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Old 07-15-2018, 05:53 AM   #161
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Rodney Rocket Mouth.

A transponder is a radio devise installed in aeroplanes to transmit the position and altitude.
I was enroute to Malaysia with an overnight stop in Darwin. I had been advised I could not enter Darwin controlled airspace (CTA) because I was not transponder equipped. I was to descend below the control steps and enter the lowest level which was about 10 miles from the airport. Cropdusters have the minimum radio and navigation equipment and a transponder is what none of us have.
Well I was at 14,000 feet and thought I’d give Darwin a try for entry anyway. I was GPS equipped and that gave an exact fix. I gave Darwin control a call and requested clearance. It was declined. Stay outside control airspace (OCTA). I gave my distance to Darwin and asked how far I had to run to controlled airspace. There was a pause and another voice came back almost screaming so fast I had difficulty in understanding. “you were told to stay OCTA”.
Yes I replied. I am asking how far I have to run to CTA. Darwin replied “oh sorry mate”. Then nothing.
Darwin I said, how far to run to CTA.? Then came the answer to the question I was asking, “oh, 30 miles” came the reply.
Thankyou. Now if you talked slower I would understand you and you would make my job easier.
Then the laughter and ridicule and slander started.I took offence. They, other pilots are having a go at me I figured. Then I got it. No they weren’t. I listened some more.Then I understood. That was all intended for the Darwin controller. “You have Rodney Rocket mouth mate.” Yeh, he’s the base idiot said another. And it continued for a while. I descended to 1500 feet inbound.
Well at 10miles Rodney Rocket Mouth gave me the clearance to enter controlled airspace and again on long final instructions to switch to tower frequency. And again speaking like a Gatling gun. I said again just speak slowly. He responded but I didn’t understand except for the last 2 words.“I’ll try”.
Darwin is a military base. All controllers are military. My son who frequents Darwin says their skill is ordinary. However I must admit I enter CTA maybe twice a year and my skill in navigating the formal procedures could be pretty needy too.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:33 AM   #162
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Difficult Harry.
I was enroute to Darwin and then onwards to Malaysia. The first sector is 11 hours and I decided to stop at Alice Springs and have lunch and a break at the airport terminal. I spoke to Darwin tower out of courtesy because I didn’t have a transponder. I got some bloke by the name of Harry. He was most difficult. I may get to Darwin and declined entry he said. I didn’t think that would happen so after lunch I spooled up for Darwin and took off. I didn’t have full power.Something was wrong. The engine has just had a hot section inspection. Why would something be wrong unless it was assembled incorrectly? I turned around and returned to Adelaide. Yes investigation revealed a seal had been crushed in reassembly.
I departed again4 days later, and again had lunch at Alice then called Darwin tower. What achange. Bloke most helpful and even apologetic about the attitude of Harry. The flight through Darwin and onwards was just how I like it. Uneventful.
To proceed with this story I must explain a service provided by Air Traffic Control (ATC).Weather conditions including air pressure, wind, cloud, temperature and any rain for the respective airport have been recorded and transmitted continuously to all inbound aeroplanes. This is called ATIS meaning automatic terminal information service.
When I returned home about 2 months later I wrote to the Officer in Charge of the Darwin base.
I suggested to him he promote Harry to PAR. Now that means, in my mind anyway, permanent ATIS reader. Never did get a reply to my letter.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:21 AM   #163
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Type Endorsements and Insurance Carriers.

