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About Me

  1. I’m just back from Nebraska. 3 months fairly constant effort and finally have PPL. Includes night flying which doesn’t seem to be an option here on RaaAus conversion. Night flying in the remote mid west wasn’t much fun anyway with few lights after take off. Looking at at possibilities of planes for the Island. See pic with north south runway possibility.
  2. G’day, I would like to know if there are any Savannah S taildraggers operating in your part of the world? safe flying, Tony
  3. CASA have published the paper on the MTOW increase proposal. Generally, people are for it. However the devil may be in the detail in regard to maintenance and medical standards. We will have to wait and see. If I was cynical, I'd be concerned that there is an element of 'divide and rule' in CASA's thinking because the proposal as it stands, disadvantages associations other than RAA. It could perhaps be wondered if the weight increase is a "present' to RAA for swallowing the self management bait. https://consultation.casa.gov.au/regulatory-program/dp-1912ss/results/socondp1912ss.pdf
  4. Info please , i am considing purchsing a sky fox gazelle CA25N . Question , what is the distance between the outer edge of the main wheel spats or the track if your a/c does not have wheel spats. I have a trailer but I need this info before I modify it . The specification does not mention the track or wheelbase.
  5. Hi, just want to let you know that site development will slow down a bit now for about 6 weeks, I am back working again...income, YEAH but work is about 1.5hrs away in Geelong so no time for anything during the week but the site is stable so please enjoy what it offers
  6. An Airvan tourist plane became bogged in sand on Fraser Island while attempting to take off. Story here.
  7. Hi. Can anyone tell me if there is an existing group for Fly Synthesis Texan owners please?
  8. Today the site has been moved to a new server and it is in France. Even though our previous server was in Australia it wasn't optimised and needed a lot of work to firstly optimise it and then tweak the site. I believe that to obtain a greater audience and use of the site it had to be more appealing, performance wise, to the rest of the world but without sacrificing the performance to use all here in Australia. So I engaged a guru not only in server management but also a specialist in the site software we use and today he completed the setup of the new server, in France, and fully tweaked the site to get the best performance possible. The performance figures are: Load Times: Country Aust Server New Server Australia 1 sec 1.1 sec USA 2.8 sec 1.3 sec Europe/UK 3.2 sec 1 sec NOTE: WE ARE ALSO USING CLOUD STORAGE OF IMAGES SO THE CACHE NEEDS TO BUILD UP LOCAL COPIES OF THE IMAGES SO THEY MAY BE SLOW LOADING FOR A LITTLE WHILE I also have obtained a new Australian server which will contain Whats Up Australia (the off topic site), Clear Prop (the pilot supplies shop), Jackaroo (my personal domain and RecFly (my testing domain). As these are all specific to just Australia it is best to keep them here in Oz. Whats Up Australia is now also going to get a full makeover, including the move to a fully optimised version of IPS software, and promotion to make it a more social experience and a resource to discuss anything pertinent to Australia. Both Recreational Flying and Whats Up Australia will also have stronger ties to Facebook with 2 separate Facebook groups, 1 for each site, as well Before Whats Up Australia is moved I need to decide whether to keep the name WhatsUpAustralia.com.au or change it to a shorter iconic Australian name of jackaroo.com.au...Note that there is a new TLD coming out of just simply .au so no .com so I am thinking jackaroo.au sounds good...what do you think?
  9. So here I am to answer any questions you may have in regards to my running as a candidate for the upcoming Board Election. Very simply put, as you may have gathered from the writeup in the magazine, (see attached), I present myself for service to the membership without any specific "agenda" or aim in mind. I simply am seeking to get the best bang for our bucks as a member and believe I have experience to offer the board to help them achieve the association's goals. Feel free to post your questions below, and if you are another candidate, Out of courtesy, please feel free to also ask me questions too, however, please utilise your own thread to promote your own positions. RA Aus Board Nomination.pdf
  10. It took everyone by surprise when the C-27J Spartan went inverted during it's handling display at the 2015 Avalon Air Show. I have just posted a video in the Media section showing a LM-100J Super Hercules doing the same, pulling off a loop. Then when the list of other similar videos came up on the side of the Youtube page, there was one for the Airbus A300M performing an inverted display as well. When can we expect a loop in the A380?
