Welcome to my blog.

In 2008, I received a trial flight in a light aircraft - a flight which changed my life. After a mere thirty minutes in an asthmatic old Cessna, I decided I would become a pilot. It was love at first flight. As Leonardo Da Vinci famously said - Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

However, like any relationship, there were highs (and there were puns!) and there were many moments where I thought I would never grasp this new skill.

After fifteen instructors, six flying schools and enough tears to fill a dam, I became a private pilot. And, because of a strong masochistic streak, I decided to study for my Commercial Pilot's Licence.

This blog is a working narrative of my time as a pilot, through my personal writing, my round Australia trip and my career as an aviation journalist, magazine editor, customer engagement manager for AvPlan EFB and aircraft salesperson for Cirrus Sydney.

Aviation has changed my life: through learning to fly I have discovered a part of myself that is resilient, organised and capable of great joy as a result of hard work, setbacks and learning.

In the words of Socrates, “Man must rise above the Earth – to the top of the atmosphere and beyond – for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.”

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to email me with advice and suggestions on


Monday, December 20, 2010

Diary of a Dep Ed - Part One

Whilst strolling blissfully amongst the vintage ladies of avalon (the aircraft, not the darling gals from the Australian Women's Pilots Association) I received a text from Mr Bigg*

"have you checked out the Bonanza society yet. Poss feature for next ed?"

Faster that you can say "luxury aircraft" I've managed to locate the society, meet the president and tee up a test fly day in Redcliffe, QLD.

Upon my return, of course, it was the first on the To Do List. The delightfully helpful president of the Bonanza Society had organised several aircraft for me to sample, and I'd had an offer from a V-tail pilot to join us up at Redcliffe the next day.

Tickets booked, photographer arranged, car hired and guess what? Yeps, the entire weekend was spent almost exclusively on the ground, whilst three shiny Bonanzas begged to be flown. As flies to wanton boys are we to the weather gods....

The cloud base barely budged from 300 feet, until around 4pm, when I was due to depart for Sydney. Where Else But Queensland - indeed!

With a deadline looming, I couldn't reschedule. However, as mindless optimism is part of the job description, I hung around, waiting for it to improve, and managed to have a top time, nonetheless. I interviewed several Bonanza owners, got to check out the G1000s synthetic vision (whoah! It's amazing!), managed a few low level circuits and got to know the Bonanza almost as well as I know my own family. In fact, I dream of adding one to the family...

It really is a suburb aircraft - the Jaguar of aeroplanes - comfortable, speedy and dashing.

Now, who can lend me $300,000?

* (note: My editor really IS called Mr Bigg, which delightfully justifies my Carrie Bradshaw of Aviation claims)

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