensland with the stalls lesson making my stomach churn beforehand, but they were in the end a non event. Touch and goes and circuits with only one little bounce and every day turbulence, fluky winds just to make things interesting. I think a lot had to do with the aircraft and the instructor.


Sadly my last day came too soon and my last trip to Gympie was for Jennifer to get my logbook up to date and one last little sojourn to the south and east of Gympie. At least my last landing was smooth, a bit like golf that last putt that goes in is what keeps you coming back. A sad day none the less. My partner Lisa snapped away on the ground and I got some pics in the air. Then home to pack and head for Melbourne to my own son's graduation at HMAS Cerberus.


As an aside as we approached Melbourne on DJ592 on the 17th of August I observed another aircraft (commercial jet) to our south east. This is what I recorded on the back of my boarding pass, as what I saw somewhat concerned me.


13.55 approx 250nm north of Melbourne, aircraft to south east same level black smoke streaming from rear of aircraft.


14.05 up til this time smoke intermittent then disappeared, descended into cloud and lost sight.


The stream of smoke from the rear of this aircraft seemed to be coming from the port side and would have been a km or two long, this has been bugging me since I saw it. Has anyone heard if a commercial aircraft had engine difficulties on that day?? Obviously if there was it landed ok and was not news worthy, who knows but you never know when something you see may be important eh?


I was going to post a couple of pics taken on my last flight but could not get them to load, ah well if there is trick to this and anyone is interested I can put them up later. Safe flying and boy is it cold down here!!


Cheers Stuart.



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  • 1 month later...
Guest Vigilant

Photos were taken with a Canon IXUS i 4 mega pixel of my last flight at Gympie over Kin Kin.


Now that I have worked out how to post pictures I hope to get some over my new training area of Shearwater / Port Sorell in the beautiful NW Coast of Tassie - that is as soon as work and weather don't ruin my plans ;)











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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Vigilant

Sure is Chris, wish it was mine. If you are in the Gympie area give Suncoast Cooloola a ring - the staff are great and the Sportstar is a delight to fly, I have been spoilt in that it was my introduction to this great caper!



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