  11. I am sure that all users get a lot out of the site and there is still a lot more to come in the coming months but as you would have guessed, it does take a huge amount of time (more than a full time job) and money ($250 a month just for the hosting) to keep the site going. Over the years some members have gratefully donated towards some of the site costs by becoming First Class Members for a year and I thank them so much for their continued support. So like the old site I have created a small box in the side column of many of the site sections where you can click the button and be taken to the Donations and First Class Membership page for anyone that would like to support the site. Corrine, the kids and I thank you very much for your support
  12. Not a good look. Cheers, Jack.
  13. Going through a collection of Pinterest emails, I came across this link from 8 days ago. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/14/trump-wanted-his-personal-pilot-head-faa-critical-job-is-still-vacant-amid-boeing-fallout/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.06e5302ed934
  14. Hello all. I did say in the RAAus Board Election 2019 thread where nominations were called that I would open a thread for communicating with members and indeed any forumites during the election as I accept that 750 words in a magazine with a photo may not be the totality of what I would like members to know about me or where I think the direction of RAAus should be. I checked with Ian that his would be OK and he is happy to allow it. If any other candidate wants to open their own thread to canvas/explore/explain their position feel free to do so as a separate thread to this as I would prefer to keep this thread focused on what my position views are. Feel free to ask through this thread or by private message anything you wish and I will reply as I can. I will add comments to this thread - and this thread only - on my intentions if I am successful in being elected and appointed to the board. As a starter here is the 750 words that will appear in the magazine. "I am an RAAus pilot member and have been since the early 1990s when I trained on the jabiru. By the mid 1990’s I became an AUF instructor, then senior instructor on the jabiru, skyfox, drifters and thrusters. I added Level 2 maintainer based on my experience in rebuilding tiger moths and overhauling engines. Through to the turn of the century I enjoyed rebuilding, maintaining and training pretty much anything that was AUF registerable from my workshop/sailloft. In 2002 I moved to the UK and recertified on weightshift microlights and enjoyed flying around the UK and Europe in a 1986 weightshift I rebuilt. Whilst not an instructor in the UK I enjoyed the flying club model of operations and ‘trained’ many pilots on how to file and fly international flight plans to cross the channel. I also started a CAGI cup for the UK based on the Australian CAGI as I know it is a brilliant and fun way to enjoy your flying. In the UK I was elected to the board of the British Microlight Aircraft Association – the equivalent of RAAus – and brought my experience and skills in both flying microlights and business management to the board. Whilst on the board I organized the Round Britain Microlight Rally and found that rewarding and exhilarating. I returned to Australia in 2014 and I have settled here now enjoying building, maintaining and flying my own little fleet of RAAus planes. I currently hold RAAus pilot certificate with all control groups and pretty much every endorsement other than variable pitch and flyingboats/floats. I feel that the as RAAus in its management and direction has drifted over the past 4-5 years from low cost low impact fun flying and I am asking to be elected to the board to bring that focus and clarity back. I want to belong to and represent an organization not with a focus on “A pilot in every home” but one of “A pilot in any home’. A refocused attention on lowering costs, admin and processes to allow RAAus to be as affordable and as free from process and admin as it can be without moving into unsafe operations. I want to see expansion of the coverage of RAAus however it MUST NOT be at a cost of giving up the distinctive nature of why we exist. Nor can we continue to give up hard won exemptions and freedoms without cause. I am firmly of the opinion that evidence based regulation is the key - if there is no evidence of RAAus freedoms and practices resulting in actual safety failings then we should not change just to increase coverage. I feel that RAAus has effectively leveled up to GA on process and policy in an attempt to gain greater concessions. Areas such as medicals, owner maintenance, owner builders processes have become far too GA like in the pursuit of expansion of RAAus. I believe that GA recreational flying should have been using RAAus safe history to remove restrictions and burdens they faced rather than RAAus adding them. We have reached the ridiculous situation that you can design and build your own aircraft and register it but then not be allowed to modify it without RAAus technical office involvement and costs … even though