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Wow..what a can of worms i have opend..And here i was thinking i was the only one who had been 'stung' by him..I only thought that becasue he seemed to opperate for a long time after i had my 'misshap' with him..Togcentral has made it qite clear that our system has some major holes in it and our aircraft and pilots are the ones that may fall through these holes and end up a statistic...I can sleep well at night knowing that i only had 2 or 3 flights with this guy, so his version of airmanship is not instilled in me..His airplane was defective in my mind because halfway into the takeoff roll you would be useing quite a bit of aeleron to hold the wing level, and when yoiu landed your arm was aching from holding it the entire flight..I was still new to the game back then and thought this was normal for that type of plane..how wrong i was..


A friend of mine (a farmer) paid this guy around $14,000 for his licence..and never used it after because , in his words " those planes just feel dangerous" having never flown anything else other then this thruster..


I intend to take him up in the Jabiru soon..



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I only just found this post by accident and all of the mess was brought back to me. I am the person who bought the mobile flying school from the mongrel mentioned earlier.


I would like to say that the concept of a mobile school was really good and should have provided a service to the more remote areas that are so often neglected. The school required a stable, disciplined person who could maintain a high standard of instructional integrity and general airmanship but this was not available under the previous operator. The AUF/RAAus wanted desperately to close it down as it was pretty obvious what was happening but as Tony stated, the former owner would have probably sued them.


The school was advertised for sale in the AUF/RAAus magazine and after a few enquiries I ended up with it. Things changed rapidly then and he started ranting on about court actions with the AUF and ‘professional’ repairs to the aircraft. I contacted the AUF/RAAus and was told that the school was not transferable and you could just about hear the Champagne corks popping in the background when they found they had the monkey off of their backs. The AUF/RAAus assumed that I would apply the same standards as the previous operator and this really peeved me.


I too ended up in court and the previous owner was smartly put on his backside by the magistrate but I was never refunded any money. I have heard countless stories about his so called instructional techniques and several that he told me himself that would really make your hair stand on end. I also have the student training records that are just appalling but nothing was ever done about it by the regulators except to hope that he would go away. The standard of instruction from this fellow was piddle poor but it is not just confined to him as some of the stories in this Forum confirm…. Check out the instructor making a low time student land with the mags off!


The aircraft was a dangerous wreck but its true condition was very well concealed and no records of any major repairs in the log book. I completely dismantled the aircraft so as it could never be flown in that condition again and the so called ‘professional’ repairs found were absolutely appalling. It is nothing but a credit to the design of the Thruster that it could stay in the air in such a state. To all of you who flew in that aircraft, I take my hat off as you have truly flown with the angels believe me!!!


Tony Hayes was a huge help and tried his utmost to help me out but to this day there is no mobile flying school and the aircraft is still in bits. I was very disappointed with the lack of help from the AUF/RAAus hierarchy at the time and I still don’t hold them in very a very high regard as I was told, caveat emptor.


Not a nice feeling to be paddling in the poop with a leaky canoe and when you ask for help, they pinch the paddle from you and go back to sipping wine on the beach.


Keep flying but pick your instructor dammed carefully!





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Bill..i sympathise with your thoughts regarding the flying school..it was inherntly a great idea..just very poorly run... I would have expected more from the AUF on this matter though..Is there any chance of you opeing the school?? or have they just canned the idea completly?


Regarding the aircraft..i only flew it a handfull of times and it was in my opinion a real dog.. the trim was buggerd, but he was the only one who used the trim inflight anyway saying it was a bit tricky.. there always seemed to be a tendancy to roll to the left, even in a glide.. very unnerving plane to fly, and the day we had the engine failure i kissed the ground when we landed..its the only time i ever wished i wasn';t in the air..


The guy used to make his Joyride passengers (tif officially) fuel the plane, and he wouldnt even supervise, he'd sit in the shade under his caravan annexe..


i could write a book about the guy...but i won't...enuff has been saiod already and the main thing is that he doesn't operate anymore...thank god.. I have a friend who did get his licence but never flew after that...the licence cost him upwards of 12 grand..


anyway, i hope ya can get the school up and running, like i said, it is an exellent idea and run by the write person would be an invaluable resource to those in remote areas wanting to learn..


Good luck



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Thanks for the update motzartmerv (just gotta luv that name!)


