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Old 08-05-2011, 07:22 AM   #1
JD's Avatar
City: New Bern NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Stella Di Mare
Vessel Model: Mainship 34t
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,702
Aussie flying school

FF is that you?
Hi Mate,

I am* writing to you because I need your help to get me bloody pilot's
license back. You keep telling me you got* all the right contacts. Well
now's your chance to* make something happen for me because, mate, I'm
bloody desperate. But first, I'd better tell you what happened during my
last flight review with the* CASA Examiner.

On the phone, Ron (that's the* CASA d*#"head), seemed a reasonable sort of a
bloke.* He politely reminded me of the need to do a flight review every two
years. He even offered to drive* out, have a look over my property and let
me operate* from my own strip. Naturally I agreed to that.*

Anyway, Ron turned up last Wednesday.. First up,* he said he was a bit
surprised to see the plane on a* small strip outside my homestead, because
the " ALA* "(Authorized Landing Area), is about a mile away. I explained
that because this strip was so close to* the homestead, it was more
convenient than the* "ALA," and despite the power lines crossing about
midway down the strip, it's really not a problem to land and take-off,
because at the halfway point down* the strip you're usually still on the

For some reason Ron, seemed nervous. So,* although I had done the pre-
flight inspection only* four days earlier, I decided to do it all over
again. Because the prick was watching me carefully, I walked around the
plane three times instead of my usual* two.

My effort was rewarded because the colour* finally returned to Ron's cheeks.
In fact, they went* a bright red. In view of Ron's obviously better* mood, I
told him I was going to combine the test flight with some farm work, as I
had to deliver three "poddy* calves" from the home paddock to the main herd.
After a bit of a chase I finally caught the calves* and threw them into the
back of the ol' Cessna 172. We climbed aboard but Ron, started getting onto
me* about weight and balance calculations and all that* crap. Of course I
knew that sort of thing was a* waste of time because calves, like to move
around a bit particularly when they see themselves 500-feet* off the ground!

So, it's bloody pointless trying to* secure them as you know.
However, I did tell Ron* that he shouldn't worry as I always keep the trim
wheel set on neutral to ensure we remain pretty stable at all stages
throughout the flight.*

Anyway, I started the engine and cleverly* minimized the warm-up time by
tramping hard on the* brakes and gunning her to 2,500 RPM. I then discovered
that Ron has very acute hearing, even* though he was wearing a bloody
headset. Through all* that noise he detected a metallic rattle and* demanded
I account for it. Actually it began about a* month ago and was caused by a
screwdriver that fell down a hole in the floor and lodged in the fuel
selector* mechanism. The selector can't be moved now, but it* doesn't matter
because it's jammed on "All tanks,"* so I suppose that's Okay.

However, as Ron was* obviously a nit-picker, I blamed the noise on vibration
from a stainless steel thermos flask which* I keep in a beaut little possie
between the* windshield and the magnetic compass.
My explanation* seemed to relax Ron, because he slumped back in the seat and
kept looking up at the cockpit roof. I* released the brakes to taxi out, but
unfortunately* the plane gave a leap and spun to the right. "Hell"* I
thought, "not the starboard wheel chock again."*

The bump jolted Ron back to full alertness. He* looked around just in time
to see a rock thrown by* the prop-wash disappear completely through the
windscreen of his brand new Commodore. "Now I'm really in trouble," I

While Ron was busy ranting about his car, I* ignored his requirement that we
taxi to the " ALA ,"* and instead took off under the power lines.
Ron* didn't say a word, at least not until the engine started coughing right
at the lift off point, and then he* bloody screamed his head off. "Oh God!
Oh God! Oh* God!"

"Now take it easy Ron," I told him firmly.* "That often happens on take-off
and there is a good* reason for it." I explained patiently that I usually
run the plane on standard MOGAS, but one day I accidentally put in a gallon
or two of kerosene. To compensate for the low octane of the kerosene, I
siphoned in a few gallons of super MOGAS and shook the wings up and down a
few times to mix it up.*
Since then, the engine has been coughing a bit but in general it works just
fine, if you know how to* coax it properly.

Anyway, at this stage Ron seemed to lose all interest in my test flight. He
pulled out some rosary beads, closed his eyes and became lost in prayer(I
didn't think anyone was a Catholic* these days). I selected some nice music
on the HF radio to help him relax.
Meanwhile, I climbed to my normal cruising altitude of 10,500-feet.
I don't normally put in a flight plan or get the weather because, as you
know getting FAX access out here is a friggin'* joke and the weather is
always "8/8 blue" anyway.* But since I had that near miss with a Saab 340, I
might have to change me thinking on that.*

Anyhow, on leveling out, I noticed some wild camels heading into my improved
pasture. I hate bloody camels, and always carry a loaded 303, clipped inside
the door of the Cessna just in case I see any of the bastards.