RAAus are not legally allowed to direct you to make any change or refuse to accept your modification. Equally we have an operations manual that fails to require 2 yearly flight checks on some control groups because RAAus overlooked including them in our Ops manual. I want to get the focus back onto supporting and allowing members to own and operate aircraft with minimal touch and cost while the RAAus executive and board focus on ensuring good administration and maintaining our freedoms. The dry factual bits: 1. I receive no income, remuneration or honoraria from any flying related activity 2. I am a Chartered Accountant (fellow of the ACCA) 3. I am an admitted solicitor in NSW (not currently practicing) 4. I am a certified project manager (PMI certified) 5. I have a 25 year career in finance governance and process improvement in Australia, the UK and the USA 6. I am currently the finance manager of a not-for-profit housing association in Australia – turnover circa $25m 7. There are no impediments to me being appointed as a director of RAAus My qualifications, business experience and history as set out evidence strengths in policy setting, strategy development, financial oversight and review."
  15. There's lots of discussion about new power plants lately. There are several power plants of different types near here, so I went for a look. https://flighttoviewpowerstations.blogspot.com/2019/07/blog-post.html
  16. Sorry but I have been indisposed for the last few weeks...forced to do some house painting etc and some other things, but back now. In a few days Blogs and Classifieds will be back along with an entire site component for Clubs and Schools: And some great news... @Ahmed Zayed will be back making any tweaks, code changes, extra sections etc to make sure everyone is happy with the site and that it caters to all your needs. You will notice that it is IPS as I just lost far too much money trying to get things developed for Xenforo as I didn't want just a Facebook alternative but instead a full function support system for all pilots and @Ahmed Zayed has been working the last few weeks overcoming some of the previous issues
  17. [/url]https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/24/britains-new-f35-stealth-jets-used-operations-first-time/
  18. As I look around at my local airfield I am excited to see, 6 aircraft maintainer companies, 2 pilot training schools (GA) , a helicopter pilot training school, fuel and oil depot , emergency services heli pad and ambulance patient transfer area, I see numerous airside commercial operations from freight forwarders to power line inspectors to mention a couple operations. I see a beautiful new airport terminal building filled with happy travelers and visitors. Outside the terminal building sits brightly painted RPT aircrafts patiently poised awaiting the arrival of new passengers and cargo. So as I think about what the airfield means to myself and my home town , I see hundreds of employment opportunities for maintainers, airside security, dispatchers, Help Desk’s , Car hirers , taxis , truck drivers, flight instructors, administrators , and list goes on. We even have some air cadets happily being part of the airside experience. There is life happening around my airport , careers are being forged . I see a happy vibrant environment, that is what I see . But, when I turn to private Light GA air craft (which includes RA aircraft), all I see and hear about is landing fees , air services fees, Asic card costs ,aircraft and car parking fees and hangar fees, unfair council rates and by the metre lease costs for the land. By far the biggest of all complaints “no infrastructure for pilots or GA planes” It appears to some, that the council makes a lot of money from RPT and commercial operations and spends accordingly on these operations. Yet nothing improves or changes for GA even though they too are Levied landing and parking fees etc and worst of all, the airside operator does not offer a simple thing like a toilet near the GA parking area. When I taxi past the casual GA parking area and see it empty , I ask myself what is the most likely cause, Is it Council or air services fees , is it a lack of infrastructure ie toilet and lack of a rest area etc, (a lot of airside locations only have aero clubs offering rest areas) is it the fear of the control tower or is it that light air craft pilots do not feel welcome at location like my home air field. I see some overseas students flying over from other locations , but they do not stay or spend any time at the air field, but at least the airfield operator gets a cut for landing fees. It is all well to pay for services but our local air field operator appears to take advantage of light air craft and their pilots. All over our wonderful country is a need for an agreement between local pilots and air operators to encourage transient pilots to stay in beautiful cities like mine. There is more to my town than aircraft operator fees. How much is the City loosing by levying landing fees to private flyers , bring back casual parking zones full of light aircraft and see what that does local community.
