PDA

View Full Version : Today


Captain Sherm
23rd Aug 2010, 22:10
Today. 21 years.

This is a message to many friends, indeed comrades, who have shared skies with an aging Sherm or who have shared a common path these last 21 years though unknown personally to Sherm.

There is no spin to this note. No anguish or recrimination. No hidden message of reproach to those who have different stories, different values, different allegiances. No need for rolled eyes because it’s not your world. If there are lessons to be drawn…..draw them. Sherm neither preaches nor judges. I am, as always on this day, adding another stone to the little cairn I and many others have been building along the road these last 21 years saying to the traveler who takes time to rest and think “Many good pilots passed this way”. Many…… indeed too many, have not passed the other way yet to come home. And they will not. Remember them.

Home, Chez Sherm, now overlooks the South China Sea in tropic splendour. Though as a blessing today is spent on leave back in Australia. This anniversary has been spent in many places over the years. Deep into Arctic skies in Sherm’s beloved 777. In Asian markets, Scandinavian forests, Spanish resorts, New Zealand ski fields. At the Spanish Steps in Rome with some very fine friends and even finer cognac. Alone in Atlanta with room service and a beer. Even missed altogether on one occasion due to the vagaries of the Dateline.

As he moves inexorably to the day where his wings will be put away for the last time, Sherm wishes to have it known and reminded to all he has met along the road, or is yet to meet, and to those too young to know, that he remembers the one key fact of life. That aside from our family....(and a silent thanks to their forbearance these 21 years of distance and steadfastness)..... and the very depths of our souls where we commune only with our Maker, pilots have each other. In and out of the cockpit, only each other.

As the days ahead unfold, remember that. If you have time or reason to re-evaluate what you have done or what you might do in the mistier parts of the path forward yet to unfold….use your time well. Others will look after you less well than will your fellow aviators. I commend that thought to you.

Safe flying

Sherm

Keg
23rd Aug 2010, 22:33
Lovely sentiments Sherm. After you've flown your last RPT sector you should consider turning your mind to writing. You have an eloquence that few others seem to possess.

Capn Bloggs
23rd Aug 2010, 23:31
Well said. I take my hat off to ya, Sherm. http://www.smilies.our-local.co.uk/index_files/hathello.gif

Kanga777
24th Aug 2010, 01:02
Gunbae, Sherm

Normasars
24th Aug 2010, 01:33
Outstanding Sherm. :ok:

Che cows with guns
24th Aug 2010, 01:43
I met a bloke just like you in a pub in Perth one evening; same deal. I have also flown with many who were caught up in the war. He like you was an inspiration.

Aye Ess
24th Aug 2010, 03:16
Yes,Sherm,if I was as eloquent as you,I would have writ what you did. I too went through the war & have my opinions,which I keep to myself. If the events of 'that date' were to have come out differently,I would still be flogging around Australia,same thing,day in,day out. As it was I got to fly to the most amazing places in the world,experiencing different cultures & challenging aviation environments. So,another year gone. "It'll be over by Christmas"....only thing was...Which Christmas??

shnee
24th Aug 2010, 07:08
What a well told story.
When the war began I was all of 6 years old. But over my short life I have sat beside a few who were involved, and what I have learnt from these folks is to enjoy the moment, as you never know what is around the bend.
:D

Aye Ess
24th Aug 2010, 07:33
Huh???? What did that young bloke say?? We're all around the bend???

Hmmm,darn,he's prolly right :8

stable approach
24th Aug 2010, 09:07
Thanks Sherm. I'd forgotten what day it was until I read your post.
My home overlooks the South China Sea as well, so I dare say we have crossed paths at some stage. Seems hard to believe that 21 years have gone by, but what a ride! Fortunately for me, and I dare say others, what seemed like a catastrophe at the time turned in to an opportunity to experience things I never would have dreamed of. I look back with great fondness at the people who have shared some of these great times. I would like to think that some lessons were learned from our debacle, but reading this forum I often wonder.

GAFA
24th Aug 2010, 11:07
Nicely said Captain Sherm.

I was reading the Telegraph today and in the 'on this day' section it mentioned this was the day it all started. So it would appear the the 24th of August 1989 is forever a part of Australia's history.