When I first started flying a pilot required a type endorsement for each type of aeroplane he flew. (I mentioned this in the story of Ben Buckley.) This silly requirement was simplified sometime in the mid seventies when it then became grouped. Endorsement for tail wheel and an endorsement for constant speed propeller and endorsement for turbine engines.
In 1994 Ibought a turbine powered Airtractor 502. It has a tail wheel and a constant speed propeller. For the turbine rating 3 of flew to Sydney and sat in a classroom for three days.
As for legal requirements we were apples. Well so we thought. It must have been 2 years later, having a chat to my insurance carriers I learned one needed an endorsement for each specific aeroplane if turbine powered.
I asked if we were to have had a claim would he have paid. With perfect clarity the answer was negative. Well I asked, would he refund the premium. Again, with perfect clarity the answer came with a word of 2 letters.
The specimen is pictured. The picture shows aeroplane is set up for sowing seed or spreading fertilizer. See the spreader attached below the belly. If it were set up for spraying it would be equipped with booms and an underslung wind driven centrifugal pump.
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:52 PM   #164
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The Excelsior Experience.
In 1977 I took a job in Sudan as we had drought in Queensland. When I and 6 others arrived we were accommodated at the Excelsior Hotel, Khartoum. This would have been built in the days when the Brits ran Sudan before independence. At the time it was still pro western. The northern people were Arabic and Muslim and the southern were Negro. We worked in the northern sector and sprayed cotton along the “Blue Nile”. The capital of Sudan is Khartoum and that’s where the Nile Rivers meet. Blue Nile enters from the east and White Nile from the west.
The cotton area is known as the Gazera. I’m told it is now mostly destroyed now because fighting between rebel groups. I’ve consulted Wikipedia but there were too many wars to know which destroyed the Gazera.
On arriving at the Excelsior Hotel I noticed scaffolding erected in parts. Nobody was working on it. When I departed 3 months later nothing had changed. Western countries use steel tube for scaffold. The Asians use bamboo lashed together. That looks quite impressive. The Sudanese use 4x4 inch timber, secured by “G”clamps and hundreds of them. I would not have felt comfortable working on it.
Also working in the hotel was a telephone tech on the 4th floor at a junction box. There were wires everywhere. He sat on a stool and worked away. When I departed three months later the same bloke was still working away at the same junction box and wires were still everywhere. All an eye opener.
Some things happened slowly. Some times things just didn’t happen at all. Some standards of management were poor and some good. The farmers were hard working and grew good crops.They didn’t have machinery and used only hand tools. Our accommodation was below western standards but very good by their standards. They did their very best.