  19. Friday 7th 3 planes left Albury for Benambra to meet with a local identity Ben Buckley and spend some time in this high country village. The trip to Benambra was just divine with pristine mountain views , snow and clear skies. We landed at the lakeside strip and taxied to Bens hangar. Though we knew some additional aviators might join us on this excursion and it was a Friday before a long weekend to our amazing surprise there were 11 planes in total lined up . What a fantastic sight , Ben was milling around talking to one and all ,aviators we’re doing what all aviators do when they are together ( comparing the performance of their toys at altitude) after a short time it was off into the village for lunch and a fine feast it was. The ladies at the local cafe excelled. Sitting around a fire eating and solving all the problems presented was extremely enjoyable. Later Ben gave us a talk on his thoughts on green energy and with a short demo of his solution to water useage and electricity production it was time to return to the air. My Brumby was not as lively off the ground at 2250 plus feet wet grass strip as it is at Albury’s 500 feet paved runway. To all who made this Village visit thank you , the town seemed happy to receive the additional revenue and traffic. Clear skies Stevron
  20. This site is considered a large one in the forum software industry, not a huge one but still a large one and has been going for some 18 years. It is my passion and for most of it I have spent every waking hour trying to make it better for every one and to maintain its initial objectives. In a software forum that I frequent for help and advice, I was asked for my story of the Recreational Flying site by the management of IPS software for them to add to their own site but now that we are back with XF I didn't think it was appropriate so I just posted it in the general forums of that site for Forum Administrators as I was also asked there why I went back to XF. I am reproducing that post here in the hope that it helps the users of this site understand the reasoning for this site's existence, its objectives and the history this site has seen. My apologies for its length but it may also explain why I believe we need a single repository of everything in recreational aviation to help each other and keep us all safe...hope it helps: Well, I suppose I should put this whole story to bed, but it may be a long story which I hope may help other site owners to learn from my experience, although as we know not all sites are the same. I started Recreational Flying some 18 years ago as many pilots were killing themselves from stupid mistakes and there wasn’t any opportunity for them to learn from each other’s experiences. So, my thought was to try and replicate the flying club clubrooms as an Australia wide clubroom for pilots to learn from each other…Increase their flying skills, learn about proper aircraft maintenance and to be safer in the air. I tried to create an overall single repository of information to help pilots in one single location. It worked, in fact it worked so well that the site grew faster than I could keep up. Being a VB developer and ICT Project Manager I developed my first site myself using of all things a JET backend. I thought that if I got 30 or so pilots and I was able to save at least 1 life it would be a success. But within a couple of months the growth was too much so for speed I went for a COTS product called MegaBB (if my memory serves me). Within a year or so my site outgrew that as pilots from all around Australia were hearing about my site, at the time called Ultralight.net. I then moved to another more featured COTS solution which for the life of me I can’t recall its name (I think it had 2 words both starting with S) but again my user base was growing so fast and needed “more” than just forums. At this point there had been an unprecedented 65% drop in fatal recreational aviation accidents with many pilots crediting the reduction in the ability to at any time of the day or night, and from any location, learn from each other’s flying experiences, good and bad. At this point I needed more from my site, users were demanding more, so it was time to get serious. I moved over to VB v3 and threw all kinds of addons in and the users were lapping it up. I developed myself and paid other developers to create very specific addons, pages, features and functions to build the site up into one hell of an extreme comprehensive single repository of everything to do with recreational aviation. There were all the standard features like forums, gallery etc but also aircraft registration lookups, a weather converter into plain English, an aviation news reader mined the internet on anything to do with recreational aviation etc etc etc. The site had and was costing me thousands and thousands of dollars so the wife said “NO MORE MONEY”…doh? So, as I was now contracting as a PMO Director I had my own private company which I used to set up an online Pilot Supplies shop on the side of my site. For this I