There was a very slight chance of it operating under the current regulations but I would think that all of that will change with the new Ops manual.


I am not surprised that the aircraft used to roll as when I pulled the wings apart, I found the bracing wires had cut through the bracing struts! All of the bolts and metal fittings were badly worn so that the wing would warp quite noticeably on the ground and was just about ready to come apart under flight loads. The main bolt that holds the bracket for the wing leading edge had rusted almost right through and the wires for the seat belts were frayed.


The elevator and rudder cables had cut through the tubing at the rear of the cockpit and all of the pulleys were seized. The bushings were missing (worn out) on the control stick torque tube and several welds were broken in the tail assembly and been that way for a long time. The fuses were stuffed with aluminium foil and most of the wiring had exposed joints and shorted switches.


I know of one low time bloke that was solo and could not land due to the x-wind. After about the tenth crack at it, he seriously considered crashing into the van so as both of them would die - True! I am saddened to think that this sort of so called training took place without any checking from the Authorities but when someone else wants to fix it, they shut it down.


I would strongly advise any new student to thoroughly check out any school that they are thinking about. Give the plane a good visual, ask to look at the training records and ask around. I had a suspicion that this mongrel was still operating after selling the school to me and this proved right with Jaylo's post. He cannot issue licenses but he can still pretend to be a CFI and rip people off.


Be careful out there people!!



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OMG...i feel sick...to think i flew in an aircraft with that many problems...thats just shocking..


Is the RAA's problem a maintanance one? do they require a level 2 to check it out or something?? i can't understand what the problem is.. Any responsible and decent human being of an instructor would surely have no problems with running a tight ship..this guy was just a nutcase...they shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water...


Thats unbelievable about the student in the crosswind...I remeber seeing him send guys (low timers) up purposely in bad wind conditions so they could gain experiance..saw some hairy moments i tell you, i was lucky enuff to live very close to the strip he was operating from and had an exellent view of base and final legs on most days..if only i had a video camera i would have caught some very interesting moments...I can understand an instructor going up with a student in windy conditions to teach them some turbulance and crosswind technique, but to send them solo in these conditions is just criminal...


Keep us posted with the school, am very interested to see how you go..spending most of my life in the bush i know a lot of ppl that would be interested in a decent moblie school.. alot of cockeys have room to grade up a strip and could have you come and stay and teach them ...



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Fools rush rush in where angels fear to tread!


Thanks for the support MM and I will keep you posted. I am a senior instructor and a level 2 but so was the grim reaper plus more! I have tried to gauge opinion about independent testing of students and aircraft as an audit on how schools are operating but not much response so far. maybe I will start something in this forum.


You survived and I hope that you have a long and satisfying flying career, I know that I have.





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Hey Bilby


In no way do I infer any shortcomings on your part but it's gotta be asked - you hold an L2 maint authority but you got 'charmed' into buying what you describe as being a death trap waiting to happen. I don't understand. How? Why? Again, no derision or disrespect is intended.



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There could probably be a hundred stories about this guy that Moz brought up but I would like to steer discussion back towards the potential impact that instructing, and particularly control and regulation of instructing, may have on the accident area.


First of all a couple of quick comments. Moz – having an L2 look at the offending aircraft made no difference. Firstly the owner was an L2 himself so was totally independent and was trusted by those who granted his authorities to discharge those authorities in a responsible manner.


The aircraft was independently inspected by a further two L2s in consequence of coming in contact with it and a report was given to RAAus because the condition was deemed extremely dangerous and the machine continued to be operated in a school by an individual who was known to specialise in “joyflight†TIFs as a primary part of his income. RAAus however did not act on the situation – they did not even comment on it.


I inspected the aircraft myself and I totally concur with Bill’s description of the faults with it. In fact Bill also hauled the defective parts from Roma to Watts after he had dismantled the machine, specifically for me to take a real good look.


A key issue here is (re both Moz and Bill’s comments) that there is a very low limit on how practical independent checking can be due to how widely, and thinly, our movement is dispersed over a huge landmass. If independent checking was broadened then it would have to be evenly mandated because systems fall apart if you introduce them and immediately have to make exceptions to enable the system to work.


If that happened our overall (present) system would very rapidly grind to a stop, the system would only work close to major population centres, and prices to students would escalate rapidly – as would the administration and co-ordination that schools would additionally have to do.


