Saturday, 19 April 2014

Remember the Red Baron

A piece of the Barons aircraft

Remember the

Red Baron.

Died 21st April


An  Ace amongst


Manfred  Albrecht  Freiherr  Richthofen.

Not forgotten.


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Sweet Heart

on the Victorian and NSW border.

A fruit growing area in the late 1968.

Aircraft Cessna  206.

It's really strange how some memories come back to you and are clear in your mind, as if it was yesterday, well that's how this memory comes back to me.

I was delivering this new Cessna 206 to a cattle station 300 miles north of Mildura which was 3-4 hundred miles north of Melbourne.

I decided to stay over night in Mildura.
The flight north was uneventful and I arrived over Mildura at around 16-00 hours on Saturday.
I gave Melbourne air traffic my arrival call and proceeded to land on Mildura a Sheep track of a runway!

I had decided to stay the night and depart at first light for the cattle station, putting me over the top of the station about lunch time.
As I taxied up to the fuel shed, to take on fuel from a barrel, (hand pumped!) that's the way it was.
luckily for me a fellow drove up and started to get the fuelling gear out of the shed, apparently this guy was a farmer who looked after the airfield, (on a small retainer) I signed for 35 gallons in the book and we replaced the fuelling gear and closed the shed, it wasn't locked ( changed day's?)
I got my flight bag and sleeping bag out of the plane and closed it up.
The farmer said "I was welcome to sleep on his stoop and not to worry about the aircraft as the field is well fenced, also I could use his outdoor shower," which I gratefully accepted, on the way back to his place he told me that there was a talent show in Mildura tonight and if I wanted to go in, he would be leaving about
18-00 hours, sounded good to me, so I said "thank you I'm in".

Well what can I say about Mildura? on a Saturday night! it was wild.
During the fruit picking season, people came from all over Australia to pick fruit, the work was hard with long hours, but good money.
The local police force doubled in size!
Such a mixed gang of people from all over the country after a few beers, all they could do is fight, many ended up in the local lock up and when it was full the police put them in a lock up barn.
They were all let out by the time the church bell started wringing on Sunday and very rarely were any charged.

By the time we arrived at the talent show, which was outside in the street, a bring your own seat affair! it was in full swing, gangs of drunken men were singing their hearts out, falling over then staggering away to the pub.
Then the show started for real.
Now here's the memory that has taken me so long to get too.

A young Australian farm girl stood in front of the crowd, around 15 to 17 years of age, no shoes, baggy trousers, checked shirt, and her hair held, what looked like a rubber band and she started to sing this song

I'm not sure of it's name so I'll just call it.


You hand is like a torch, each time you touch me.
The look in your eyes pulls me apart,
Don't open the door to heaven, if I can't come in, don't touch me, if you don't love me, 

Your kiss is like a drink when I'm thirsty and I'm thirsty for you with all my heart.

But don't love me, then act as if you have never kissed me,
Don't touch me if you don't love me, sweetheart!

Don't give me something that you might take away, to loose you wouldn't be smart on my part.
Don't open the door to heaven, if I can't come in.

Don't touch me if you don't love me,
No! don't touch me if you don't love me


I never heard that song again, or saw the girl, seems she sang in every talent show they had in Mildura, she was star struck!
I felt it was a country song, and it took weeks to get it out of my mind, I wonder if she ever made it and took her song with her?

I would like to think she made it.
Does it jog any memories with you? let me know


Friday, 4 April 2014

Out on The Nullarbor track. Australia.

land of no trees

Ferry from Moorabin Airport Victoria, to Western Australia.
To engage in the winter wheat spraying.

A ferry of about 1500 miles.

Aircraft: Cessna 180, in spraying configuration. ( slow)

Mid 1960. winter.

My plan was to fly into South Australia, refuel and intercept the Nullarbor track, as there where no radio aids  and follow it across to the wheat fields of Western Australia. At 3000 feet.