used CS-Cart after trying different forum integrated cart addons which were all big problems. I only put small margins on products to offset the costs of my aviation site now called Recreational Flying. The shop is by no means any kind of commercial interest and the time it takes to administer the shop is completely not worth it as there is no personal gain, but it pays for the hosting costs. Vbulletin v4 came out so I upgraded to that however some of my extra site features were dropped due them not being ported to VB v4 by their developers. Remember VBClassifieds and VBGallery? The biggest and greatest addon I used in VB was VBCMS and VBDynamics…they were great addons especially Dynamics as I could create many different instances of it for many different features of my site for pilots. Everything started to go downhill from here as Dynamics had too many issues under VB v4 plus the same for many other addons. I got ripped off a lot of money by developers, but I stayed with VB as long as I could. Then the whole VB v5 fiasco, which I didn’t go to, was the end of the line of vb for me. So, at this stage I had a very troublesome site with less features and functions for the users than before. The question here is if I had just remained default with VB v4 then perhaps I wouldn’t have had so many headaches however if I had not turbo charged my site with so many extras, functions and features for my users would my site had been so successful? Along came Xenforo. WOW, this promised to be something phenomenal and I was in right at the get go. I migrated over to XF even in BETA stage as it was looking so promising with all the posts and talk of what developers were working on and remember this was even before XF’s formal release. Before I go any further, I must stress one extremely important consideration. The average age of my userbase is in the low 60s. At this age people often buy a caravan and travel around or they buy a light aircraft and fly around. Many people of this age were not really introduced to technology so using a site can be very hard and confusing. Even though there are buttons saying Create Thread or Create Post I still continually get asked how to create a post. I get many users saying my site doesn’t work as they get timed out after 15mins even though they are just trying to type a three-line post (it is now 30min time out). Every few days I get an email from a registered user simply saying “Your site doesn’t work”…then we have to go through a long process to resolve the issue like their caps are on trying to put their password in. The one thing the spurred me on was the fact that I was continually getting emails from users saying they would have been killed if not for something they had read on my site…my site was saving lives, it was working. These are extremely important considerations in what follows. The one thing that I found was great with XF was that it was so simple, not just for users but for an Admin to create anything by in many cases simple HTML. The Search function was brilliant so to was the Admin Control Panel, the Template system and most importantly the speed of it. Addons started coming thick and fast and soon some very big addons that I could use. Bob’s great Showcase, Chris’s Media addon and many others. Sure, my XF site started from scratch again with just forums but it wasn’t long before I was building the site back up to its previous glory. Then, it all started falling apart again. The addons were starting to show their true colours with some very good ones and some very bad ones so you didn’t know who to trust other than by wasting money on the bad ones just to find out. The next thing was the VB/XF Court Case. Everything seem to stop, and I was again left with a troublesome and very much incomplete site. Users were starting to baulk saying when are the Classifieds coming back, when is this or that going to be added to the site. I didn’t know what to do other than sit on my hands and become very frustrated and let down by XF. No coms, no advice, no information…do I spend thousands of dollars on a platform that will not eventuate, do I go back to the problems of VB, do I do this or that. The legal issues went on and on and I became very bitter, so much so that I began to hate even looking at my site. I was going to close it so many times but thinking of the lives it was saving I just couldn’t do it. Also, at this time the Light Aircraft Governing Body here in Australia tried everything the could to close me down. Many legal actions against me for the site having posts by users the body didn’t like, they didn’t like the fact that I was giving the industry a voice. They even disallowed my membership, which you must legally have to fly a light aircraft, saying I was “Bringing the Industry into disrepute” by allowing pilots a voice by allowing them to post. The site survived through all the XF/VB legal action, my own legal troubles against me however the site had stagnated. It was getting over 4,000 unique visitors per day, over 600 registered users