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Thread: Pilot profile- flightstrike

  1. #1

    Default Pilot profile- flightstrike

    G’Day everyone,

    I’ve been interested in flying for as long as I care to remember, my father loved reading about military jets etc so I was effectively brought up to be interested.

    In ’97-98, we went on a family holiday to the USA for four months, needless to say, we visited as many bases as we could, and I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in several aircraft including the SR-71. But what really got me excited was on the flight over; my sister and I were invited by the flight attendant to go and visit the flight deck on the B747. From the moment I stepped in, I knew what I wanted to do.

    I still had several years of school ahead of me, so set about doing what I needed to do to be able to one day fly aeroplanes. I had my first lesson in ’01 and very slowly built up the hours. This was very difficult, I got some help from my parents but it was really up to me to fund this adventure. Flipping burgers full time unfortunately didn’t really pay enough for me to have lessons as regular intervals. It wasn’t until I sold my car that I had some money, and decided that now was the time to hit it hard. Mean while I had finished high school and started an apprenticeship as an Aircraft maintenance engineer for an airline. After about a year of being on the tools and flying on the weekends, I finally got my commercial pilot’s license and the tables turned, after a lot of money, I was now being paid to fly! This went on until I finished my apprenticeship and I was offered full time employment at the airfield where I was training/flying.

    It was a great achievement to finally be doing what I have always wanted to do. Coupled with the fact I was flying a lot of different aeroplanes, including scenic’s in a Tiger Moth, Charters in Cirrus and Cessna’s as well as some casual work flying a Navajo.
    After about two years it was time to find my next challenge, this lead to me moving interstate and on my own. I was very fortunate to move up through the “ranks” very quickly. I started off on the Cessna 337 (weird looking machine) and over the course of a few months, I was flying the C337 as well as a C402B, C404’s and the Navajo (just couldn’t get away from it). Eventually I was flying my dream aeroplane, the one I always looked up to, the Beechcraft King Air 200 as well as the Cessna 500 Citation.

    A little over a year and a half later, I again moved and am now flying a Dash-8 for a large operator. After all the experience I have gained, I’m very happy where I am. I don’t know if I will one day move onto Jets. I fly because I love flying, the idea of pushing buttons doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. We will see what happens I guess.

    The events that really stand out for me is my first solo in a humble C172M on my 16th Birthday, I was under the impression I was on my way to the rego office to sit for my drivers learner permit, but we went to the airfield instead. The other main memory is the day I finally got to fly the King Air, I miss flying it and will probably end up back flying them in the future.
    Long story I know, thanks for reading and I hope it inspires some others to have a go.

    Long story I know, thanks for reading and I hope it inspires some others to have a go. It really is an awesome experience and I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.
    BAe146 Driver

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 1996


    Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us. I've been fortunate enough to see that SR-71 several times but never been able to sit in the cockpit. The first impression of that aircraft for me was how small it seemed after all the photos I had seen in books.

    I'm another Beechcraft King Air lover. I've never flown one myself or even ridden in one of them but in the flight simulator I have a lot of fun flying that aircraft.

    It must have been a great feeling to know you could fly an aircraft at 16 years old. I'm not sure what the solo age was of others who posted here but starting out at that age gives you many years of enjoyment behind the stike/yoke.

    If you have photos over the years of your flight experiences feel freel to send them up we would love to seem them.


  3. #3



    The opportunity to sit in an SR-71 isn't something I'm going to forget anytime soon! My father and I spent most of the four month trip looking for them!

    I've always loved the King Air, had never sat in one until about two year ago, but always looked up to them. My first flight in one was with my in the left seat! Was an awesome feeling to finally be where I wanted to be.

    I'll try and put some photos up soon.

    BAe146 Driver

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