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Old 04-07-2019, 03:15 PM   #521
woofa.express
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Pilot health. I wish I could change history. (story #1)

Pilots are limited to flying 900 hours max each year and 100 max each 30 days. Fortunately for us our aviation authority has no skill in agricultural operations and would look the other way. We all enjoyed the peace. I used to get the usual old 2 year audit. Aviation would come and have a cursory look at my base then I’d take them home and Patsy would have made them a nice lunch. However my base was smick. Clean, orderly and surrounded by trees and scrubs. It did look a picture and I’d been runner up on tidy towns industrial site one year and winner another.
In 1983 I flew 1900 hours between May 25 and the end of January '84. That included 7 months without a single day off. In addition I ran the business, with limited capital and paying interest of 24%, yes you read that correctly, twenty four percent,operating with cheap and unreliable trucks and it goes on. That year was my biggest but I did continue to fly at times for 3 or 4 months without a day off. Days off weren’t great because by mid morning no adrenalin had kicked in and a headache would develop. Withdrawal symptoms. I found the best way to address this was once or twice a week finish early and get home in daylight hours. During spring and early summer I would work in excess of 100 hours each week and sometimes more than 110. There are only 168 hours in a week.
Stress. Yes continuous. Only because I always took on too much work and was continuously running late. Cropdusting was always relatively easy except in high winds which were a factor in spring with frontal systems passing. Management and administration was tiring, getting home endeavouring to have dinner with incoming phone calls. Binge drink to get to sleep and coffee in the mornings and during the day to keep awake. Well something had to give, my heart began to beat out of rhythm and now I’ve lived with that since 1987. The symptoms are both less energy and stamina.
Some years back I had surgery for a hernia. The surgeon asked me how I got this out of rhythm condition. I told him I wasn’t sure. It was either work and whiskey or stress and scotch. He grinned and said in all the years he had practised it was the first time he had an honest answer.
When we are young we figure we are 10 foot tall and indestructible. Symptoms of abuse sometimes don’t appear until a considerable time later.
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Old 04-07-2019, 03:20 PM   #522
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

I will write more on pilot health in the future.
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:01 PM   #523
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Summer 1990. Big fires.

Fires are always devastating, heart breaking and costly in losses in loss of life of people and live stock and loss in property. This is no matter where on earth fires occur.
I always enjoyed working on fires for the pleasure it gave me in helping people. Farmers had water trailers, pumps and hoses to fight. I knew all these fellows in my local area because I worked for most of them. I would not take payment and neither did other volunteers for their effort. Farmers would always be grateful and some wrote to me expressing just that. I regret not keeping those letters. I once got a statement of gratitude on the front page of a state weekly.
One summer day the atmosphere was crisp, temp and wind high. It was clear we were in for trouble. Yes the phone rang. Help please. A Jerilderie fire was out of control. The wind was so strong it was difficult to control the aeroplane. It took maybe 3 minutes to pump a load. In that 3 minutes the fuel in the carburettor boiled and when I opened the throttle the only a big yellow flame and black smoke would flow from the exhaust, for about 8 seconds before cool fuel would fill the carby and the engine would power up. I worked nearly all avo and made the fire manageable and the farmers were able to extinguish it. I was pleased when it was over and I headed home. Didnít get home. The town of Tocumwal also had a big fire, started by campers on the river bank opposite the town and ran down the railway next to where I now live. High winds had taken embers across the river and started many little fires and of course a little fire quickly becomes big fire. These were too extensive for me to quell so I advised and directed the crews where to head. There must have been 25 fire engines with crews. Some had come great distances. The wind abated about dark and fire front was travelling slowly now. It was after 11 at night when it was under control and I departed. It actually looked spectacular in the dark.
Several thousand sheep were lost in the Jerilderie fire which was moving about 30mph across the grass lands. Losses less at Tocumwal but some houses were lost and yes, devastating for the owners. Irrigation channels and some green summer crops, mainly rice had confined the fire somewhat.
Since that time I have flown for the fire authorities in 3 states but did not enjoy that. Bureaucracy, egos and stupidity ran those perhaps with the exception of S.A. and that excludes the volunteers who gave their time and effort. Priority was not extinguishing the fire. I formed a policy of who I work for. Farmers yes for I always feel satisfied by their gratitude. State fire authorities no. There are other pilots who likewise wonít work for them.