logging in per day but there was no growth, so I had to do something. With the XF/VB case over I desperately tried to get the site back to its powerful single repository of everything in recreational aviation with addons, features and functionality. The problem of quality yet again rose it ugly head and a lot of money was wasted with no immediate positive outcomes. I kept waiting for XF to grow to the phenomenon that I knew it could grow to but that wasn’t happening. Sure, there was a Resources addon which I believe was driven by XF’s own needs and then XF purchased/took over Chris’s Media addon (which I already had) but it stopped there. XF’s focus, I felt, was purely on a forum solution only solution and developers. I had already felt the wrath of bad developers and had been taken for a ride so many times by them, addon I even paid to be developed were not developed to my specs and were released to the public leaving me without exactly what I paid for but allowed developers to make money off my money. There were developers like 2 shoes with Classifieds (very buggy), Michael with the shop (very buggy and ripped people off on VB then left, moved to XF and ripped people off and left) and many many others. BUT I MUST SAY THERE ARE ALSO SOME VERY GOOD DEVELOPERS LIKE BOB etc. At this time my site had been stagnant for some time and there were many users popping up that seemed heel bent on causing trouble. Armed with a hefty amount of keyboard courage and alpha male attitudes they trolled the site antagonising other users driving many people away or simply scared them out of posting. I took a hard-line approach to drive these troublemakers away however it is very much a “Damned if you do, and Damned if you don’t” scenario. My site became divided plus I couldn’t satisfy my userbase with all the features they once had. Now in comes Facebook. A couple of users from my site started a Facebook Group and with my userbase being of the older generation found Facebook much more convenient as they used Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends anyway. This Facebook Group grew and grew rapidly. I noticed my site’s stats began to drop and saw many of the prolific posters on my site were no longer visiting my site but were posting in the Facebook Group. I have found that users are also divided and that there is still a small amount of those that don’t like Facebook, but they are in the minority. Now in comes all the hype of XF v2. I am stuck between a rock and a hard post, what do I do. I chose to wait for XF2…wrong move. I waited, and waited, and waited and in the end XF v2 was simply all about developers and very little, very little at all for end users. Gone also was the simplicity of XF v1 where you could do just about anything with just a little knowledge of HTML and CSS. When XF v2 was finally released it seemed all the addon developers ran for the life and only little whoopy do addons were created however there was some little core components that were very nice to have. I felt I now had no choice but to go to XF v2 and wait for those addons that I needed to come back…but again I was wrong. Again I had to wait and wait and wait only to see that the addons were not going to eventuate…what was I to do…My site was dying, the Facebook Group was screaming ahead, I hated my site because I was frustrated and after 15 years of putting everything I had into it to help others had nowhere to go but down. Site stats were now under half of what the site once was, I couldn’t do what I wanted to do due to the complexity of XF v2 unless I embarked on a massive learning curve, and at 60 years of age perhaps I was beyond that now. Now in comes IPS. Everything indicated that it promised to be a quick saviour with all that it offered and integrated to boot, WOW. So, I purchased the complete package of all IPS had to offer plus many very well built and looking addons like Classifieds, Suppliers, Clubs, Databases and Pages for anything I wanted to create (like my old VBDynamics). I migrated over to IPS as quick as I could (bad move) but I felt pressured into doing something quickly before my site dived any further. I didn’t take the age group of my user base into consideration and their less acceptance of change but also IPS was more complicated to the user simply because of the great number of features and functionality that it has…it has so much. After a couple of weeks, I found my stats were dropping fast with registered users not even logging in to site…I panicked and quickly went back to XF, wiped the sweat from my brow and started some soul searching. Was I wrong in trying to go back to the success of yesterday by having an all in all comprehensive single repository of everything to do in recreational aviation for my users to help each other? Or, is the time of my site now gone and everything is now Facebook as that Facebook Group was still growing with many users that had over the years before left my site? Determined that I can still help other pilots, help to keep them safe, help them to