Khartoum. Mixed experiences and mixed standards. When the day warmed up many parts reeked of urine. The Brits had planted “London Plain Trees” along the banks of the Nile and in places around the city. Magnificent trees, large and majestic. An all steel boat was tied up on the river. I always understood it to be General Gordon’s but after researching it may have been from the “Nile Expedition”.
You see, General Gordon was sent to rescue Egyptians. Gordon was impounded by Sudanese rebels and a rescue team was sent to rescue Gordon. 1200 British soldiers and a team to support them of which included 400 Canadians to navigate the river because of the difficulty with rapids, swamps and water falls.
It all gets complex and I don’t claim to be a historian so if anybody needs further information they should visit Wikipedia. Read my signature.
To wrap up.I enjoyed Sudan as a learning experience. When one works in a third world country one should not expect western standards. Just go along with things and accept them as they are, you won’t change things. You enjoy the friendship and company of other expats and indeed some of the locals.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:27 PM   #165
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Working in Sudan.
Yesterday I told you about working in Sudan. When one starts to think about old times one remembers more.
It was all cotton laid out in rectangular blocks. One year in every three it is all lined up. Navigation in the irrigation area was difficult as it was rectangular blocks for miles and every village looked the same. One had to follow cotton blocks to the location and follow the area blocks even whilst spraying. We did seven runs per block and a local clerk would take a tin and seven stones to work and put a stone in the tin for each run. I would guess at some time pilots were short cutting them.
It was a cosmopolitan squadron of fellows. 3 poms, 3 Dutchmen, a Spaniard, Dane, 2 Kiwi’s a Frenchman and self. All were great work companions except for 2 of the 3 poms and one inparticular was selfish and miserable. He was new to cropdusting and I would guess an only child and mummy’s boy. Unmarried, communicated with mummy and we were told sent home his film roll for mummy to develop and view. Well one of the Dutchmen name Gerry Post said he’d fix him. Took his camera to a local brothel and had some girls pose for him. Quite pornographic of course. The camera was returned from where Gerry had taken it and not a word was said. I thought that was pretty good and it met with my approval.
The village houses were of rammed earth construction. There were some houses in farm or on the edge. They were always stick framed and straw clad. One mean bloke said he would approach them and pull up at the very last moment. He claimed the down wash created by the wings and fuselage would blow the straw off. He said they would have it rebuilt in less than two hours.
Our living quarters had flushing toilets. The septic tank did however run down the dirt street. In the mornings at daylight when we went to work we would see the girls squatting out on the flat. Never saw where the blokes went. Maybe there was allocated squat times, I don’t know. I do know the town used to stink of urine when the day warmed up.
The cook purchased the food. That allowed him to cream a little money from what he was given. Meat. The bodies ( sheep and goats) were hung up and meat was just cut off. No such thing as specific cuts. No charge for the flies. Thank goodness there were vegetables and we had good salads as well. I did catch dysentery and came home 12kg (30 pound) lighter. The weight loss was sorta welcome.
There were two occasions when village kids threw stones, rocks and clods at the aeroplane. I would chase them and they would run like their lives depended on it. Up the streets and through the houses. They were frightened. That stopped them.
One of the blokes landed on a road only to read there was a sign post denoting a bend in front of him. The road continued straight for another 4 miles.
The aeroplane loading area always drew an audience. Kids and villagers were fascinated. One day where Gerry Post was working a kid rode in on a donkey. Donkeys were a most prized possession. A bit like owning an up market car here. Well the jenny was on heat. It was mounted by a Jack that pushed Jenny into the propeller. Jenny became sliced meat. The kid distraught and in tears. Well Gerry bought him another. Gerry never did have any money so it may be fair to say Gary bought the donkey. Kid was elated.
A spray job goes like this. pesticide is mixed with water to the correct proportions, agitated and pumped into the aeroplane through a filter and delivery hose. The year previous to my being there, there was no filters so John the Dutchman went to Khartoum and purchased many pairs of women’s pantyhose to substitute. The year I went (1977) the Sudanese operator was delighted to tell John he had acquired 2 full cartons of pantyhose and they would not run short.
The local operations manager was known as “bulls eye”. For obvious reasons. He had only one eye. Apparently it was practise for parents to blind their sons in one eye so as they could not be commandeered to any government or warlords army.
Gerry theDutchman had a pet monkey. He had gone to a tree full of monkeys. They were cheeky monkeys. Gerry pretended to drink beer and left three bottles at the base of the tree and departed. Half hour later there were drunk monkeys and easy to catch. He took it back to Holland at the end of the season.
Did I tell you about being sent to Khartoum control tower.? I'll check. A funny story.
