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, March 9, 2015

Passing the Stick...

Hot the on the heels of a week at Avalon, I barely had time to recover from the av-frenzy before it was my turn to tote the baton. My friend Andrew, owner of Banktown's finest C182, had offered to lend me his aircraft in honour of the relay and arrived at Essendon on the Sunday to hand over the controls (and the cushion!) 

Landing at Mallacoota

Having caught up with baton-wielder Peta Denham Harvey at Avalon, I knew the suspected the arrival at Mallacoota might be a little later than the projected 13.00, on account of the first leg being flown by four ladies, each stopping at a different port to hand over the marvellously hand-crafted wooden baton, and iPad provided by AvPlan.

The Vic girls arrive with the baton

Having landed at Mallacoota at lunchtime, just as the wind swung round to the gravel runway - 07 - I took the time to relax and enjoy a tour of the town, courtesy of local couple Peter and Wendy (who provided home made muffins). The Vic girls touched down at 16.30, shortly after the arrival of two Falcos from Merrimbula, piloted by Neil Bourke and Ian Newman. 

Kristin hands me the baton

Handing over the AvPlan iPad

After a whirlwind of photos, it was a race against the light to get to Merimbula, hand over the baton to Belinda Baulch on behalf of Jan Goodhew. After another round of media, and a wonderful welcoming committee (special thanks, as ever, to the Frogs Hollow Fliers for their generous donation) we took of and pointed the nose towards Bankstown. Weirdly, Nowra was still active, and even with a direct to Ulladulla, the elements won when I ran out of light near Wollongong. 

Handing the baton to Belinda in Merimbula

A VFR pilot without a current night rating is always prepared (a dollar for every time I've been caught short at YWOL due to wx!) and it was a no brainer to tie down the 182 and hop in a cab for a direct to Wollongong's Novotel. As I touched down on the blissful hotel bed, I was reminded that the finest bonus of flying a 182 is that I always have a spare pillow - feather at that - should I ever get stranded in a regional hotel.

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