learn by other pilot’s experiences and in well and properly maintained aircraft I decided to give IPS another try, after all I think I panicked. I engaged a fantastic IPS developer to help me to change the IPS look and feel to XF as much as possible to minimise the “change” to users. I embarked on a big communication program to the site users, took my time getting IPS right, even having IPS example setup for the users to try and advise. The stupid thing is only a couple of users even looked at IPS site. I created videos on the XF now to the IPS change to help show and educate users on the benefits of IPS and much more. When I felt it was ready, I migrated again across to IPS and this time I was at the end anyway so it was a do or die scenario and I promised myself I would give it 6 months. I must say here that one big contributing factor in my decision making was that the XF forums had become so extremely toxic with opinionated trolls who seemed to know more about my site by a couple of lines in a post than I did…it is so toxic that even one moderator I wouldn’t pea on him if he was on fire Anyway, I began with just the same components of XF i.e. Forums, Media (Gallery), Resources (Downloads) etc for a couple of weeks. I then began to turn on some of the other great features and after a few months my site stats were back to what they previously were however still over 50% less than what they were years ago. Over this time users were telling me in private conversations how much they liked the extra features of the site and a poll, even with a small amount of respondents said they preferred IPS to XF, I was also taking note of other stats like users that found the site more complicated. I turned some of the IPS things off like parts of What’s New, the Search function was one area they did complain about as the usage of Search dropped dramatically and many other things. The site still wasn’t growing again though. During the 6 months I thought to expand the site Internationally after all flying a plane is the same in every country. I moved servers to the US LA location and up spec’d the server to counteract some of the latency. This failure for two reasons, one that my site was predominately Australian based users (85%) which deterred the international population and two, even though my new server was extremely powerful IPS still suffered to the existing Australian userbase. The interesting thing is my “Off Topic” XF v2 site didn’t suffer that much. Through server stats I found IPS very resource hungry. I tried to get the server optimised by approaching two IPS server gurus however they declined. After 6 months of IPS use I found many weaknesses in the Admin side of site management which became very frustrating every time you went to do something at the level of my knowledge. Things that I could do so easily in XF I couldn’t do in IPS. I accidentally deleted a whole forum by simply trying to delete all guest posts in that forum (IPS named Guests differently). This was the straw that broke the camels back and at this time BOB had finally released his great Showcase and Articles addons. I then started to look at how I could create what I needed in XF by thinking outside the box. I found that I could create a “On this day in Aviation” section using Andy’s Calendar addon, I could create a better menu system that could single out components of Resources into separate sections like a Clubs and Schools section (this was a big impact to me which previously couldn’t be done) and create a powerful Classifieds section by using mostly core functions with a little extra development. As a final solution I would also pay to get developed all the extra functionality and features that I need to hopefully get aviators back to having and using a comprehensive repository of all the information they need in a single location so they don’t miss some little thing that may save their life. So, that’s my story of my site, it has some half a million posts, 11,000 registered users although that would be around 25,000 if I didn’t cull old users over the last 18 years. Some issues that I need to consider: Facebook is toxic to forum sites and will destroy them unless forum software developers realise that a forum site needs to offer more than a Facebook Group by creating so much more functionality for a site’s users, a “whole web site” like IPS offers and not just a “forum” site (note some subjects are ok in just forums but others are not) The toxic environment at XF needs to be fixed. I am not thick skinned, but no one should be subjected to being attacked for having a different opinion than others and no one knows more about a site than the owner of that site, drop the keyboard courage and alpha male attitudes and HELP each other, that’s why it is called a community Addons are evil but in some cases a necessary evil. You can get robbed, you can get crap addons, and you can as in most cases be left high and dry with a damaged site. Greed has to go, and we have to start helping each other because you never know what damage you are doing to a persons site with your addon an in my case it can cost people their lives by not having a good working resource available to them IPS and XF both have some fantastic advantages and it is very very hard to choose between the two so think about if your site is successful what will the users want and what will protect your site from the vulture of Facebook Sorry for this being so long and I could even add much more to help others, if my story has helped anyone and yes, I have made some mistakes but I have made some good decisions after all I had an incredible site that helped thousands and I wish I could find the answer to get back to that, but thank you for reading it and I wish you and your site great success