Sudan. Would I go again. Yes, but three months is enough.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:49 AM   #166
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It’s now your farm Wilhelm.
I worked in an area where there were several expat German farmers, one being Wilhelm Grieve. He could hardly speak a word of English, but he managed to say “More beer Gary”.
A personable fellow with personable wife, Ingrid and 3 kids who became high achievers. His dad came to visit him I remember. He had only one hand and a hook in place of the second. Lost it on the Russian front and would have died had a high ranking officer and personal friend not spotted him. Anyway I am getting off the point of this story.
Wilhelm inherited the family farm. A farm that had been in the family for over 440 years. One day Wilhelm said to dad “I would like to sell the farm” and dad said “it is now your farm Wilhelm” meaning it is yours to do what you wish. I have never forgot that and have adopted the same concept and practise.
I owned a pristine Piper Cub. It was totally rebuilt from a corrosion free airframe. Had intended to spend 65K on it but like old cars it escalated in cost. 90K in fact without adding the purchase price. After two years the novel aspect wore off and it sat in the shed for another two years without me flying it. So I gave it to my son Dennis.
Not forgetting Wilhelm’s dad, I told Dennis he now owned it. After 5 years he traded it on a Cessna 180. That type once was our family aeroplane and the one he learned to fly in. He is tickled pink and I’m pleased for him although a little sorry to see it go.
Shortly I will write about giving your kids things which you believe they will need or enjoy but that is not always the case.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:15 AM   #167
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Here are the two aeroplanes from the last story, the Cub on the left in black and white and the Cessna 180 on the right at sunset.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:05 PM   #168
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The escalating cost of fuel.
I grew up on a farm. Fuel was delivered by a small tanker and decanted into 44 gal drums. This was pumped into the tractors and vehicles with a pint stroke pump. It’s a small pump but we are talking about small quantities. Both petrol and diesel.
I remember my dad cursing a price rise of petrol. It had risen to 7 pence an imperial gallon or 6.33 pence a US gallon.
I filled my motor car yesterday at our local bowser. $1.50 per litre. That is $7.80 USA per U.S. gallon.
Now, 2 weeks after writing the above diesel is $1.65 a litre and that’s $8.58 USD a US gallon. 2nd July 2018.
Going back to my parent’s farm. I mentioned earlier that we had two Farmall Model A’s.During my teens the Farmall Model A’s were sold and replaced by a John Deere, two cylinder ‘G’ model. These were produced in the 30’s and I am now talking about the 60’s. I asked dad why he bought such an old tractor and especially a petrol powered one.
Well the answer was simple. We had a petrol burning motor car. Yes. And what say a tax and excise inspector called (farm fuel was exempt of tax) and asked why we purchased petrol? Well I had to have a farm utility that burned petrol to satisfy the man didn’t I.
My dad was an honest and principled man who always told the truth. The exception was to the government. To them an untruth was not a lie.
Years ago I got pinched at Sydney airport for not declaring a movie camera. My name is now on electronic memory for ever. I told the customs man I had no conscience about lying to the government , after all they lied to me every day. It took about 4 seconds and I distinctly saw a smile on his face.
The photos are simply internet acquired shots.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:11 AM   #169
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Transiting over Indonesia.
I once arrived at Tawau Malaysia only to have the tower ask where I had come from.Darwin I replied. Had I not turned up no one would have known I was missing. If you don’t have high expectations in third world countries you don’t get disappointed.
DepartingTawau for Darwin Tawau tower would instruct us to call Indonesia prior to entering their airspace. Just imagine trying to tell Indonesia who you were, where you had come from, where you were going and that you have a permit to fly overt heir country. It would not be simple and I did like uneventful flights.
The easiest way to handle this “call Indonesia” instruction was to say “Rodger” and turn the radio off.
Transiting over Brunei.
Brunei. Asmall wealthy country on the west of the island of Borneo. It is a big oil producer. It is Muslim. The head of state is the Sultan. I remember the Sultanbought his daughter a 25th birthday gift. A 4 engine Airbus 340.Green is her favourite colour so the big aeroplane was painted accordingly. He, the Sultan has a jumbo 747 for his personal aeroplane.
I was Johor Bahru on Peninsula Malaysia for Lahad Datu East Malaysia and that took me over Brunei. Another pilot strongly suggested never fly over Brunei. Well I was skirting around and Brunei ATC called and asked if I would like a clearance through their airspace. I declined and said I was advised to avoid it. “I’m told you will send a Mig after me and shoot me.” No he said. I’ll give you a clearance and you are most welcome here. I accepted and he had a laugh and assured me I could cross anytime I’d like.
However I never had reason to fly that route again. And again I did not call Indonesia. The southern sector of Borneo was Indonesia (known as Kalimantan) and again I did not wish to start a complex interrogation.