We were too high to hit them, but as a matter of principle, I decided to
have a go through the open window. Mate, when I pulled the bloody rifle out,
the effect on* Ron, was friggin' electric. As I fired the first* shot his
neck lengthened by about six inches and his eyes bulged like a rabbit with
myxo. He really* looked as if he had been jabbed with an electric* cattle
prod on full power. In fact, Ron's reaction* was so distracting that I lost
concentration for a second and the next shot went straight through the* port
tyre. Ron was a bit upset about the shooting* (probably one of those pinko
animal lovers I guess)* so I decided not to tell him about our little
problem with the tyre.*

Shortly afterwards I located the main herd and* decided to do my fighter
pilot trick. Ron had gone* back to praying when, in one smooth sequence, I
pulled on full flaps, cut the power and started a sideslip from 10,500-feet
down to 500-feet at 130,* knots indicated (the last time I looked anyway)
and* the little needle rushed up to the red area on me* ASI. What a buzz,
mate! About half way through the* descent I looked back in the cabin to see
the calves gracefully suspended in mid air and mooing like crazy. I was
going to comment to Ron on this unusual sight, but he* looked a bit green
and had rolled himself into the* fetal position and was screamin' his
freakin' head off. Mate, talk about being in a bloody zoo. You* should've
been there, it was so bloody funny!*

At about 500-feet I leveled out, but for some* reason we kept sinking. When
we reached 50-feet, I* applied full power but nothin' happened. No noise no
nothin'. Then, luckily, I heard me instructor's* voice in me head saying
"carb heat, carb heat." So I pulled carb heat on and that helped quite a
lot,* with the engine finally regaining full power. Whew,* that was really
close, let me tell you!*

Then mate, you'll never guess what happened* next! As luck would have it, at
that height we flew* into a massive dust cloud caused by the cattle and
suddenly went I.F. bloody R, mate. BJ, you would have been really proud of
me as I didn't panic once, not* once, but I did make a mental note to
consider an* instrument rating as soon as me gyro is repaired* (something
I've been meaning to do for a while (now). Suddenly Ron's elongated neck and
bulging* eyes reappeared.. His Mouth opened wide, very wide,* but no sound
emerged. "Take it easy," I told him,* "we'll be out of this in a minute."
Sure enough, about a minute later we emerged, still straight and level* and
still at 50-feet.

Admittedly I was surprised* to notice that we were upside down, and I kept
thinking to myself, "I hope Ron didn't notice that I had forgotten to set
the QNH when we were taxiing." This* minor tribulation forced me to fly to a
nearby* valley in which I had to do a half roll to get* upright again.

By now the main herd had divided* into two groups leaving a narrow strip
between them.* "Ah!" I thought, "there's an omen. We'll land right* there."
Knowing that the tyre problem demanded a slow approach, I flew a couple of
steep turns with full* flap. Soon the stall warning horn was blaring so
loud in me ear that I cut it's circuit breaker to* shut it up, but by then I
knew we were slow enough* anyway. I turned steeply onto a 75-foot final and
put her down with a real thud. Strangely enough, I had* always thought you
could only ground loop in a tail* dragger but, as usual, I was proved wrong

Halfway through our third loop, Ron at last* recovered his sense of humor.
Talk about laugh. I've* never seen the likes of it He couldn't stop. We
finally rolled to a halt and I released the calves,* who bolted out of the
aircraft like there was no tomorrow*

I then began picking clumps of dry grass.* Between gut wrenching fits of
laughter, Ron asked* what I was doing. I explained that we had to stuff* the
port tyre with grass so we could fly back to the homestead. It was then that
Ron, really lost the* plot and started running away from the aircraft. Can
you believe it? The last time I saw him he was off* into the distance, arms
flailing in the air and still shrieking with laughter. I later heard that he
had been confined to a psychiatric institution -* poor bugger!

Anyhow mate, that's enough about* Ron. The problem is I got this letter from
CASA* withdrawing, as they put it, my privileges to fly; until I have
undergone a complete pilot training* course again and undertaken another
flight* proficiency test.

Now I admit that I made a* mistake in taxiing over the wheel chock and not
setting the QNH using strip elevation, but I can't see what else I did that
was a so bloody bad that they have* to withdraw me flamin' license. Can you?

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Old 08-06-2011, 04:01 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,908
RE: Aussie flying school

can't see what else I did that was a so bloody bad that they have to withdraw me flamin' license. Can you?

Heck no Air France has a front seat in an Air Bust waiting for ya!

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Old 08-06-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
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City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,196
Aussie flying school

JD.....Very funny!* :teevee:

-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Saturday 6th of August 2011 09:13:40 AM
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