Sunday, 17 June 2012

Getting airborne

Let me continue now if I may with the story of my career.  Apollo Bay had been a great learning experience and a chance to get airborne regularly, but the summer was over and tourist scarce.  Luckily one of the instructors at the main base in Geelong was moving on to bigger and better things, his replacement would be lucky old me.

For the next four years I would be based in Geelong, and they were four fantastic years.  I worked with some great guys who became life long friends, and had amazing experiences.  I flew aerobatics, formation, chased fires and searched for blue whales.  As I think back when I started I was timid junior Instructor with only a few hundred hours, by the time I left there I was a confident, experienced pilot (as much as you can be experienced).

At first the job was slow, winter is not the best time to fly, but there was plenty to do.  Everybody believes the flying job is glamorous, but in the start when there is not much flying there is a lot (and I mean a LOT) of photocopying, aeroplane washing and lawn mowing to be done.  Put in the hard yards and you will get the rewards.  I still fill honoured that I was allowed to fly the Tiger moth, doing joy flights and to teach on it, such a fantastic old machine.  I was also fortunate to fly regular passenger services living on King Island where the beef, cheese and locals were all great.

Many adventure were had and funny stories made, many will be blogged at later dates.  After four years though I needed a change, I had to fly somewhere new and I had done as much as I could in Geelong.

Moving on is always scary.  My next move was to the South of Sydney, somewhere I had never heard off and never flown.  After six years of flying around Victoria I would have to learn a new landscape and new people.  The Gong was great.  I was encouraged to grow.  I became a Senior Grade 1 flying Instructor and teaching people to fly in all conditions in multi-engine aircraft, I was at the top of the rung of Instructing and doing flights all over the place but after six years in small aircraft the small pay was hurting, and the fires of ambition were still burning.  It was time to find a job with a major or minor airline.  I had over two thousand hours of flying, now I had to convince them to employ me...

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