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VH-PAS and VH-KJG

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Hi everyone, I am writing a story for a magazine on my dad's life as an aerobatic pilot. Jim flew out of Bankstown and imported the second Pitts Special into Australia in 1973 after flying it solo across the US to California (VH-PAS) he was also part of a group that brought VH-KJG into the country a few years later.

 

Dad loved flying so much, it truly was his life's passion and if you have any recollections of dad, I would love to hear from you. People who remember him will know he wasn't shy and loved to promote flying - and this is what I would love capture, any anecdotes would be so wonderful to get down, not only for this article, but for his family.

 

Any information on VH-PAS, VH-KJG and VH-CVD would be great too.

 

Kind Regards,

Lisa Wright (nee Scott, the youngest of Jim's five children)

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Lisa, you would've got some info from me via Kathy a little while ago. Hopefully others here can also help you.

I'll send you a message with some names of people who would've known Jim a lot better than I did.

VH-PAS is at Latrobe Valley and still going well - I guess you know the earlier history of it.

VH-KJG was destroyed in a fatal accident in W.A. in 1980.

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That would be great, thank you. Flyav8 were great but what I think I will really have to speak with someone from Schofields Aero Club or the Royal Aero Club (Bankstown) who knew dad.

 

Thanks so much for your post and offer to look into this for me,

 

Kind Regards

Lisa

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You now have 6 names from that era to get you started. Good luck.

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Yes, just got it! Thanks again for that, I really appreciate it.

Cheers

Lisa

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I have many fantastic memories of both Jim and John Patterson when they came up for Redcliffe Aero Club airshows in the late seventies. Your dad and PAS was the first time I ever experienced aerobatics. As a fourteen year old I was blown away until an outside turn was too much for this kid in an open cockpit...The first time they came up to Redcliffe PAS wore blue and the next two times it was painted up in the Winfield Export colours...even found the que card that Hoges used for the ad...he must have dropped it inside the aircraft and it worked its way to the tail of the aircraft...Anyhow!

 

We had the privelage of having both Jim and John around to our place for dinner after the show. True gentlemen. Jim told us of a time when he was flying an Airtourer and the bladder collapsed and starved the aircraft for fuel and he had to put it down off airport. impresssed with his skill and passion for aviation...it wasn't that long after those good times that Jim died in the 310 trying to get back to BK...I did cry for him. When John came up for the last airshow, it was very hard to say how badly we all missed Jim. And then to lose John....Sad times. It bought home to me how fragile our lives are in aviation...I still have photoes of a very young skinny me in front of Jim in PAS on that first flight. I still remember him. A true Professional.

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Hi everyone, I am writing a story for a magazine on my dad's life as an aerobatic pilot. Jim flew out of Bankstown and imported the second Pitts Special into Australia in 1973 after flying it solo across the US to California (VH-PAS) he was also part of a group that brought VH-KJG into the country a few years later.

 

Dad loved flying so much, it truly was his life's passion and if you have any recollections of dad, I would love to hear from you. People who remember him will know he wasn't shy and loved to promote flying - and this is what I would love capture, any anecdotes would be so wonderful to get down, not only for this article, but for his family.

 

Any information on VH-PAS, VH-KJG and VH-CVD would be great too.

 

Kind Regards,

Lisa Wright (nee Scott, the youngest of Jim's five children)

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Hi Lisa,

I have only just come across your note when I googled VH-KJG just out of curosity, so I'm no doubt a bit late for your article, however I would like to add a bit for you records.

 

I met Jim at the Kingsford Smith Flying school on Bankstown when I started an aerobatic endorsement with him in KJG on the 6th May 1976. I trained with him again on the 18th, 20th and 27th May. He was an excellent instructor, competent, knowledgeable, compasionate and able to bring out the best in the student.

 

At this point there is a gap in my aerobatic flying until 17th July and if I remember correctly KJG was unserviceable. I think Jim damaged a wing during landing when a rudder cable failed, possibly at Moree, but thats all pretty vague.

 

I recommenced the aerobatic endorsement training on 17th July in KJG but when I booked for the session Jim told me that he was ceasing instructing there and passed me to Don Riley, with who I completed the endorsement on 28th July.

 

I'm sure Jim was preparing for the international aerobatic competitions at the time and this may have had a bearing on this decision. Also, I think Don had a share in KJG

 

I managed to fly KJG solo on only one ocasion, on 4th August, before it was damaged when someone tipped it on its nose.

