Jump to content

papua new guinea

Guest greg

Recommended Posts



I am a newie to the forum, and am still trying to learn the format. I say still trying because I am 70 years and have not much computer knowhow.


Nevertheless, I was wondering whether there are any ex papua new guinea aviation people on the forum.


I flew with Stol, Crowley and Airfast/helicopter utilities,and spent a fair time there before flying gravimetric surveys in North Qld and the Northern Territory.


Hope to hear from some of the other flyers'





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Glenn

Hi Greg


Glad you were able to post here. Hope my instructions were clear enough :)


Sixtiesrelic, a member here, would be the one to talk about PNG


Welcome aboard!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Chainsaw

Welcome Greg!


These forums are indeed a great place to share our hobby and experiences. There are many experienced people here from a wide variety of the industry. Glenn is correct about 'Sixtiesrelic' He is the man to talk to about NG.


Be sure to check out our resources. The Gallery does have quite a number of old NG photos for you to see (courtesy of Sixtiesrelic).







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gday all,


Many thanks for your warm welcome . Most pilots today would not be old enough to remember the days when there were no radios in aircraft. Everything was done with signal lamps. Green to take off or land, and of course red meant no landing or no clearance to take off. Flashing colours had different meanings, and 2 or 3 aircraft in a similar area could possibly all see the lights and hope you were the one being given the instructions.Did create a few near misses.


The only navaid was ADF and it was restricted to aircraft whose owners could afford it.


In Papua N.G. the only radio was VHF and HF. Everything was D.R. Many pilots got lost , particularly newcomers, but after a few months experience, it became a piece of cake.


We flew C180, 185,Auster, tigers,172,210,205,206,atec,336,helio,throughout png.


Hope to hear from some of ex PNG people





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest g_i_jack029

Welcome Greg, glad you joined,


can't wait to here some of your stories!!!


please post them up, i love reading about aviation during it's glory days...hopefully more still to come :|


anyway, welcome! :D



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest OzChris

Hi Greg - Welcome!


Sounds as though you have had a wonderful life (so far) with aviation as a main theme... =D> =D> =D>


Great to have some more 'senior' flyers with us here at TAA - the friendliest Aviation Forums in Australia :D



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gday sixties,


Where were you based???? When I first flew in PNG I was based at Daru with Stol,. then at Lae with Crowley, then all over the place with Airfast.


You probably knew Mac Drew, Deadly Dudely LEN loopy Cleaver, Ian Best,


Brian Maccook, Ray Fisk, Steve Barnett, Val Lysenko,??


I was involved in my first prang at Olsobip while working with Stol.


whenI say I was involved I mean I was doing strip familiarity with a new pilot, and because Olsobip is a one way strip, he wanted to make sure he got in,so he came in low on minimum power and ended up knocking the undercart off on a rock at the end of the strip.We ended up cart wheeling up the strip, leaving 44s and 5 gallon drums of kero and creosote all over ther place. The a/c was a write off, but no one got badly hurt.I ended up flying a c336 back to Daru(3 hours or so)


got out of the plane and passed out. It appears I had been concussed ,butno one was aware of it. Have you any names you recall???





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got to Moresby in 1969 as a DC-3 F.O.


Bill Vise, Roy Cullen, Frank Ward were Moresby based pilots with Stol. (the last had the record for running out of fuel and not killing himself... always somewhere between short final and the hangar, so they say)


Knew Loopy Len a bit ... story goes, he carried a huge "Tam tam" alarm clock he'd bought at a trade store, with him in the aircraft, to remind him it was time for a position report. Pax got alarmed when Len sat back, and closed his eyes after setting it. He was the only bloke I knew of who passed all the ATPL subjects first go.


Mac Drew was in Ansett with me and had been a F.O with my old man when he was in TAA. (the old man was with Guinea Airways 1940 -42 then Adelaide with Guinea Airways. Went to ANA for six months in 1946 then became Flt Captain DC-4 when TAA introduced them ... later became Chief Pilot/ Flight Superintendant.


Visited Brian Mc Cook a couple of years ago with my uncle's 1940 -1942 colour 16 MM movies of Guinea Airways flying, to see if he could identify some of the country in them.


The uncle started with Ray Parer in 1935 and flipped about to Stephenson, Carpenters then G.A. Flew Avro Avian, Gipsy Moths, Simmonds Spartan, Fox Moth, Dragon, Ford trimotors Avro 246 Junkers... single and trimotors.


Got killed in a Lockheed 14 south of Darwin in 1942.


Knew Steve Barnett to say hello to. I was in a flat with his brother Phil in Boroko for a while.


The others.... knew some of their names.


Didn't everybody get their first STOL basing at the Daru Hilton?


I went to Madang in 1970 till 73 with Ansett PNG.


My cousin followed me to PNG in 1975 till 77 mostly with Douglas. He was the fifth pilot in the family. Our Grandfather couldn't stand having two sons sitting, discussing a technical subject he knew nothing about in the late thirties, so went off to Mascot to learn to fly.


Did his first solo and "knew all there was to know about flying" (Mortals get to that stage at about 300 hours)


Gave it away then, but kept up studying the sons latest books they imported from the USA eg "Through the Overcast" by Assen Jordanoff which cost a weeks wages


My cousin also followed me into Ansett Oz later. (He owns the DC-3 VHCWS that features here in The Aussie Aviator) ... { I refuse to use the initials... they belong only to the REAL TAA that we knew}


Other names?? worked in Airservices Australia (ATC simulator) with Ian Maloney... I think he was with Airfast, risking his life in choppers as well as flogging around in Aztecs. He's retired and playing grey nomad.


Ken Jarrold lives nearby... he also worked here in Bris in the controller's simulator. Was with Stol and became Patair Chief Pilot. He was the one who landed the Skyvan with his feet up on the windscreen after the crock got loose in the cabin and hid behind the rudder pedals... the sook!What year were yoiwith Stol... sounds like a few years before I got there.


gotta go!





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest greg

gday ,gday,gday,


Yes, I was in PNG in the early sixties,Ron Firns owned Stol, loopy was chief pilot, Ray Fisk was Daru manager.


Speaking of Len Cleaver, he married a native girl from Daru. She was a nurse in the Hospital. Len used to buzz the hospital at least once a day. He flew so low he flew up the street, and the story is he used to stop at the stop sign.


He got the nickname of loopy because every aircraft he flew he sometime or another looped the aircraft.Not a barrel roll but a full loop, and this included c336 and aztec.We did a lot of mail and food drops over Papua. This meant we flew with the right door off, so we could push out the supplies.This was generally done only with one person (the pilot) in the A/C,but if Len wanted to go along he sat with his legs hanging out the a/c and threw the items out.All this at tree top height!!


Because Papua is so flat,(unlike New Guinea) when they had enough experience used to take a book with them, and once the a/c was trimmed , out came the book and you read until your d.r. said you should get ready for your arrival.


Different in New Guinea though.


But I remember on final for one strip, I started to roundout, when the control column wheel came off the connection under the instruments. I ended up landing it from the left seat with the right hand controls. Not easy to do!!!


but even more hairy situations arrived as I will mention later.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest greg

Hey sixties,


jut had a closer look at your last reply.I had a bad smash at Olsobip as I mentioned earlier. Steve Barnett was chief pilot and his brother Phil was the guy to whom I was giving the airstrip experience.He was the left seat pilot and I was sitting on a 5 gallon drum on the right side (usual thing as you know, dont wast usable space....so no seat, just a full drum of creosote.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...