Now, as an interim comment, “RAAus Bashing†is one thing but a cold acceptance of reality is quite another and especially when it comes to the accident area. Certainly things that I write are unpalatable and maybe opinion is that they should not be in the public arena as it does the movement no good in the perception of our peers. That does not mean such situations did not, or do not, exist and there is only so much you can sweep under the carpet before there is no room to move because the ceiling is getting in the way.


So let us have the guts, standards and integrity to face reality – and begin doing something about it. We may all wring our hands on this particular forum and state “condolences†and “RIP†and all the rest of it for those who have died – and genuinely mean it. Flight Safety is about preventing the need to do that!


So, in the topic that Moz introduced, we are not looking at the “good old, bad old days†and history. That situation is still very much current!


That guy went on to rebuild another aircraft and despite it looking great it was another death trap! This was done on the money of a beginner who knew nothing. What he had done was detailed to RAAus and nearly 3 years later the owner is still waiting to find out if he still has his ratings – the situation (like so many others) has been shoved in the “unpalatable so ignore†basket but for her it is a court case and getting her money back.


AUF/RAAus knew about this guy for years and were allegedly hunting him. Every time they had an opportunity to stop him they caved in and let him go – to carry on what he was doing and that was validated by the ratings he held. I believe the only “disciplinary action†taken against him was via my own hands when I was instrumental in having his instructor training rating removed – and that was a direct consequence of a piss-poor Ops Manual re-write that left a gap you could barrel roll a Flying Fortress through! What are the implications of that?


We are basically looking at a situation akin to “pyramid selling†or “chain letter offersâ€Â. These work on the principle (for example) that one person influences five people. In turn those five each influence another five etc etc. You are into the squared principle!


Translate this into Operational terms and an individual pilot is a loose cannon who may influence the perceptions of others onto what our movement is about and what its standards and control are (this manifests itself in pleas for peer group pressure). But the forming of the pilot is founded on training, standards and establishment of attitude. That is done by instructors.


A single instructor may influence, say, 20 students per year. A CFI at a larger school with, say, 3 instructors is directly influencing 60 students a year (plus his own – say another 20), A Pilot Examiner with Regional responsibilities is influencing the whole lot (say about eight CFIs) and suddenly we are looking at the basic training standards of several hundred students per year. Now extrapolate that over several years!


What it also did was made a division in control responsibility!


Time after time I was told that the “standard†was clearly laid out in the Ops Manual and it was up to the individual member to discharge that responsibility. When situations became really serious the response was different, but not much. It was that AUF/RAAus has no teeth and only the Regulator (CASA) could actually act against an erring pilot.


But AUF/RAAus in fact do have big teeth! They can remove ratings they have awarded, they can remove a whole membership, and they can research situations and hand over a package to CASA for prosecution if the matter is that serious! That is if they choose to use the teeth!


What AUF/RAAus must not do is go about basking in the image that they are the “controller of Ultralighting/Rec Aviation†yet leave people in the field who infect and rip off members, set a level of personal standard/attitude that will be copied, and via personal interface with members leave them feeling that what they have been exposed to is what the movement is all about – because the “controller†awarded the ratings to these people and endorses what they are doing by leaving the ratings in place!


On this thread Riley has asked why Bill got sucked in? Easy (if not possibly wise). The Mobile school was active, it was subject to inspection which must have been OK because it was still there and that includes the aircraft, the owner had most of the highest ratings available, and significantly the aircraft was already de-rigged and loaded into the mobile school trailer where it was impossible to examine “and time was pressing etc etc†– you know how pressure selling goes. A lot of Bill’s purchase was founded on trust in the Controller. He was wise enough not to pay the full purchase price but once he found what he had he also found that he would not get back what he had payed!


Pulling this form of crud from under the carpet may be image distasteful but leaving the infection there is far worse because it can lead to the graveyard bit!


OK let us be reasonable about this. AUF/RAAus standards have been improving year by year. The majority of operators are sound instructors and schools that are extremely dedicated – based upon what they believe is the right thing to do in the environment as they personally perceive it.


Up top we are getting a new Ops Manual. In the Tech Air area moves are being made to sort out L2 competency (but Tech Air can never progress until we have some basic standards written down and either accessible training available internally, or external means of obtaining the same, for the automatically awarded L1 authority).


It is in fact within the Tech Air area that you get your best insight into Operations. A high endorsed operator prepared to fly a wreck with paying members of the public has automatically some serious questions hanging over him about the Operational standard.


