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Not My Last Flight........The Beginning Actually


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On 10th November 1965, I successfully completed a 4:10 CPL flight test out of Brisbane Airport,(Eagle Farm as it was then known). My DCA examiner,(Capt Tom Drury), personally signed off all my paperwork, issued my CPL on the spot - and later that night I was on the Electra back to Port Moresby. Yes, today it's 50 years since becoming a 'professional' pilot. At the tender age of 75, I'm still involved in both GA and RAAus, and still meeting the standards. No 'S' plates yet I hope!

 

Aviation was alive and well back then. Within 4 days I had been given a check flight on both a C182 and C185, and offered either a full time or part time job with either company. On the 16th, I flew my 1st charter flight in a C182. There were plenty of jobs - you just needed to be there! I learned lots about flying and myself over the next 5 years in PNG......but that's another story!

 

happy days,

 

 

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Fairly parallel timing. Commercial on 27 July 1964... 188 hours logged

 

Instructor rating, 9 feb 65... 356 hours

 

Operated DC-4 VH TAF SY-BN-PY- LAE Nov 20 1965.. Sort of whirlwind sequence of flying experiences, having Parachuting, Charter, Instruction and a job with Connellan offered in between.. This was the last burst of employment being available as there was a slump for about 4 years before opportunities became available once again.. Nev

 

 

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Did you keep flying commercial after PNG?

Never full time after moving from PNG to WA in Feb 1970. But yes - some charter, some ag, considerable wheatbelt in course of R&D job, lots private, and lots instructing. (largest segment of instructing is low level and tailwheel endos). RAAus since only 2006 - a relative newbie with these. happy days,

 

 

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Hi Poteroo,

 

I'd suggest in here. It's your thread. I would also be very interested to read your stories about your aviation career. I think Nev could tell us a few beauties too. How about it?

 

Chris

 

 

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1362596571_PNGTenyoMaruLae1965.jpg.c36954614c48863f379266a625724bbc.jpg

 

Fairly parallel timing. Commercial on 27 July 1964... 188 hours loggedInstructor rating, 9 feb 65... 356 hours

Operated DC-4 VH TAF SY-BN-PY- LAE Nov 20 1965.. Sort of whirlwind sequence of flying experiences, having Parachuting, Charter, Instruction and a job with Connellan offered in between.. This was the last burst of employment being available as there was a slump for about 4 years before opportunities became available once again.. Nev

Nev,

 

You'd remember the old Lae airport - bet the DC4 used every m of it! The 'Tenyo Maru' was a famous offshore marker for approaches from overwater to 32. It sometimes had to be avoided during overloaded takeoffs using rwy 14 heading out to sea.

 

Lae was a location that 'enjoyed' the very worst of WW2 activity. Occupied by the Japs in 1942, it was bombed and strafed by the Allies every 2nd day for most of 1942 and 1943. After it was retaken by the Aussies, (including my still living father-in-law), the US 5th Air Force moved in and developed the massive Nadzab complex some 30nm up the Markham Valley from Lae. 15 runways for 1500 aircraft. The old Lae airport has long since been closed and all commercial ops are out of Nadzab.

 

792399675_PNG-Lae-airport-in-its-heyday-in-the-1970s.jpg.a4134fe08431fdadfcfb01323508c57e.jpg

 

Nadzab_Airfield_-_New_Guinea.jpg.8a5e4e74238729a3372f717676cd2d06.jpg

 

 

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Hunting through the oldest log books now. Can't recall any difficulty with strip length Lae. Did use the shipwreck for locating the runway many times..

 

One notable trip was Lae-Melb DIRECT non stop on 28 November 1966 VH-TAC with 12 hours chock to chock time. This may be some kind of record actually. Our DC-4's had only six fuel tanks. The original had eight so total fuel was only 2,340 gallons. capacity.

 

The original planned route had BNE as first landing, but the cargo manifest showed little off load for there, so I suggested, avoid the cost of landing Bne and continue to Sydney. Subsequently the same applied to Sydney so replanned through to Melbourne. (Essendon)

 

By going to full throttle height early (9,000 Feet)and long range cruise techniques , (The aircraft was already above it as it had to climb over the Ranges from LAE at around 14,000 ft approx VFR) the aircraft was able to range to Melbourne with statutory reserves applying. The normal fuel consumption was around 200 GPH so you can see considerable extra range is available if you go into the books.

 

On 3 DEC SYD NFK AUK return next day Total time 15.3 hours

 

On 11 DEC BNE ISA DRW 9 .3 hours.

 

On12th DRW. ML direct 9.3 hours

 

By adding the flight time to get to LAE on 27 th .. 11.4 hours... Total 57.3 hours flight time in a day over 2 weeks

 

That's the most I've ever done in any similar period by far. Nev

 

 

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Thanks for sharing this fascinating glimpse Poteroo and congratulations on 50+ years of professional flying! Hope to read more.

 

Aviation was alive and well back then.

That's great, can't comment as I wasn't. 022_wink.gif.2137519eeebfc3acb3315da062b6b1c1.gif

 

 

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