Again this is generic Airtractor picture. I'll fetch some of my pictures out in the future
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:58 PM   #170
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Type Endorsements and Insurance Carriers.

When I first started flying a pilot required a type endorsement for each type of aeroplane he flew. (I mentioned this in the story of Ben Buckley.) This silly requirement was simplified sometime in the mid seventies when it then became grouped. Endorsement for tailwheel and an endorsement for constant speed propeller and endorsement for turbine engines.
In 1994 I bought a turbine powered Airtractor 502. It has a tail wheel and a constant speed propeller. For the turbine rating 3 of flew to Sydney and sat in a classroom for three days.
As for legal requirements we were apples. Well so we thought. It must have been 2 years later, having a chat to my insurance carriers I learned one needed an endorsement for each specific aeroplane if turbine powered.
I asked if we were to have had a claim would he have paid. With perfect clarity the answer was negative. Well I asked, would he refund the premium. Again, with perfect clarity the answer came with a word of 2 letters.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:02 PM   #171
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I'm unsure if I'm going to get a story on the barn on Monday and Tuesday Australian.
Will be away and not sure if I will have internet coverage.
cheers, gary
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:47 PM   #172
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Gary with his Model A Fords.
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:51 PM   #173
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Operational Audit in Borneo.
I worked inEast Malaysia for 5 years as an itinerant. Malaysia has two states on the island of Kalimantan or Borneo. The British fought off the Indonesians years ago and set up the Malaysians. Following the Chinese infiltration and jungle war the poms set up the Malaysians up with government, the military and the police. The locals or so called “true bloods” are called Booma Putrie.
My job, and that of two other pilots was to spread fertilizer on oil palms. The Malaysians had raped almost the entire jungle to plant oil palms. In one location known as Kalabatan the palm plantations required electric fencing because the elephants, in protest, would pull out the young trees.
We had several crashes. Not me thankfully. All write offs. Mostly because we were paid, and generously too, by production. Pilots can be a greedy lot and when some aspect of the operation degenerates they don’t know when to stop. I won’t go into each individual crash because the two previous sentences sums it upwell.
One day, travelling back to the job I was waiting in the airport terminal lounge at K.K.which is Kota Kinabalu. Also in the lounge was a orang puti otherwise known as a white man. I made my self known to the bloke and he too was headed for the same destination. He was operational auditor sent by the insurer of the operator. I assumed he was, or had been, an operator or at least an ag pilot. Yes he said and I enquired where. He said inVictoria and he operated helicopters. I asked if he had ag experience and he said it was not necessary. He went on to tell me he audited many operation sincluding BHP.
We travelled together. A pleasant and personable sort of a bloke. He asked many questions, mostly pertinent. One day he was viewing our operation and when the day finished I intentionally offered him a ride back to base. He accepted knowing full well he had to crunch up next to me without seat and seat belt. That proved he was not a perfect law abiding inspector.
Following the investigation I read the written report. The auditor had failed to figure the reason for these crashes. It was pilots working off difficult airstrips, to short and too narrow. Not mentioned.
This story would not have been written except for one event. Auditor told my friend, also a pilot, that the audit was easy, ‘Gary just spilt his guts’. Well yes, I did answer fully everything the fellow asked. Mostly pertinent questions, as Isaid. But he never asked ‘why we were having these crashes’.
As I was not the auditor and was not going to tell things he did not ask. Blind Freddy could plainly see the reasons.
The operator addressed the fatigue matter. It became compulsory to have a day off each weekor 2 half days. Gary elected the latter.
And unless the auditor reads this he will probably never know the reasons for all those crashes.
Audits and safety courses are common today. Mostly by CASA and other government agencies, big miners and other big organisations. They mostly cannot see past paper work.
Don’t you love it when those who audit, or pass judgement, or reprimand or tell you how to conduct operations (EPA includedhere)or instruct or tutor have no skill in the matter at hand. That would go for many industries betcha. I thinkI will continue later this week with another stupid situation. Infact 2. Cheers, gary
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:03 PM   #174
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Good day to you all. I am away from home and this story is unprepared and unedited, granted I am the editor.
In the late 80's I crashed my aeroplane which was and AgCat, a biplane. I had failure in the master rod of a Pratt R985. When that happens the engine trashes itself and ceases, in my case even the propellor stopped turning. I was only 4 feet off the ground when I knew I was in trouble, I climbed to about 50 feet and turned to an airstrip only half mile away. Then it quit. The immediate area was contoured and now where to land. I decided to hit the ground and bounce over a small irrigation chanel. As I got closer about 3 seconds following the decision I saw a suspension fence but had to take it. Well I damaged the aeroplane quite badly. Did you know that one can think quickly and clearly in an emergency situation.
It was rebuilt but never performed greatly after that. An operator not far away hired an ace from California to make some repairs for him so this fellow came to my base and made adjustments for me too.
He took photos of me at my aeroplane and I asked why I was an attraction. "Well it's the way you dress" he said. I was wearing shorts, work boots, heavy work shirt and a wide primed hat. He told me that where he lived they used to, years ago dress like that, but now they dress modern, a bit like "Top Gun".
Us oldies just don't do it right do we?
I have worked as a fire bomber and yes that "modern flying attire" has got here too. Next week I'll tell you a story about a fellow at a fire bombing site who refused to feed me because "you don't look like a pilot to me".
It's bluff and it's bullshit. Regrettably that's the modern world.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:56 AM   #175
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A Cropdusters Type endorsement.


