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Flying is something special

Guest Jetgirl

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Guest Jetgirl

Over the years I have asked many aviators when they realised they were doing something very special with regards to flying.


Growing up in very poor circumstances I always marvelled at people who could fly but never in my wildest dreams ever thought I could be one of them. I thought you had to be very rich or very smart and I was neither in all honesty. But I loved watching the flying machines on tv etc.


An ex group Captain in the RAAF said when he was tearing through the Grand Canyon at 500 feet in an F111on Pilot exchange in the USA.




For me it was one morning leaving Hobart at about 7am. We took off towards Strahan and flew over Mt Wellington with the sun coming up on the horizon. It was truly special and I thought I was the luckiest person alive to see such a sight. There have been many moments like this for me.


So the conversation starter is this- when did you realise this flying caper was for you? What inspired you to fly? What wonderful things have you been privileged to see in the skies that those on the ground might have missed?





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Hi Christine,


Yep, flying is a real privilegeproviding manywonderful opportunities to view God's fantastic creation from a platform that offers panoramas only a few ever see.


Like you, and so many others I'm sure, my interest in flying was aroused as a child when I used to watch the Tigers coming and going at Broadmeadow Airfield in Newcastle. You know, after all these years I'm still to sit in one of those old birds.


My boyhood years saw me making (and flying) heaps of plastic models, then in later years progressed to radio controlled stuff. In my late 20s I surrendered to the temptation to try a TIF in a 152 at Rutherford and then spent the next 12 mths arguing with myself about the affordability. I lost. Having a lovely wife and 3 precious toddlers, fairly average job, the usual mortgage and no real reason to learn to fly other than to please myself I gave the idea away as agood thought but just too selfish.


This didn't stop me lookingskywards every time I heard an engine overhead and wishing.


Years passed, we ran a successful business, saw all the kids married off and out of the nest, and retired at 55. Gwen andI then bought our Kawasaki GTR tourer for the fun of it, something we had talked about over recent years and now we had the time. Great fun too.


Then one day almost exactly two years ago, I was riding through Cooma and noticed this unusual small plane fly over and land at Polo Flat. So detoured into the airfield to see this ultralight thingy. Well you could hardly call the Allegro an ultralight as it wasn't rag and tubes like I thought allultralights were, until then. A quick chat with the CFI, Mike Apps, then home to share the discovery of affordable flying with Gwen. You know what she said? "It's your birthday next week. How about you start lessons!" WOW!!!!


Got my student pilot certificateon my birthday, then wings awarded Nov21 at 26.5 hrs. Seeing the great pleasure I was having Gwen soon suggested the idea of our own plane, one that WE could enjoy together. Then came the CT2K.Following more hours getting familiar with the CT we soon started planning our first cross country flight from Cooma back to our old home at Newcastle. It was then that I realised the best view from our little plane ... just to my right, my lovely wife and friend enjoying the same thing I enjoyed.


Since then we've flown many hours together to places like Qld, Vic, the South Coast, the Outback and, God willing,there'splenty more to come. Even flying around our local area of the Snowy Mtns is fascinating.


Sorryif Iwaffled on too much, but you did ask smiley1.gif.






20060904_124059_Left_1.jpg PaulN



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So the conversation starter is this- when did you realize this flying caper was for you? What inspired you to fly? What wonderful things have you been privileged to see in the skies that those on the ground might have missed? I thought about this for a bit. It really started with my son, who was 15 at the time. A friend of mine , who I had known for around 30 years said “bring James up to <?:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Murray</st1:PlaceName> <st1:Place>Bridge</st1:place></st1:place> and I’ll take him flying “. He was an instructor, flying Jabirus. I did, and they did and that was it. He had his Recreational license with the cross country endorsement at 16 and a bit, before he had learnt to drive a car. He has just done his first BFR in fact. So how about me? Its very instructive to be flown down the coast by your son. My Avatar is taken from the right hand seat of a Jabiru. This view is what inspired me to do the same as James had. I got the same cross country endorsement 6 months ago and am now in the market for a plane, probably a J160. It’s a strange world.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />







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Guest Fred Bear

Wonderful topic Christine. Well my love of flight started from about the age of 6 (I am now 27). My father took me on a joy flight out of the old Bullens Animal World strip somewhere near Wallacia. I will never forget this flight. I'm pretty sure it was in a Cessna 172. Won't ever forget the trees and hills below and the fantastic view you get from flight! From that day on I was absolutely positively hooked. After that I would observe aircraft with binoculars, write down regos and get my parents to take me to the airport whenever they could. I remember in primary school I was priveleged enough to go to school under the RWY 07 flight path in Sydney and I used to write down the aircraft regos as they passed over the school. These were aircraft such as the old TAA 727's, Ansett 727's etc. Real commercial aircraft! I began flying GA from the age of about 17. Did that out of Illawarra Aviation at Bankstown airport in Sydney. Did that for maybe 5 years then it was into Recreational Aviation. Owned and flew a Thruster for a while out of my folks property at Bathurst NSW and then onto the Jabiru for a while at Orange NSW. I left flying for a few years and some months ago returned to The Oaks Airfield where I am currently very active and fly a few days of the week. I now fly the Jabiru and Bantam also often flying in friends aircraft such as other Jabirus and Drifters. Flight always amazes me and is always so so fantastic, relaxing and beautiful. Nothing like seeing below from above. We have some amazing fantastic scenery in Australia and we are so so lucky to be flying in such an amazing beautiful country.To be able to see the patchwork of crops below,mountains,clouds,rivers etc is worth every second of life. Just this morning I flew over my house again and had the wife waving from the yard as I circled over the house some ten times. This feeling of freedom and being able to see what's down below is just so amazing and one that I cherish every single flight. If I do not fly for a week I feel quite anxious to get in the sky. Hope this answers the questions you raised about this wonderful sport of ours. It's certainly how I feel about it. Enjoy!!! :)



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Never in my life did I ever think I would fly a plane, It wasn’t until I was 21 or 22 did I even step foot in an aircraft flying from Sydney to Townsville I never flew again for many years.


Then 2 years ago I took up my ministry here in Holbrook and on my way to the interview we drove pasted the airpark and saw a Tecnam and said to my beautiful wife I might go up for a fly in that while we where here.


All arranged met one of the most wonderful people I have met in a long time with a rather different accent, Wally went through a pre flight introduction and we climbed aboard totally intrigued with all the interments and all these little gadgets, taxied to the runway with all the fun of the radio calls entered the main strip and without any further to do the power was applied (“oh what a feeling†I’m glad I didn’t try to jump into the air at that time) nose lifted and my heart skipped a beat.


We climbed for what seemed an eternity and as we leaved out I saw something that I have taken for granted all my life, the splendour of GOD’S great creation, that was it, I was now hooked.


I continue because when I am up there I feel so close to my great love my dear LORD. That’s why I take such great joy in many of the pix’s my fellow flyers share with everyone on these forums these help heighten you love of flying even further.





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Guest David C

What a great topic , thanks Christine . I cannot remember a time even looking back to childhood when I wasn't fascinated by aircraft and the desire to fly . I came from a RAF family , so it was " expected " that one day I would fly . At the age of about 10 , I was assigned a RAF mentor , a Flt Lt Frank Guard to guide me along . Unfortunately nature has a way sometimes of ending a dream , and I developed short sightedness in both eyes . My bubble had burst !! . To add insult to injury my school grades would easily have got me an entry to the RAF , but thats history . I first took to the skies with my father in a Jodel from Blackpool Airport in England , I'll always remember the rego , it was G- ARDZ . We circled Blackpool Tower a few times and landed back at the airport . It just confirmed all I already knew , I was hooked . Over the years I have flown as a passenger on many airliner types from BN Islanders to Boeing 747's and Airbus A340. I have also flown in helicopters , seaplanes , hot air balloons and Airships too . Light aircraft types include Cessna 172 , 310, 337 . Maule . The Ultralight scene has now opened up a whole new arena of flying. I obtained my pilot cerificate in 2004, followed by my passenger and X country endorements a little time later . I now fly as often as I can from The Oaks Airfield nr Camden , usually taking to the skies in a Jabiru , or when the weather permits a Bantam . The social scene and the cameraderie at The Oaks has to be witnessed to be be believed , its my second home , and I know where I will go when my wife kicks me out !! . In a few weeks time I will be in my homeland England , where I hope to fly the Icarus C42 , weather permitting !!! . We are so lucky to have a great sport , great weather , but most of all a great flying family .