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Old 04-09-2019, 11:20 AM   #524
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A Good Display of Vintage and Modified Motor Cars.

Our local antique car club had our shine and show display in Finley last Saturday. (10th March). 10 miles south in Tocumwal the local “mild to wild club” had their annual show the same weekend. Our show was pleasing and the Tocumwal club show was huge. Some cars must have cost huge amount of money. Some paint jobs of various themes,not including the flames, were very talented. But I don’t wish to have one on my Model A.
I’d walk through the display and give the body a knock with my knuckles. The fibreglass bodies would meet with my approval but not the steel bodies which were old cars converted. I would say to my friend walking beside me and loud enough so others including the owner could hear, “another good car murdered”.
I was asked if I’d sell my A. Yes I respond, “when my body goes cold”.
It was only yesterday ( 9th April) a couple with kids yelled out from the levee bank and asked if I’d like to sell my house. yes I responded with the same as above, yes when my body goes cold. The woman quickly replied “will you let us know then”.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:58 PM   #525
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My Sydney job interview.

I would have been 24 and not too sophisticated. I grew up on a dairy farm where there was almost no money and we were isolated like other farming families in the district. No class entertainment except for a movie on very special occasions. My mum, bless her, sent me to allocution lessons hoping it may elevate my standards. Iíd rather have had jail with solitary confinement.
I had a ride in an aeroplane when I was about 7 and decided Iíd fly them when I got big. That was a game change for I had previously decided Iíd drive a loco and I still like them. Well I did become a pilot, flying ag planes on cotton in the Kimberly region of N.W. West Australia on the Ord River irrigation area. Quite a remote region with excellent soil and plenty of water in 2 big dams. An overbearing climate with heat and humidity in the wet season, Oct to Feb. Always several suicides and murders during that period. But I have got off the subject havenít I.
I had done alot of cattle mustering in several aeroplane types and thought I should progress to helicopter and asked a large operator for a job. This entailed an interview in Sydney but I had no suitable clothing. My wardrobe consisted of the work clothes and boots I could fit into a soft carry bag. Now that wouldnít have looked too good so I figured Iíd hire a suit. I was outfitted with this black outfit and I did feel quite uncomfortable. I attended the interview and returned the suit. It took a long time before I realised the suitman had outfitted me in a dinner suit. I feel quite stupid any time I think about it. I would guess the hire shop man still talks about the country kid he set up with unsuitable attire for an interview. I guess that sort of thing happens when country folk go to town. That is become a laughing stock for city slickers.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:00 AM   #526
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

So what was the outcome of the interview?
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:19 PM   #527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katy View Post
So what was the outcome of the interview?
yeh got the job. The worst job I've ever had. flying helicopter on a poorly managed property. No purpose nor reward in the work. Lasted 18 months and then back to ag and aeroplanes where I could take stock of things at the end of each day and be pleased. That is reward. Personal and professional.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:39 PM   #528
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yeh got the job. The worst job I've ever had. flying helicopter on a poorly managed property. No purpose nor reward in the work. Lasted 18 months and then back to ag and aeroplanes where I could take stock of things at the end of each day and be pleased. That is reward. Personal and professional.
Hmmm, "poorly managed property..." How well did they maintain that helicopter?
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:34 PM   #529
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Hmmm, "poorly managed property..." How well did they maintain that helicopter?
The fellow owned a large helicopter fleet and had one in particular lucrative contract associated to the petroleum industry. He won this property in a land ballot some years ago then turned it into a public company. Things went south for him in this and all his investments. Too much enterprise on his and other peoples money and too highly geared.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:46 PM   #530
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Quote:
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Hmmm, "poorly managed property..." How well did they maintain that helicopter?
You asked, 40 Deluxe “how well did they maintain that helicopter”. Sorry, but I read it as “well how did they maintain that helicopter”. It does make a difference to the meaning simply by reversing just two words doesn't it. Now to have a go at answering the question you asked.
The helicopter was maintained well. Engineers from the parent helicopter company did shifts on maintence. I also flew it to Darwin where he had a larger maintence base. Some times it was rotated for another helicopter of the same size. It was a Bell 47, the bubble canopy type.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:02 AM   #531
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Kitty and Hattie’s ride in the Pickup.