Ops products themselves may be hard to define and it may well be unfair to pillory an instructor because a student and later pilot, did not actually understand, had their own learning agenda they were hiding, later down the track has simply forgotten, or was just out of their depth with the conditions they put themselves under.


None of those may be the original instructor’s fault. The instructor’s task is to establish a standard of ability from the written standard required and in a framework of understanding, airmanship and attitude that standard is actually founded upon as well as demonstrated within the wider community.


But when you do have a real wild card that is very obvious, they have to be excised from the system and it is simply not responsible to do otherwise!


So how do you readers feel that control may have, or been having, an impact on the accident rate and the actual attitudes of the pilots concerned who felt that what they were doing was either right, or was acceptable within the control environment they were initially brought up in, and later go on to consolidate themselves as part of an established movement?


A few other areas have come up in this thread so far and I will address them in separate posts in the RAAus forum in due course. Those will be the Mobile School situation and more even levels of actual standards control.







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Good post Tony..You've obviously been in this game for a long time and have a better understanding then most regarding the operation and managment side of things..


A problem that i have noticed myself with the training syllabus is this..


A person can obtain there ticket by passing the bak and then a flying test...that test is usually about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours and goes through the sequences taught, stalls, steep turns precautionary search and landing gliding etc..


and then go on and get the x country endorsement..now, when i was getting my licence and x country end we would check the weather and only ever fly in the direction of the best weather..never would we attempt to go into even remotly marginal conditions..Beautifull blue skies are great to fly in but, after getting my licence i was on my own..i had to gain experiance with the weather by doing it..it was nearly a recipe for disaster...sure you can be told what a bad day looks like on paper, but untill you see it and see how weather moves in and changes within the course of a flight you can't have a propper understanding...this was brought home to me recently when i was trapped below mountain tops with weather on the ground in all but one direction..i was even looking at paddocks on the ground to get out of the air..now, at one point i found what looked like a nice paddock but had high terrain pretty much all around it..i was heavy, it was 34 deg and very humid and in a jabiru...on reflection, if i did go down and investigate that strip (paddock) i may not have been able to outclimb that terrain either after landing or on climbing away if it was no good..but at the time that didnt cross my mind...luckily i decided to head the only direction that had a clearance between the mountains and th cloudbase of aroun 600 feet, and closing fast..we shot through and made it to the coast...but all in all, pretty poor airmenship on my part for even taking off that day...


my poiunt is, that as students, most instructors take us touring in fine conditions...i havn't heard many stories of an instructor and a student having to do a real divert and mabye an overnight to wait out weather...


Weather in my mind is the most deadly thing to us ultralighters..and i know of a few crashes where it has been the major factor...the guy in the drifta trying to squeeze through a gap in cloud and mountain recently jumpes to mind..


I am currently getting hours up to gain an instructor rating...when i do start teachin pilots, i intend to take them to the edge of marginal weather..to see what it looks like from the air, to decide early to divert and go around it or even better go back...to always have a backdoor available...these things are easily said, but need to be seen from the cockpit in a realtime sence to get the gravity of it..


Sure stalling and spinning r dangerous pastimes...but how many of us get close on a normal flight to this happening...??the weather is always there..


I would be interested to hear from other instructors out there on how they handle this part of the teaching...i think that telling students not to fly into cloud is no where near enuff...





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Hey Moz,


Yeah I have been around for a while – perhaps too long for some tastes with too good a memory!


I appreciate your comments that are most valid. But instructing and flight safety is a big area. I would wish that the Moderators would cut off your latest thread and start a new one – say “Instructing Standards and Weather†and I will answer it there.


I would like to see this thread (that is granted your own) upon discussion on control of instructing as I feel broadening out the Accident & Incident forums into discussion as well as reporting is healthy and could have considerable value. But we have to get a bit specific or we are all going to get lost!







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Hi Riley,


I must appologise for my delay in responding but I have just returned from a job at Eromanga and contrary to Telstra's advertising, mobile phone and internet service does not exist out there!


I appreciate the comments from Tony as several experienced L2's were caught with this one and as I said, the repairs were "professionally" hidden.


There were no entries in the log book other than usual service routines so it looked reasonable but would need some minor work to bring it up to scratch. Not so and I got caught. Lack of experience on type was a major factor plus time to get the aircraft back home and the mongrel was fully qualified and approved by the authorities.