  21. Sad to hear that the last UK flexwing manufacturer has gone into administration. No idea what that means for P&M Australia and ongoing parts support for what in Australia are type approved airframes now without a manufacturer [/url]https://www.bmaa.org/information-library/news/bmaa-news/p-m-aviation
  22. For those that don't know, this site has been going for nearly 19 years now. For nearly 19 years I have dedicated myself to helping recreational aviators to stay safe, learn from each other's experiences and help with their aircraft maintenance. I went to a software platform that induced user involvement to help each other. I then changed to a complete web site solution that provided so much more as a service to recreational aviators but the site was impacted... Well, after moving to that new software platform I was told to give it time and my site would recover, "it will take 6-9 months" and other comforting statements that my site will get back to what it was. In its prime it was getting between 2,500 and 3,000 unique visitors per day but then came a competitor using Facebook for the quick and easy posting so I went full on site to offer more than just the interactive forum of facebook. To do this I needed a full blown web site software solution which IPS is compared to the previous platform of Xenforo. I then swapped back and forth panicking due to the drop of user numbers but eventually stuck with IPS as a full site solution. Give it time they said, well here it is after 6 months and still completely flat, no gradual increase, now sudden lift in numbers, the site has so much more now with the IPS database feature and many addons like Classifieds etc. How much more time does one have to give? If there was a slow and gradual increase I would be happy and go along with "Give it time" but I no longer have faith in either IPS OR Xenforo compared to the all mighty, all conquering Facebook. The stupid thing is this site offers so much more, so much that Facebook could never provide but here we are, the software license now needs renewing, hosting costs $250 a month and I am working on the site every single day trying to improve it. What am I missing? What have I done wrong? Is there a solution that I can do to help recreational aviators more in giving them a way that they can learn and help each other, keep each other safe and have fun?...tell me, please, be brutal if you need to be
  23. For those on facebook, I`ve had a facebook account for several years, https://www.facebook.com/franco.arri . Over the weekend I came across this group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/deafpilots/ , requested to join and was accepted. There`s a guy a couple of houses up the road, who is totally deaf, can`t hear a thing, but is a brilliant lip reader and can speak! he holds a car and motor bike drivers licence… This guy is a brilliant lip reader and it`s easy to hold a conversation with him and brief him so I`ve taken him flying in the Drifter several times and will continue taking him up. Way back in the days of the A.U.F and when I was instructing, a guy who was almost totally deaf came to me wanting to learn to fly Ultralights... This guy was in the Dutch air force to become a pilot, was riding a bicycle on the base, came off, hit his head on the concrete and lost most of his hearing so it was the end of any chance of becoming a pilot, I took him on and he was able to solo and obtain an A.U.F. pilot certificate. Franco.
  24. The pilot of a Piper Cherokee smelled smoke while taxying for take-off at Venice Airport Florida. He and his passenger disembarked to check the source of the smoke, and the plane burst into flames and was destroyed. Both pilot and passenger were uninjured.
  25. Since my son moved to Wellington I have done many many trips over there. It can be an interesting landing at Welly when it is windy. Something I usually do is have a coffee or three at Spruce Goose cafe which is very close to the runway and affords opportunities for some aviation photography as well as the surrounding hills that look down on the runway. This video shows the airshow put on to celebrate the opening of Wellington airport back in 1959. The weather was less than perfect but the show went ahead anyway.
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