My third child, the elder daughter is Fifi (Sarah) and is married to Vaughan (Spock). Their two kids are Kick (Kitty) and Hatty (Herriot).
I was so pleased when granny suggested to Kick and Hatty that Gary would take them to town in the Model A and happier when they seemed enthusiastic. We bought ice creams which they ate before they got home because Fifi doesn’t like them eating sugar. They couldn’t wait to tell on me however. But Kick said to granny of my prized car, “granny, it’s not much of a car is it?”. I guess the reason was they are too accustomed to leather seats in their Audi which also sports plenty of bells and whistles.
The picture of the kids in the A didn't want to upload so this is Woofa guarding the vehicle at a different time.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:02 PM   #532
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Those tight arse Australianís.

We have 2 good rail trips in Australia. Firstly Sydney- Perth and secondly Adelaide to Darwin and return of course. Both trips take one through arid and desert country. Unlike Europe and North America no snow capped mountains. The distances are 2670 miles and 1800 miles respectively. The Adelaide Darwin train is known as the Ghan, named unofficially after the camel train drivers of the 1800ís to 1928 when the first train service operated. In addition to Afghanistan they also came from Pakistan. Today you will find some of their descendants living in the little town of Marree, 400 miles north of Adelaide with a population of 150.

In 1997 a new service went into operation, powerful locos and luxurious carriages. It was officially named the Ghan.The Sydney Perth service, known as the Indian Pacific named after the oceans at each end. Both the Indian Pacific and Ghan are expensive. The cheapest Ghan fare is 2,800 aud and by comparison the cheapest airfare is 260 aud.
Much in Australia is expensive. Here is why. Employers are compelled to pay a minimum wage and that is 19 aud per hour and for casual an additional 25%. Permanents get 4 weeks holiday on full wages with a 17 and half percent holiday loading. We donít have cheap labour,even imported Asian labour to be used where we have labour shortages are paid the same rates as locals. All receive a good wage regardless of what work they do. New Zealand is the same. No workers wage is dependant on tips and for this reason we do not tip. When paying an account it is not even a consideration nor is it expected by the provider.
When we travel to Europe or America or anywhere for that matter we just donít tip. It mostly never enters our mind, we simply donít think about it. For this reason we are often known tight arses. I would guess some of us are but it is just something that we are just not accustomed to.

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Old 04-14-2019, 09:00 AM   #533
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St. Almos Fire.