Valdiviano
24th Aug 2010, 11:57
Well said
Thank you

once bitten
24th Aug 2010, 14:59
To those who have earned it... Sui Generis, gentlemen.

nitpicker330
25th Aug 2010, 00:56
Yes, well said.:ok:

teresa green
25th Aug 2010, 12:39
Yep Sherm, can you believe it, 21 years since after arriving in CBR I was told that I was not allowed near my aircraft, to remove all personal items (along with my FO) and find my own way back to MEL. Two stunned mullets we were. (For those interested, we got a bus) almost 25 years to the day from joining TAA, never to fly again for them. Looking back with some regret, some happiness, and believe it or not, still some disbelief. Some of the human toll was dreadful, some found new happiness in other countries, not me or my mob, we just found homesickness, but we did what we had to do, and learnt to stick together no matter what. Now I look over a Australian sea, happy to be a daggy old bloke, watching three of my kids doing the same job, and my hopes are for them and you out there that your future is secure, and us old timers, regardless of what you think of us, laid down a fairly good path for you to follow, (I am not talking about 89 here) the bid system, good pay, good conditions, now its up to you blokes and girls to keep it all going, because right now the companies are testing you again, but this time you have learnt from us, and good sense will prevail, stick together no matter what, and you will have it in the bag.:D

Aye Ess
25th Aug 2010, 21:59
Teresa,your comments brought back memories of the day the war began. The AFAP warned us all to have a plan ready to get ourselves home in case of a sudden grounding overnight.

My last overnight was on the Gold Coast. Being Brisbane based,no problem,we could have walked home. As it was,we flew the next day Coolangatta to Sydney,then deadheaded home to BN. Upon arrival,met by AFAP & told to get all our gear & clear off home....and that,was that.

I guess a whole new thread could be "Where were you,when it all fell over?"

Jack Ranga
25th Aug 2010, 23:32
23 years old, just finished PPL, stars in my eyes. Didn't have a clue what was going on as I knew no-one in the industry. I didn't have a Dad or bro or sister in the industry that could guide me.

Learn't my aviation lesson about 2 years on after finishing CPL/Instuctor Rating. 'Fellows' were paying flying schools to instuct. That did it for me :yuk: my bad for not doing the research!

When flying is in your blood you find more ethical avenues to exercise the 'disease' eventually :D

Captain Sand Dune
26th Aug 2010, 02:18
Well writ Capt Sherm.

As an RAAF pilot I was involved in the "war" without choice. I recall that we had been following the events leading up to it quite closely, but were quite surprised (and suspicious!) at the indecent haste in which we were called into "action" (does that make me a s***?).
I don't want to sound harsh, but you guys didn't have a chance. You were up against a hostile government who were willing to use the ADF (wrongly, IMHO) and powerful business interests. The irony of the government at the time being a Labour one still gets me.

Normasars
26th Aug 2010, 03:12
No more IRONIC than Oldmeadow being a former ACTU heavyweight in a previous life :yuk:

That individual is an oxygen thief of the highest order!!

amos2
26th Aug 2010, 07:17
Yes, is the answer to your question, sand dune.

teresa green
26th Aug 2010, 07:21
Aye Ess, we did not have a AFAP rep meet us, though the AN boys did, and I have always regretted not throwing the sanctimonius little pr$%k (who followed me like a sheep dog onto the flight deck probably thinking I was going to destroy the fltdk with the crash axe) down the freckin stairs. Had I known how it was all going to turn out, it would have been worth a couple of nights in the wallopers B and B for the sheer satisfaction. No mobiles then, so until the AN lads told us what was happening, we had not a clue what was going on. The TAA rep hid in his office, and I felt very sorry for my cabin crew, but they took it on the chin and backed us. Ah the memories.

ManillaChillaDilla
26th Aug 2010, 07:55
Captain Sherm. Thankyou. I was away for 18 years. Im now home.

Ive had this discussion in Anchorage, Narita, Bolivia, Rome, San Paulo, The Caymans, New York, London, Guam, brussells, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Macau, Iran, Borneo, Jakata, Singapore, Vancouver, Shaghai, and the Emirati.

I lost my Family ,my lifestyle, my home, my sweetheart and my best mate who could no longer handle the situation. He was a far better and stronger man than I.

I havent however lost my hope for the amazing thing that professional flying is.

Ive only got a couple of years left. Ive found that now I look out the windshield a whole lot more.

I was away for 6668 days. Im now home.

MY HOME. Australia.

We cannot let this happen again to Australian pilots.

Thankyou Sherm. Your beautiful prose made this old bloke teary.

MCD :D

obie2
26th Aug 2010, 09:10
Grow up fellas!...

I don't think you really know how tough it was for some of those less fortunate than you!

Pratling on about the wonderful time you've had o'seas, and the big dollars you've made, and the exotic places you've been to, far beyond your wildest dreams...

and then crying poor and weeping in your wine glass!...

and wanting our sympathy!

Have a think about those who lost their careers, lost their future and are now doing it hard! And have been since 24/8/89...

and there are lots of them, especially the young guys who couldn't sell them selves o/seas as you and I did!...

and you're bleating "poor me"...

gimme a break!

Just belt up, shut up and pull your head in!!

