On his around the world flight Dick Smith’s helicopter was shot at somewhere over Greenland. Dick only discovered this fact when a pre-flight inspection the following day revealed several bullet holes. One of the bullets had passed through the cockpit inches from Dick’s head. Could this happen in Australia? Would an Australian shoot at a passing aircraft?
It appears they would ...
Strahan wharf 6 PM. The tourists, fisherman, wharf workers and locals have all but disappeared, but the sounds of laughter from the participating audience watching the play “The Ship that Never Was”, come drifting across from the nearby open air theatre. I am alone, enjoying the end of day feeling and quietly getting the company seaplane back on dry land ...
While working at Mataranka in the NT I met a bloke by the name of Les Hiddins. The older TV viewers amongst us may remember Les as “The Bush Tucker Man” on an ABC series with the same name. Les was one of the characters who frequented Mataranka and was a source of much bush info and provided entertaining company.
Being asked to verify a reported aircraft crash is not the greatest thing that can happen while you are flying along in a happy mood. It is even worse when you turn up to the location, discover that the report is true, there has been a crash and the wreckage you are viewing is a plane that you own.
Sometimes pilots find themselves living in Paradise. That’s how I felt. In this paradise my day would go something like this: Get up and stroll to a lovely hot thermal spring, have a swim, leave board shorts on and head to a delicious served breakfast. Around 9am, usually still in board shorts and a T-shirt, the next task was to wander up to the airstrip, complete a daily and wait for customers. Customers arrived every day and as the aeroplane in question, a 1938 Tiger Moth ...
A great aircraft. With this aircraft I can engage in my passion of bush flying. fitted with Alaskan Bushwheels and vortex generators it is a capable short field aircraft and just the ticket for beach and off airport landings. Fitted with an O-360 Lycoming engine and a constant speed prop performance is adequate even when fully loaded.
Standing in the middle of the Tasmanian Wilderness surrounded by pieces of smashed-up aeroplane, totally reliant on rescue and with a critically injured fellow pilot as a companion is not a lot of fun. It is not the wish of any sane pilot to experience a major crash and any good pilot has a self preservation instinct that will hopefully prevent such an occurrence from happening.
An aeroplane is just a hunk of metal. Metal folded, riveted, cast, add a bit of plastic, some rubber, a few types of fluid, and the bits become a whole.
I owned DJB for nearly 10 years. it was just a 172, the HK Holden of the skies, the most mass produced aircraft on planet earth, a machine any pilot can fly and any mechanic can fix.