I took a drive to Wee Waa airstrip to find Craig Patton had just arrived in his beautifully built RV7.

I looked over this desirable aeroplane with both admiration of Craig's workmanship and with some degree of envy. One thing was wrong with it and that is it is parked in Craig’s shed and not mine.

And of course the question had to be asked. “can I take it for a fly Craig?”.

Yes of course Gary.

So I strapped myself in and Craig said “I’ll give you an endorsement Gary”

“of course Craig”. (again this stupid, but now out-dated licence on each individual aeroplane. it involved a comprehensive explanation of fuel system and capacity and much unimportant nonsense.)

“Line up he said, and pointing to the throttle said “push this forward”

I looked curiously at Craig and he said “That is Gary, the exact same endorsement as you gave me on your Agcat all those years ago.” he turned and walked off. In both the Agcat endorsement and RV7 endorsement what do you tell an experience pilot. The incident was really quite humourous to two old friends who were really laughing at the "endorsement" bullshit.
When I returned not only Craig but it seemed like half the company staff were there laughing about "Craig's endorsement".


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Old 07-24-2018, 06:22 AM   #176
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

pictures pertaining to the story below, Craig's endorsement.
The RV7 is an internet picture and the Agcat is self sometime in the mid eighties.
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File Type: jpg rv7.jpg (33.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:17 PM   #177
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Coota’s fly through shed episode.
Well Coota couldn’t resist it. Flew the Airtractor through a big shed at Ravenswood on the west side of Hay. And for good measure he turned and did it again.
No great feat, but had everyone talking. Bickley, who was the manager at Finley wanted him fired. Bickley couldn’t even start and taxi an aeroplane but always spoke with plenty of authority.
This silly talk continued for a quite so I called the company principle and told him that I too would fire Coota. That is he was not capable to fly through the shed. Things quietened down after that.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:29 PM   #178
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On August 24 I wrote about my total engine failure and the fast and clear thinking that followed.
Last night I watched a documentary about Captain Sullies ditch into the Hudson River. He had no choice so his decision was simple. His thinking too was clear and fast. He is to be commended on many aspects and in particular he checked all passengers were out before he vacated. Then I know he gave the shirt off his back to a gentleman who was very cold.
I began to think about all of my engine failures, some complete failures and some partial. There have been many and I've decided to write about all of those that I can remember. Importantly why they failed.
I will publish these stories in the near future. A quick count comes to 13 in all.
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:47 AM   #179
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Uranium exploration on the Daly River, 1973.