Capt Fathom
26th Aug 2010, 12:43
Just belt up, shut up and pull your head in!!
Obie! You still hearing those voices in your head? :E

A37575
26th Aug 2010, 13:35
I well recall walking the streets of Cairns and seeing one sign at a closed down small cafe saying "No tourists - bloody pilots -no money - I'm off" And in a hotel talking to the reception clerk who said no tourists, and his job in jeopardy and a contractor who supplied eggs to same hotel saying he was fast going broke with no one buying his eggs. There are always two sides to a story...

obie2
27th Aug 2010, 08:26
I hope we're finished now and no one will come back next year with this stupid 'anniversary' nonsense !!

Captain Sherm
27th Aug 2010, 10:24
Obie, I don’t honestly think there was any triumphalism in anything I wrote. No “Mission Accomplished” no “Weren’t We Great?” or anything remotely similar.
It’s just a date which means something to some Pprune readers that’s all. How could you read into this simple epistle something to be so angry about? If I inadvertently used unfeeling words or phrases that triggered your response then I apologize.

There is no spin to this note. No anguish or recrimination. No hidden message of reproach to those who have different stories, different values, different allegiances. No need for rolled eyes because it’s not your world. If there are lessons to be drawn…..draw them. Sherm neither preaches nor judges. I am, as always on this day, adding another stone to the little cairn I and many others have been building along the road these last 21 years saying to the traveler who takes time to rest and think “Many good pilots passed this way”. Many…… indeed too many, have not passed the other way yet to come home. And they will not. Remember them.

Your correspondent, an aging Sherm, recalls and marks with some ceremony or another, many dates and anniveraries. I certainly remember the ’84 and ’85 Grand Finals and wish, in recalling them, that Essendon had a decent centre half forward now. I recall the day I got my DC-9 command and am embarrassed by how little I knew but am thankful for how well I was trained. I am a keen student of airline accidents, remember the dates and lots of detail of all of them and try to ensure that key lessons are embedded within the Sherm memory banks and passed onto those who Sherm has been privileged to teach.

In every chance I ever had, I looked after any pilots would were “left behind”. I know many, many who have done the same. And I’ve been a proud union member these 40 years. As with many many of the 1300.

If there are shadows from that past that haunt you and bring you unquenchable grief and the need to lash out…….then do something positive so that next year, when a few graying pilots simply remember, you can keep the Obie blood pressure within limits.

obie2
28th Aug 2010, 09:26
"There is no spin to this note. No anguish or recrimination. No hidden message of reproach to those who have different stories, different values, different allegiances. No need for rolled eyes because it’s not your world. If there are lessons to be drawn…..draw them. Sherm neither preaches nor judges. I am, as always on this day, adding another stone to the little cairn I and many others have been building along the road these last 21 years saying to the traveler who takes time to rest and think “Many good pilots passed this way”. Many…… indeed too many, have not passed the other way yet to come home. And they will not. Remember them."

Hmmm!
Did you read the article in the The Australian today, Sherm?
Or do you just read the South China Seas Post or perhaps the International Herald Tribune?
Have a look at todays Australian and the article about the 'chattering classes'...you may recognise yourself! :=

Cravenmorehead
28th Aug 2010, 11:48
Obie2 you are an idiot!!!

teresa green
28th Aug 2010, 13:01
Obie, you need to get out more. Do you think we don't know what happened to a lot of the young pilots? Do you think we didn't give a ratz? Horseshit! What happened, happened, if we could change it probably most would, at the time, for a lot of us, we did not agree, but looking back we did not do enough to stop it, and we should have, but we were not radicals, we were pilots, first and foremost, and not really experienced at industrial relations, and followed like lemmings over a cliff. The result was dreadful, for the country, for small business, and worst of all,for our members. Suicides, family breakups, friends lost forever, but for some, it was a new life, another country, but for most it was like a death in the family. It is now in Australia's history books where it belongs, and should stay, it was the start of enterprise bargaining for many other industries, and is used most of the time today, and probably no other PM and his mates would be allowed to do what they did, (that type of cronyism would not be accepted in todays parliment) (if we ever get one). Sherm had every right to bring it up if for no other reason, that we never see the likes of a whole industry so vital to this country, ever have to go thru it again. Onya Sherm, enjoy your final years of flying, and many years more.:D

Gas Bags
31st Aug 2010, 00:20
There is no point paying attention to obie2 and his alter ego amos. He is nothing more than a serial fool who does his best to wind everybody up with his beligerent posting here.

Most responses to him are correct in that he is an idiot, and I suspect that he held a position at an airline once, more than likely in operations or a similar department, and with his limited aviation knowledge he can come on here and pretend to be a seasoned pilot, without ever extrapolating his vague technical assertions and being downright abusive to anybody he thinks will respond.

A very strange little man indeed!

obie, amos, or whatever you call yourself, stop pretending to be a big wig down the airlines and concentrate on getting your dog to stop biting you.

GB