Hi Mates

Captain Ed

Oct 11, 2003
Brick NJ
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Hi Mates,

I am writing to you, because I need your help to get me bloody pilots
license back (you keep telling me you got all the right contacts, well
now's your chance to make something happen for me because, mate, I'm
bloody desperate). But first, I'd better tell you what happened during
my last flight review with the CAA Examiner.
On the phone, Ron (that's the CAA d**khead) seemed a reasonable sort of
bloke. He politely reminded me of the need to do a flight review every
two years. He even offered to drive out, have look over my property and
let me operate from my own strip. Naturally I agreed to that.

Anyway, Ron turned up last Wednesday.
First up, he said he was a bit surprised to see the plane on a small
strip outside my homestead because the ALA (Authorized Landing Area) is
about a mile away. I explained that because this strip was so close to
the homestead, it was more convenient than that strip, despite the power
lines crossing about midway down the strip (it's really not a problem to
land and take-off because at the half-way point down the strip
you're usually still on the ground).

For some reason Ron seemed nervous. So, although I had done the
pre-flight inspection only four days earlier, I decided to do it all
over again. Because the p***k was watching me carefully, I walked around
the plane three times instead of my usual two.

My effort was rewarded because the colour finally returned to Ron's
cheeks - in fact they went a bright red. In view of Ron's obviously
better mood, I told him I was going to combine the test flight with farm
work as I had to deliver three poddy calves from the home paddock to the
main herd. After a bit of a chase I finally caught the calves and threw
them into the back of the ol' Cessna 172. We climbed aboard but Ron
started getting' into me about weight and balance calculations and all
that crap. Of course I knew that sort of thing was a waste of time
because, calves like to move around a bit, particularly when they see
themselves 500 feet off the ground! So, its bloody pointless trying to
secure them as you know. However, I did tell Ron that he shouldn't worry
as I always keep the trim wheel set on neutral to ensure we remain
pretty stable at all stages throughout the flight.

Anyway, I started the engine and cleverly minimised the warm-up time by
tramping hard on the brakes and gunning her to 2,500rpm. I then
discovered that Ron has very acute hearing, even though he was wearing a
bloody headset. Through all that noise he detected a metallic rattle and
demanded I account for it. Actually it began about a month ago and was
caused by a screwdriver that fell down a hole in the floor and lodged in
the fuel selector mechanism. The selector can't be moved now, but it
doesn't matter because it's jammed on 'All tanks', so I suppose that's

However, as Ron was obviously a real nit-picker, I blamed the noise on
vibration from a stainless steel thermos flask, which I keep in a beaut
little possie between the windshield and the magnetic compass. My
explanation seemed to relax Ron because he slumped back in the seat and
kept looking up at the cockpit roof. I released the brakes to taxi out
but unfortunately the plane gave a leap and spun to the right, "Hell" I
thought, "not the starboard wheel chock again". The bump jolted Ron back
to full alertness. He looked wildly around just in time to see a rock
thrown by the propwash disappear completely through the windscreen of
his brand new Commodore. "Now I'm really in trouble", I thought.

While Ron was busy ranting about his car, I ignored his requirement that
we taxi to the ALA and instead took off under the power lines. Ron
didn't say a word, at least not until the engine started coughing right
at the lift off point, then he bloody screamed his head off, "Oh God! Oh
God! Oh God!"

"Now take it easy, Ron" I told him firmly, "that often happens on
take-off and there is a good reason for it." I explained patiently that
I usually run the plane on standard MOGAS, but one day I accidentally
put in a gallon or two of kerosene. To compensate for the low octane of
the kerosene, I siphoned in a few gallons off super MOGAS and shook the
wings up and down a few times to mix it up. Since then, the engine has
been coughing a bit but in general it works just fine, if you know how
to coax it properly.
Anyway, at this stage Ron seemed to lose all interest in my flight test.
He pulled out some rosary beads, closed his eyes and became lost in
prayer (I didn't think anyone was a Catholic these days). I selected
some nice music on the HF radio to help him relax.

Meanwhile I climbed to my normal cruising altitude of 10,500 feet (I
don't normally put in a flight plan or get the weather because as you
know getting Fax access out here is a f#*% joke and the bloody weather
is always 8/8 blue anyway. But since I had that near miss with a Saab
340, I might have to change me thinking). Anyhow, on leveling out I
noticed some wild camels heading into my improved pasture. I hate camels
and always carry a loaded .303 clipped inside the door of the Cessna
just in case I see any of the bastards.