I was flying a Bell 47, the bubble type helicopter with a piston engine. My usual job was mustering cattle on a property west of the town of Katherine NT. I was sent on a charter job to the Daly River, picking up water samples from creeks. These samples were then flown by a charter aeroplane to Darwin and then on to Adelaide for analysis or assay.
We stayed inthe Daily River Hotel which was owned and run by John Fairweather and his wife whose name I don’t recall. They were a humourous and prankish couple and told many funny tails of their life in the bush.
One was of a bloke camping on the river bank. He would climb up each day with 2 plastic 20litre containers and ask John if he could fill them from his water tank. John always obliged. He had a pump on the river just going chug chug chug and pumping water up to his tank at the hotel.!
There is an Aboriginal mission about 10 miles away. They cared for the local native people, endeavouring to educated them and teach simple stuff that may help them in transitioning to European ways. The younger boys and girls had one big dormitory. Too many young girls were becoming pregnant so a chain wire fence was erected between the two genders. Well the young girls were still becoming pregnant. It took two chain wire fences with a suitable gap between each to stop what was seen as the problem. Love and lust overcomes all barriers doesn’t it.
During that time there the military were having their war games. The Poms were attacking Darwin from the southern base of Katherine or Tindal. The local Airforce always saved Darwin from obliteration according to the reports the military released to the media. Pilots where ever they were working from were required to ask for a clearance each time before becoming airborne. The Poms were low flying to Darwin but not in the trees like me. I soon became tired of this procedure. To fix them or retaliate, I mustered off a sow from her litter, caught a small piglet and boy that wasn’t easy, placed the headset over piglets shoulders, mic at it’s snout and pressed the transmit button in reply to any transmission I heard. That would have had them all a little curious and bewildered.
That was a fun time. A break from mustering cattle or fire fighting what ever season we were having at the time. I can’t recall.


tomorrow I'll write about uranium exploration along the East Alligator river. A bit of a flat story but I'll tell it anyway. Maybe I can excite it up just a little, then the engine failures I have spoken about. g
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:29 PM   #180
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Continued from yesterday’s story on the Daly River.

An election is held annually for the prestigious position of Mayor of the Daly River. All the local landholders, ringers, contractors and any others would crowd into the Daly River Hotel and vote. Names would be written on a piece of paper and thrown into a hat. Mostly they were one single name on many pieces of paper. The winner became the mayor for one year. To inaugurate, the winner must shout the bar three times.


Uranium exploration along East Alligator River 1972.

I flew to an old and now abandoned uranium mine in the Northern Territory, named El Sharana, east of Pine Creek. It was a small perimeter hole and very deep. The Poms had dug it in the 1950’s and had built a small town very near. I have looked on the internet for the town and mine but don’t see it any more. Some years back the names of many place names were changed to Aboriginal names and I guess El Sharana is clearly not an Aboriginal name thus it went by the wayside. The local area name was also changed from Arnhem Land to Kakadu.
I was flying geologists to various points in low lying flood areas of the East Alligator river. Three lots of two and picking them up in the avo. The first day I dropped them off and returned back to their base I was up tight. Will I find them this avo? It’s featureless out there and they were a fair way out. Of course there was no navigation aids let alone GPS.I hadn’t even taken a compass heading and flight time.
Well what happened? I found them all and what a relief. One of them reflected the late afternoon sun off the back of their watch. What good thinking.
I did the same thing each day for a week and it wasn’t that difficult at all. I was fairly experienced at bush operations.
I remember the dining room at camp. The store in particular. A python snake was in residence. The blokes had it by the tail and had about 12 foot of it pulled out from under the shelves. It was holding on tight. I was a bit timid about it but the blokes said it kept the rodents out and for that he was not unwelcome.
Uranium. A recourse is the amount of product which is thought to exist and it may not be proven. A reserve is a known quantity and can be economically mined.
Countries with the biggest resource are, in order, Australia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Canada.
Countries with the biggest reserves are, in order, Russia, Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia.
Biggest producers are, again in order, Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. Kazakhstan produces 24K tons, Canada half of that and Australia one quarter of that.
Uranium.Mining, producing, enriching, using and disposing is an emotive subject here in Australia. Whilst I have an opinion I will contain it. But I do have an opinion on most things and for that I am popular in varying degrees some extreme.
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