We have often traveled with our sons who each fly airliners for well known companies. Their employers treat them and their family and parents well with discounted fares. There is a condition and that is these seats are available only when they are not taken by fare paying passengers. We book business because it is more comfortable in flights more than three hours and if the aeroplane is heavily booked there is a fair chance of getting either business or economy class. If we are downgraded to economy the service is not quite as good and that is of no concern to us. However we do seem to get special treatment with the menu, meals and nibbles. Champaign is never ending along with such things as blue vein cheese and other delights. Other economy passengers look with curiosity and envy and some with a bit of resentment and wonder why us and not them. They are not to know our son is captain of this plane but cabin staff seem to know.
I taught my sons to fly in our family Cessna 180. Then I watched their careers develop to the airline starting as junior pilot then to captain. I used to sit up front with them in that centre seat known as the jump seat. I’d give them advice such as lift your wing son or look before you cross the runway son. The only cross they’d get is get cross with their dad. Well the pleasure of having a ride up front was removed due security. Our second son flew us from Hong Kong to Moscow (and return to Melbourne). He said it was necessary to divert 115 miles off track due weather. He had more than an hour of St Almo’s fire. What is that many may ask, well let me tell you as best I can for I have never seen it in a cropduster. Some of the barn readers are airline pilots and may well correct me and that’s okay.
Positive irons in the atmosphere discharge on contact with metal components on high speed aeroplanes. This discharge is spectacular. This is difficult for me to describe but the accompanying pictures will make it clear. My wife asked if he made a broadcast to warn other pilots and he said they would fly to the area where it is present for their enjoyment. It is harmless but looks spectacular. It would no doubt alarm passengers if they saw it. In sons case on this night it was only on the nose cone and windscreen. Do look it up on the internet.
I see Wikipedia say it is also a phenomena on sailing ships.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:14 PM   #534
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(With acknowledgement of Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan and TriStar pictures.)

Sleepless in Seattle.
I have particularly good eye site. I can still read the telephone directory. I take it outside in the sunshine, lay it on the ground and stand on a chair. Now thatís not too bad for a 71 yo. However it is difficult to read at less than 3 feet and for that I do need reading glasses. Sometimes I forget to carry them. One such case was to the airport terminal at Anchorage for a flight to L.A.
The boarding pass clearly states the gate number for departure. Without glasses I misread it and when there was no activity I enquired only to find we were waiting in the wrong gate. We had missed our flight to L.A. Should have taken my reading glasses.
When I say we I do mean myself and wife Patsy. The booking clerk rebooked us to L.A. via an overnight at Seattle where we arrived 4 hours prior to the L.A. departure the following morning. There was insufficient time to find a motel, sleep and return to the airport in time. So we slept in the airport lounge. No thatís not correct; we endeavoured to sleep in the airport lounge. Lounge chairs were in segments of 3 which provided insufficient room to lay straight. What a horrible night. Yes we too were ďsleepless in SeattleĒ.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:35 PM   #535
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You’ve gotta be resilient if you are a farmer or grazier.
As at February 2019

Our country has been in drought for some time now, the entire east and central continent. It has ended with fire in the far south, that is Tasmania whilst the north, Queensland has had severe floods that followed a very long drought. It’s estimated half a million head of cattle have drowned.
Ten years back TV footage was shot of Australian cattle been slaughtered at several Indonesian meat works (which Americans call a slaughterhouse). It was barbarically cruel to the extreme. The whole nation was shocked and was in agreement that the situation just had to be addressed. Well our then Prime Minister, Ms Julie Gillard declared we will stop sending "our" cattle to Indonesia. Well they were not "our" cattle, they were cattle owned by the respective graziers on Queensland and Northern Australian properties. The government wrongly halted the income of the property owners and several went bankrupt and others were forced to sell as they couldn’t make financial commitments. Government had no right to call the bovine “ours”when infact they weren’t. They could have done so if they, the government, had bought the stock off the graziers. They, the government again, simply illustrated what bullies and xxxxxxxx"s they are.



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Old 04-16-2019, 07:21 PM   #536
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follow on from last story.

Even blind Freddy can see that I am sympathetic to people on the land. Farmers and graziers are financially most important to our economy but because of small numbers are politically insignificant.
Greens in capital cities have much more political pull and most of them wouldn't even know a farmer or grazier. These greens forced our government to run the water of 2 nearly full dams out to the southern ocean whilst irrigation farmers had a nil allocation. I can speak with the knowledge when I say that greens too like to eat.
Are farmers and graziers in the USA treated like ours that is with contempt?
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:30 PM   #537
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Making my working life easier.