It helped in some ways that if I do an aircraft inspection (UACR) these days, I just about tear the thing apart before I will sign it out. There is a saying that you should learn from the mistakes of others because you will not live long enough to make them all yourself. I hope that everyone learns something from this. I also would like to see some discussion in another thread on instructing standards and maintenance controls.


I am not intending to bash the AUF/RAAus as I have largely gotten over that now but healthy critiscism should welcomed to improve the standards.


No derision or disrespect accepted Riley - I hope this answer has helped ...... now where was that one about the idiot instructor teaching a student to land with the mags off??



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Ok. Given that a bolt of lightning may strike me to a pile of ashes, and I get moderated I'll ask the question anyway.:ah_oh:


Can we name this CFI fool so we can all avoid him !!!;)


Surely we can be warned BEFORE he KILLS someone...088_censored.gif.2b71e8da9d295ba8f94b998d0f2420b4.gif


We've had enough deaths recently thanks...







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flyer... im not sure about the legalities, i don't think he's still opperating.. but...he calls himself captain Bill...he did have a russian wife, but again, im not sure if thats still operating after the divebombing incident...


(moderators, i hope i havn't crossed the line):;)4:



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I do not think that naming names will be productive – that is a sad fact of life with our legal system that does tend to over-protect the guilty.


I also do not think it to be a function of these forums to have a “Star Chamber†situation – enough has probably been said already and the situation appears to have been anyway de-fused.


The subject was expanded upon by people who had been actively hurt but was steered towards debate of why AUF/RAAus did not control the situation when they have the power and knew what was going on.


That is the issue and in a flight safety context it is the only real issue





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I have been told that his certificate has been revoked, or words to that effect. I was also led to believe that it was tardiness on the part of some of AUF committee that allowed him to retain his cert for so long. As for his Russian wife, she is a very nice but badly treated lady. As for him he would only be useful if you were constipated.



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Yeah OK!


I can positively confirm that RAAus did eventually do a good job - but it took them a long time due to back and forth counter claims etc.


A Disciplinary Panel removed all ratings/endoresements except basic membership and pilot certificate.


The guy is totally neutralized and should no longer be a risk to anybody. I think he is far too clever to risk a total breach of Aviation Regulations and try it on - because that may result in a long time "inside" as he has a suspended sentance hanging over him.





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Yep...i was a little hessitant to name names.... and obviously he can't do these things to anyone anymore, and of all the ppl ive met in the AUF/RAA he would deffinatly be the 'exception'.. i still have a little niggling in the back of my mind about why the powers that be allowed this guy to go on.. but, if he was in the habbit of counter sueing and so on, i can understand why they would be tenntative to act...having said that, the RAA culture for mine, is safety first.. i would hope thats the case anyway...i hope they learned there lessons from dealing with this character..and hope also that there's no more out there like him...


And yes, his wife was a lovely person.. i hope she's moved on to better things, she certainly deserves it...





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Hey Tony remind me not to walk on your corns.


Seriously though, the guy you are all referring to is as bad as you all collectively state as I have seen all the paperwork proving it and further, seen it (him) in action coming within a few metres of a roof top of a house in a built up area.


If the engine had quit I have little doubt that someone would have died.


The aircraft was that low the incident became the subject of a police charge, dangerous operation of a vehicle.







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hey rick...i never got to thank you for the fuel mate.....cheers... we took 4 days to get home,lol..ended up havin xmass in a motel in maryburough due to some crap weather...


anyway cheers again for the fuel...cya next time





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  • 11 years later...

All i will add to this important topic is that I chose to travel, by road for 2hrs each way, passing probably half a dozen flight schools to the persons,school and aircraft that I choose to train me (J3 cub) because I wanted profesional training only. No cowboys for me thanks.  Cheers  hargraves



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They reckon History never repeats itself, but a lot of the contents of this thread rings true today to some very similar events and characters in the current Recreational Aviation scene. 

Are there really that many "cowboys" out there? I know quite few instructors from various schools, some I can relate to better than others but none I would term "cowboys". In fact, for the most part I would consider the average instructor to be quite conservative.


I have in earlier days seen some quite severe denigration and animosity between schools, but hardy any these days.


Perhaps I am just fortunate not to be meeting these "cowboys".



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