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Guest Vigilant

I knrew it was a passion when as a kid in Hobart (yep Christine me too)I found myselflying on my back looking up at contrails heading into Hobart or goodness knows where and thenseeing myfirst aerobatic team I saw (I think they were called the Black Diamonds - shows my age) at the regatta.u l eventually joined the RAAF as a copper just so I could be around them even if I couldn't fly.


I always felt "Better" when I heard and felt the rumble of the wheels leaving the ground on a civi flight as I knew a holiday had started and I was on my way somewhere. When did I know I was hooked, the first time in the cockpit and racing toward the sky - when did I know I wanted to keep going - the first time in the pointy end of an aircraft looking down the runway on landing and finding I was just as excited and thinking "Yep I can do this"





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WARNING Epic following......011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif


I guess it was going to be in the blood from birth.


My father had been in the RAAF working on Lincolns at Woomera, but was medically discharged after being given 6 months to live as a result of a 'Not Radiation Poisoning!!' illness.


At the time he was learning to fly in TigerMoths, as well as gliders, while also being into model aeroplanes! (It was all happenning in the late 40's)


Constantly battleing with the red tape of "You are going to die soon!", he still managed to get married, have two kids, eventually design his own home and continue modelling up to a State Champion level.


Once us kids were grown up a bit, he went back to gliding eventually becoming an instructor and setting a few state and national records.


All this time I was nearby listening to stuff he taught at model clubs and fields, and then out at the gliding clubs pushing gliders around, listening to him instructing pupils on the ground.


I began to build models at around 12 years of age, joined the ATC (Cadets) at 14 and started learning to glide at 16.


Very rarely flew with my father, as my mother wouldn't allow it.


I joined the RAAF at 17 and due to various postings didn't manage to go solo in gliders till about 19.


All this time I was still building models, (flying RADIO now ;)) and had also started to teach myself how to fly Hang-Gliders.


While this was going on, the ultralight fad had started up, and I used to go out to Saint Mary's to watch these guys who seemed to have no idea of what they were doing! :ah_oh:


They were flying contraptions that just left me in shock after dealing with the high tech military aircraft I worked on, and the high performance fibreglass sailplanes I was flying.


Jump a few years and I found myself answering an employment add for a sheet metal worker to build an all new, all metal ultralight, the Sadler Vampire. 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif


Finaly I could see some modern technology being used, and met up with the company test pilot, Greg Davies, who invited me out to an ultralight club that he was instructing with.


They had an 'A' model LightWing, the ugliest flying BOX I had ever seen. 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif


Once airbourne however, I found the Lightwing felt and flew much like a Blanik glider, and I started to enjoy the challenge of 'flying upwards' behind a motor as opposed to being dragged up by a tug.


Greg felt I had some natural talent 025_blush.gif.9304aaf8465a2b6ab5171f41c5565775.gif and convinced me to work towards an instructor rating, and here we are!


I soloed in 5.4 hours, had my instructor rating by 33.5 hours, and now have around 1850 hours with at least 1200 of that in that same LightWing!!


I've been going out to our club (The Sydney Recreational Flying Club) at 'The Oaks', every Saturday now for 18 years, and if I wasn't moving home soon, I'd keep going there till I fell off the perch! :confused:


The Hang-Gliding and Sailplaning went by the wayside and while I've always professed to still be a modeller, I hadn't built one in nearly fifteen years until two months ago when I succumbed and bought an R/C Helicopter!


Boy, did that get the greymatter working again!!





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Guest Fred Bear

"until two months ago when I succumbed and bought an R/C Helicopter!


Boy, did that get the greymatter working again!!"