 

During my time under Jims instruction he also talked me into joining the Australian Aerobatic club of which I am still a member. I met him numerous times at the Aerobatic club events and competed many times and fondly remember many great days at the Willacia strip and I certainly confirm that he loved flying and encouraging others not only to flying but to to achieve their best at it.

 

I have on my study wall a large photograph of KJG and PAS flying mirror formation which I bought at one of the Aerobatic Club stands around the time.

 

I was especially saddened to hear of crash of the 310 in which he died, made more so because I was a TAFE trade teacher and the young apprentice who died with him was one of our students.

 

I hope this is helpful to you, even if so late.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Barry

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Hi, Just wanted to thank everyone for their generous comments and emails about dad. His story is here (typo being that dad was killed in '76 and not '75) - I would dearly love any photos of him as there isn't many, and if you felt able to post them or email them to me I would be happy to reimburse you.

 

As you can imagine, I was only ten when dad died, it has been one of life's great joys to read of him as a person and people around the world sent me photos of him. It has been great to hear all about his life. Francois Bizzart has been a wealth of information on the Pitts Special and tracked down a number of photos for me including the one below. He also suggested that Dad has done training with Bill Thomas and he was correct. Clever man.

 

The article is here: http://www.aviatormag.com.au/stories/Nov10_Rest_in_pitts.html (I didn't give it the title btw!) and a youtube video of the Winfield Ad dad did with 'Hoges' is here:

 

A big thanks to Kathy Mexted for her prodding to do this story.

 

Many Thanks

Lisa Wright

I39668188_DadwithCurtisPitts.thumb.jpg.a5733ffbef60f7f3110db0d772f59393.jpg

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I meant to add. Curtis and Ma Pitts on the L and my mum, Bernie and Dad on the R.

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Thanks so much Barry, I got a notice that someone was posting in here and it prompted me to let people know how it went on. Thanks so much, I've often thought of how young the apprentice in the plane was.

 

Do you by any chance know where the Caltex Cup ended up?

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Happened to watch an old movie a couple of weeks ago with both Jim and John in it. I'll find out who owns it and pass on the details so that you can get a copy.

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Hi Lisa,

I have only just come across your note when I googled VH-KJG just out of curosity, so I'm no doubt a bit late for your article, however I would like to add a bit for you records.

 

I met Jim at the Kingsford Smith Flying school on Bankstown when I started an aerobatic endorsement with him in KJG on the 6th May 1976. I trained with him again on the 18th, 20th and 27th May. He was an excellent instructor, competent, knowledgeable, compasionate and able to bring out the best in the student.

 

At this point there is a gap in my aerobatic flying until 17th July and if I remember correctly KJG was unserviceable. I think Jim damaged a wing during landing when a rudder cable failed, possibly at Moree, but thats all pretty vague.

 

I recommenced the aerobatic endorsement training on 17th July in KJG but when I booked for the session Jim told me that he was ceasing instructing there and passed me to Don Riley, with who I completed the endorsement on 28th July.

 

I'm sure Jim was preparing for the international aerobatic competitions at the time and this may have had a bearing on this decision. Also, I think Don had a share in KJG

 

I managed to fly KJG solo on only one ocasion, on 4th August, before it was damaged when someone tipped it on its nose.

 

During my time under Jims instruction he also talked me into joining the Australian Aerobatic club of which I am still a member. I met him numerous times at the Aerobatic club events and competed many times and fondly remember many great days at the Willacia strip and I certainly confirm that he loved flying and encouraging others not only to flying but to to achieve their best at it.

 

I have on my study wall a large photograph of KJG and PAS flying mirror formation which I bought at one of the Aerobatic Club stands around the time.

 

I was especially saddened to hear of crash of the 310 in which he died, made more so because I was a TAFE trade teacher and the young apprentice who died with him was one of our students.

 

I hope this is helpful to you, even if so late.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Barry

Hi Barry, I'm not sure if you will see this, I'm sorry to have not replied. Bizarrely, I was in a major accident in March 2011 with my husband and spent five months recovering so I didn't get back to this forum. Thank you so much for this information, I've never read the coroner's report, and I've often wondered about the family of the young man who died in the crash with dad. Kind Regards, Lisa

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Happened to watch an old movie a couple of weeks ago with both Jim and John in it. I'll find out who owns it and pass on the details so that you can get a copy.

Hi djpacro,that would be incredible. I was in a major accident in March 2011 with my husband and spent five months recovering so I didn't get back to this forum. My father's cousin was talking to me on the weekend about dad and asked for a copy of the article and I rediscovered this forum while searching for it online.

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