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


Saturday, February 11, 2012

With the forecast predicted to be in excess of thirty eight degrees,evenRobbs and I agreed to an early start. Turned out it was just as well: we'd agreed to go inland - even Robbie was getting tired of miles and miles of glorious pristine coastland - having decided to look at th mountains instead, for a change.

The burbly certainly picked up by lunchtime, with a rather 'brown trousers' crosswind at Armidale, prompting a discussion on which technique was best for crosswind landings (I having been taught the use two stages come in a bit faster technique, against Robbie's more practical hang out all your flap to pin you to the ground technique, which is the one I hear after adopt, in an Archer at least). After a blustery, but safe, landing, with the world's slowest base leg, we tied down, and decided to wait it out, with the possibility of remaining overnight on the back burner.

After blowing into the flying school (literally) we met the lovely and inspirational Marion -, flight instructor, Bonanza owner, corporate jet pilot and all round sweetheart. She gave us a lift into town, picked us up again two hours later and drove us to a motel - all the while filling us in with her exciting life story. Having not taken up flying until her forties, she was the perfect inspiration I needed to remind me to finish my CPL.

Armidale's a gorgeous town - and Marion runs a thriving little school, where it took only minutes to realize how many people we had in common - and thus, we committed to spending the night. Opposite the motel was an RSL - a must for any overseas visitor - where Robbs and I had our last meal of the trip. Throughout our dinner, the wind continued to howl, allowing us that lovely smug moment all pilots adore - when the weather confirms you made the right decision: to stay on the ground.

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