And boy doesn't it just? We hear your 'grey matter' ticking away every Saturday with that helicopter ;)



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Guest Jetgirl

Thanks for responding. I have really enjoyed readfing your many and varied experiences.


Danda- would that be Wally Rudin by some chance?


One of my pilots who now flies the strikemaster for us grew up as a RAAFbrat (his dad a RAAF fireman). He grew up building models and RC planes. In fact he built a Strikemaster model when he was very yound dreaming that one day he could fly the plane. It was an old matchbox kit with Strikemaster 6361 on it. Guess what he now flies that exact plane on the box 6361 (the strikemaster on my avatar).


We see the days coming back when parents brought their kids out to the airport for the afternoon to see the planes. In summer they fill up the car park here in Ballarat with picnics. They sit and watch the jet and other planes. I hope we are currently inspiring the aviators of the future who could be sitting there in the carpark and having a conversation like this 20 years down the track about why they were motivated to fly.


My son is learning as is his best mate. They earn the money for each hour they spend in the plane themselves. They pay the same as our other clients and they are so enthusiastic and motivated it is a joy to see.


Thanks for sharing







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Remember the days when we were young, pushing our little matchbox toy car, watching with the utmost concentration the wheels go round, and then placing with all our pride our little car next to our aeroplane and fire engine in that special place in our bedroom. We said to ourselves "one day when I grow up I am going to be a policeman or fireman or even a pilot".


I will never forget to my dying day a sentence my mother said to me when I was only 8 years old and lying on a hospital bed "I am really sorry Ian but you will never be able to be a policeman, fireman or a pilot but don't worry there will always be other things you can do". As a result of an accident I was left blind in one eye which throughout the following 37 years has proven at times to be somewhat difficult to overcome as only having one eye you lose that all important 3rd dimension - try playing tennis or squash in only 2 dimensions (now where is that ball again).


After a recent attempt to rebuild the eye with Cornea transplant, plastic lens etc the surgeon removed the eye patch only to reveal that all the operations had failed - I still couldn't see. Re-living my mothers devastating statement I muttered "Oh well, I was never allowed to fly anyway". Why I said this I do not know as I had put all these childhood dreams from my mind when I was 8 years old but I do now believe in fate as the surgeon immediately said, "Why not, you are allowed to fly with only one eye". Had I put to much trust in what my mother said as a child or have times changed? We all know it was the latter and still as each day passes, time through us will continue to challenge our existing beliefs AND this is what we must do.


Yes, I did find it hard ascertaining my height in commencing the flare requiring a lot more training (and my instructors patience - thanks guys at Point Cook and Shepparton) but on final I can line that runway up better then most people with my experience. Am I a safety risk - I probably am, but no more then the risk associated with a person say dropping their pencil on the floor and looking down to find it, or even not looking for it and it getting stuck in the pedals. It's all about decisions - your decisions. One question I always ask myself as I am walking out to the aircraft with headset in hand - "Am I a professional?". From this question all other questions seem to follow - am I healthy enough to fly today, do I know where I am flying to, have I checked the weather, what's the sock doing, what's been said in the forums lately that I need to know, what about the aircraft etc etc etc.


It's all about your decisions.


Fly safely and professionally




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Why I said this I do not know as I had put all these childhood dreams from my mind when I was 8 years old but I do now believe in fate

Thanks for sharing your story Ian. I don't believe it's fate mate, it's God's providence. You know what, had this not happened there's a whole bunch of guys and gals out there who would not have had the joy of sharing on this forum, meeting up with each other, helping each other and sharing pics, etc, etc. Pretty much being family smiley1.gif. All because of that moment of yours in hospital.You're oursmiley10.gif.


As we Christians say ... "Praise the Lord".





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Guest Jetgirl

I have never met Wally but he was very helpful to me on the phone recently. He said he will drop in when he is next doing a nav to Ballarat.





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I have always been fascinated with anything that could fly. As a kid I did more damage then most trying to take flight launching out of trees with things strapped to me that had the aeroodynamic properties of a brick!


Through school, grades good, RAAF here I come! Last minute decision to go back to the family farm for a year and of course that was that.