We were too high to hit them, but as a matter of principle, I decided to
have a go through the open window. Mate, when I pulled the bloody rifle
out, the effect on Ron was friggin' electric. As I fired the first shot
his neck lengthened by about six inches and his eyes bulged like a
rabbit with myxo. He really looked as if he had been jabbed with an
electric cattle prod on full power. In fact, Ron's reaction was so
distracting that I lost concentration for a second and the next shot
went straight through the port tyre. Ron was a bit upset about the
shooting (probably one of those pinko animal lovers I guess) so I
decided not to tell him about our little problem with the tyre. Shortly
afterwards I located the main herd and decided to do my fighter pilot

Ron had gone back to praying when, in one smooth sequence, I pulled on
full flap, cut the power and started a sideslip from 10,500 feet down to
500 feet at 130 knots indicated (the last time I looked anyway) and the
little needle rushing up to the red area on me ASI. What a buzz, mate!
About half way through the descent I looked back in the cabin to see the
calves gracefully suspended in mid air and mooing like crazy. I was
going to comment on this unusual sight but Ron looked a bit green and
had rolled himself into the fetal position and was screamin' his f*&%#
head off. Mate, talk about being in a bloody zoo. You should've been
there, it was so bloody funny!

At about 500 feet I leveled out, but for some reason we continued
sinking. When we reached 50 feet I applied full power but nothin'
happened; no noise no nothin'. Then, luckily, I heard me instructor's
voice in me head saying "carby heat, carby heat", so I pulled carby heat
on and that helped quite a lot, with the engine finally regaining full
power. Whew, that was really close, let me tell you!

Then mate, you'll never guess what happened next! As luck would have it,
at that height we flew into a massive dust cloud caused by the cattle
and suddenly went I.F. bloody R, mate. BJ, you would've been bloody
proud of me as I didn't panic once, not once, but I did make a mental
note to consider an instrument rating as soon as me gyro is repaired
(something I've been meaning to do for a while now).

Suddenly Ron's elongated neck and bulging eyes reappeared. His mouth
opened wide, very wide, but no sound emerged. "Take it easy," I told
him. "we'll be out of this in a minute." Sure enough, about a minute
later we emerge; still straight and level and still at 50 feet.
Admittedly I was surprised to notice that we were upside down, and I
kept thinking to myself, "I hope Ron didn't notice that I had forgotten
to set the QNH when we were taxying". This minor tribulation forced me
to fly to a nearby valley in which I had to do a half roll to get
upright again.

By now the main herd had divided into two groups leaving a narrow strip
between them. "Ah!," I thought, "there's an omen. We'll land right
there." Knowing that the tyre problem demanded a slow approach, I flew a
couple of steep turns with full flap. Soon the stall warning horn was
blaring so loud in me ear that I cut its circuit breaker to shut it up,
but by then I knew we were slow enough anyway. I turned steeply onto a
75 foot final and put her down with a real thud. Strangely enough, I had
always thought you could only ground loop in a tail dragger but, as
usual, I was proved wrong again!

Halfway through our third loop Ron at last recovered his sense of
humour. Talk about laugh. I've never seen the likes of it; he couldn't
stop. We finally rolled to a halt and I released the calves, who bolted
out of the aircraft like there was no tomorrow.
I then began picking clumps of dry grass. Between gut wrenching fits of
laughter Ron asked what I was doing. I explained that we had to stuff
the port tyre with grass so we could fly back to the homestead. It was
then that Ron really lost the plot and started running away from the
aircraft. Can you believe it?
The last time I saw him he was off into the distance, arms flailing in
the air and still shrieking with laughter. I later heard that he had
been confined to a psychiatric institution - poor bugger!

Anyhow, mate, that's enough about Ron. The problem is I just got a
letter from CASA withdrawing, as they put it, my privileges to fly;
until I have undergone a complete pilot training course again and
undertaken another flight proficiency test.
Now I admit that I made a mistake in taxiing over the wheel chock and
not setting the QNH using strip elevation, but I can't see what else I
did that was so bloody bad that they have to withdraw me flamin'
license. Can you?

Outback Jim

Jul 8, 2004
Onya mate!!!

A story like that makes me proud to be an Aussie! Best laugh I've had for a week!

What part of this big brown land are you from?



Jul 8, 2004
I'm a yank from NJ too and i've gotta say... one of the funniest things i've read in a while.