Ode to the Taildragger

June 16, 2011

Tail Dragger I hate your guts
I have the license, ratings and such,
but to make you go straight is driving me nuts.
With hours of teaching and controls in my clutch
It takes a little rudder — easy, that’s too much!

You see, I learned to fly in a tricycle gear
With one up front and two in the rear.
She was sleek and clean and easy to steer
But this miserable thing with tires and struts
Takes a little rudder — easy, that’s too much!

It demands your attention on the takeoff roll,
Or it heads towards the boonies as you pour on the coal
Gotta hang loose, don’t over control

This wicked little plane is just too much
With a lot of zigzagging and words obscene
I think I’ve mastered this slippery machine.
It’s not too bad if you have the touch
Just a little rudder — easy, that’s too much!

I relax for a second and from the corner of my eye
I suddenly realize, with a gasp and a cry
That’s my own tail that’s going by!
You ground looping wreck,
I hate your guts
Give a little rudder — Oh no, THAT’S TOO MUCH!

*not mine


April 16, 2011

Fear not, brave readers, I’m not dead, despite the fact I haven’t posted much in the past few months.

In November 2011, I did most of my nav training, flying pretty much every day. It was a fair learning curve, to try and learn how to navigate using nothing but a map, compass and watch!  I also learnt how to operate in controlled airspace, navving to Moorabbin and Essendon every nav.

Well, today it came to an end and I obtained my PPL. I’m now licenced to fly all around Australia and in CTA. I still can’t believe it’s happened!

I’m very excited about all the possibilities this opens, both in places I can fly to, and the endorsements I can now get. I have to admit I’m slightly disappointed my navs are over though, I really enjoyed the nav training, I’d say it’s definitely been the best part of my flying training so far. I’ve got lots of good memories of this training.

Still, onwards and upwards!

What I learnt from not going to Avalon

March 5, 2011

For those not in the know, ‘Avalon’ is the Australian International Airshow held at Avalon Airport just outside Melbourne. Most pilot locals fall into one of four categories when it comes to this airshow – 1. they fall into paroxysms of joyous excitement at the very thought of the show, 2. they think it’s kinda cool and decide they may as well go, 3. they go because it’s a good networking opportunity and they’re in the biz, 4. they’re a bit over it and wish the organisers would change things more from show to show.

I thought I’d be somewhere in category 2. Yet this week I found myself dithering between whether I should go or whether I should ditch it because it was expensive ($100+ on ticket and petrol before I even got in the gate) and I really couldn’t be bothered driving all the way to Geelong (over an hour each way).

This week, between my dithering, I’ve also been reading a book by Antony Woodward called ‘Propellerhead’ (highly recommended – bought it here) and I came to a passage which seemed to sum up my feelings and made me realise just why my level of interest about the airshow wasn’t enough to outweight the cost/effort of getting there.

“I bought books about planes, but though they always seemed interesting in the shop, once I got home I seldom opened them again. Looking at pictures of planes, I soon realised, didn’t have much to do with flying…Full of hope, I went to several air shows and although they too were initially exciting, I always came away bored and slightly disappointed (with the mandatory stiff neck and a headache). They appeared to be about many things – noise, speed, power, danger, the chance of explosions – but, oddly, not really about flying or what it felt like to fly. I realised that it was doing it, not watching it, that I liked.”

The reason I love flying is for the flying itself. It’s the feeling of the aircraft under my hands, knowing I’m in control. The feeling when the wheels leave the ground and you become airborne, the fun challenge of getting everything to come together at once for landing, the thrill on a nav when all the landmarks appear right where they are on the map and you know you’ve nailed your planning. Looking at planes and watching other people fly just isn’t the same.

So I saved my $100+ to spend on flight time and learnt a little about myself 🙂


September 15, 2010

Well, it’s been a fair while since I last posted. Life’s started getting busier – I’ve been madly doing assignments for uni, looking after the house while my parents are overseas (which takes up more time than you’d think really) and still managing to fit in some flying (yay!).

A fair bit has happened since I posted last – I’ve done some more solo time in the Jab, obtained my passenger endorsement, started my GA training in the Warrior and taken my first passenger for a flight.

Rather than doing separate posts for each flight, I’m just going to do one big update post 🙂

Mission Reports

Local Flight

August 17, 2010

In which I do my first ‘hire & fly’ as a RA-Aus Certificate holder

Mission Report

RA-Aus Certificate Flight Test

August 9, 2010

In which I hang around at the airport for the afternoon, act as ballast in a TravelAir without a headset and do my RA-Aus Certificate flight test.

Mission Report

Circuits with T

August 8, 2010

In which I do some circuits with T.

Mission Report