However that didnt stop the yearning that was inside.


Two years ago our local club, the Murrumbidgee Areo Club, had a TIF day and my wife encouraged me to "open the wallet". Little did she know what she had just commited herself to. ;)


One thing has led to another and I am in a syndicate with 4 other club members at Narrandera with a J230 now coming through the line up at Bundy! I cant wait but there goes the bank balance! keen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gif


Wally runs his flying school out of Narrandera and will take my eldest daughter Lauren on a TIF in the next few weeks, it was to happen last week but it was a bit rough upstairs. Wally is very patient with his students, well he needed to be with me, and we see pilots coming from all over Australia to either catch up or do a few hours with him.


Sorry for prattling on....





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  • 6 months later...

I just love the early morning air, pre flighting and blasting off to somewhere exciting in that crisp cool air... Though I will never forget descending into Brisbane at 6000 FPM in a Westwind on a night freight run through an enormous thunderstorm, lightning, all the turbulence in the world concentrated around us, and popping out the bottom of the storm over the ocean nicely lined up for approach with a glistening Brisbane City in the background, that is an experience you don't get on FS X!



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Yes this is one great subject and like some others I just don't ever remember a time when I didn't want to fly. My Mother is English and my Father was Canadian, the reason they met was that my Father was in the Canadian army, artillery regiment, tranfered to England 1940-41, he was assigned to the anti-aircraft batteries defending Hornchurch aerodrome (of battle of Britain fame). In 1950/1 I have a vague memory of being taken to Hornchurch aerodrome for an RAF open day, was that the seed that began it all? I don't know. It has Taken me many years to achieve what I once thought was a forgone conclusion. I now feel proud and privilaged to be able to do what I always thought was my destiny. Every time I feel the wheels lift from the runway I know I have made the dream come true again, why did I wait so long:crying:





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Ever since I was a toddler.


Dad was with 37sqn RAF as a wireless operator, air gunner, nav and bomb aimer in the Wellingtons. He was also an instructor as well. He could also relieve the pilot and fly straight and level and often did on the way home.


He was one of those guys who used to visit Germany but only at night...:)


My Uncle was a Sqn leader in the RAF and did the same as dad, but in Sunderlands and Liberators, even flying for the spook 101Sqn at one stage. After the war, he flew nuke bombers and ended up being their chief test pilot on the Victors, and won an AFC for his work in perfecting mid air refuelling techniques.


His son in law is a Captain with 10 Sqn RAF at Brize Norton, and flys VC10s with what he calls "self loading cargo"... read troop ships.


I always wanted to fly, and dad encouraged me, but at that time if you wore glasses you were grounded. That nearly did it for me, until about five years ago when I realised it was no problem.. just rotten timing (wife ran off with another bloke).


April 2006, I rang Air Shepparton and spoke to Tristo and went in the next day and did my TIF.


Its the best thing I have ever done for myself.





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For me the intrest was stirred as a young kid reading the various adventures of Biggles, and then Reach for the Sky. I never got around to doing anything about it though, as it was always "too exepensive", and the rest of my life kept getting in the way.


Then a problem with a really bad boss at work forced me to re-evaluate life somewhat, and I decided it was time to do something for me. Learning to fly got elected. Tentatively I broached the subject with my girlfriend, who without hesitating said "Great idea! you should go for it.". god love her.


I had another chat with a friend who instructs for the RAAF who suggested ultralights might be the way to go, so I called up the local ultralight flying schools to chat with them about it.


Soon after I found myself driving up to Goulburn for a TIF, barely able to contain my excitement the whole way up. Teraya, the CFI at goulburn, loaded me up into the tiny Gazelle and then proceeded to explain how it all worked. Soon she had me taxiing around, and going through checks. Then before i knew it we were tearing down the runway and i was easing back on the stick and we were airborne. Absolutely fantastic experience - I dont think i stopped grinning for a week. My first comment once we were off the ground was "i wish i done this years ago".


Since then i've been getting out to continue my flying lessons as much as possible, and enjoying every minute of it.



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