Unprincipled and/or deceitful people. I’ve dealt with them and I’m sure we all have. Here is the case which established a principle I adopted and have stayed with.
In 1984 I used old handmade bricks to build a house. An enterprising fellow had bought the remains of an old and historic homestead that had burnt to the ground some years before. The mortar used was lime not cement as used today and that made cleaning them much easier. The agreed price was $300 per 1,000 with an additional 10% given to accommodate broken or poor quality. Agreed minimum amount was 25k and I’d take all the additional. Well the deal seemed to have changed and there was no additional 10% and I felt he had cheated on the number delivered. I had the brickie make the judgement on the amount and put the money in a trust account.
Well he called me a thief and took me to court. The legal fellows representing myself and him intimidated me and said it would be better for me to pay as compared to fight and face a large legal bill. This is called commercial realism. Well I took their advice, paid and drove home. I was bitter. I made the decision that in the future I would deal only with people I was comfortable with.
I did so and I have never had a dispute since. I also applied that to people I worked (contracted to) for. I simply told them they were difficult and I had competitors that would do their work.
People I employed couldn’t take the working hours so I fixed that too. I employed only people who had come off farms or had worked on farms. Bingo. No further problems.


I had a contractor who did my mechanical repairs. I could make an agreement with him that got chucked out the window if he later decided it didn’t suit him. One could even shake hands with him on reaching an agreement which proved worthless if he changed his mind. This fellow lost a significant customer when I hired my own mechanic. He couldn’t understand why I gave him the flick.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:53 AM   #538
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Grandson in his (and financiers) Pitts.
The third generation and 6th in family to fly. His little sister has also started taking flying lessons which will, in time, make 7. You can't see it in this small picture but he's got a smile like a cat walking out of the dairy.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:01 AM   #539
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woofa.express View Post
Youíve gotta be resilient if you are a farmer or grazier.
As at February 2019

Our country has been in drought for some time now, the entire east and central continent. It has ended with fire in the far south, that is Tasmania whilst the north, Queensland has had severe floods that followed a very long drought. Itís estimated half a million head of cattle have drowned.
Ten years back TV footage was shot of Australian cattle been slaughtered at several Indonesian meat works (which Americans call a slaughterhouse). It was barbarically cruel to the extreme. The whole nation was shocked and was in agreement that the situation just had to be addressed. Well our then Prime Minister, Ms Julie Gillard declared we will stop sending "our" cattle to Indonesia. Well they were not "our" cattle, they were cattle owned by the respective graziers on Queensland and Northern Australian properties. The government wrongly halted the income of the property owners and several went bankrupt and others were forced to sell as they couldnít make financial commitments. Government had no right to call the bovine ďoursĒwhen infact they werenít. They could have done so if they, the government, had bought the stock off the graziers. They, the government again, simply illustrated what bullies and xxxxxxxx"s they are.



IMHO, it sure sounds like your government had tunnel vision and not looking at the whole picture suffered from unexpected consequences and then didn't compensate for that. I may be wrong, but here in Canada the government usually but not always tries to back up the farmers, I'm not sure but methinks in the US they treat their farmers fairly.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:11 PM   #540
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I reckoned I was ripped off.

In 1980 I purchased a Holden (GM) 1 tonner. I was to pull a trailer and have the tray loaded with fuel and pesticide. So I wanted a V8 and 4 speed gear box. I well remember the 4 speed carried an extra $700 in price.
Before I took delivery I picked up a broacher on this vehicle. I read that a 4 speed gear box was standard with a V8. I argued with the manufacturer about the extra cost. My point was because it was standard there should be no extra charge. I argued and argued to no avail. I remember the GM representative, his name was Hobbs.
I took delivery because I needed the vehicle. I havenít bought a GM vehicle and thatís 39 years at the time of writing (April 2019). Would you have boycotted them like I have? Do you think itís time for me to forgive them? Murder carries a lesser term.
The picture shows a Holden 1 tonner from the internet.
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I know many things,
But I don't know everything,
Sometimes I forget things.

But at times I have a long memory.
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