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Darwin in the 80's

Old 23rd Jan 2008, 22:22
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Had the jumpseat in a B737 back into Darwin, and the FO heard SAO come up on frequency and remarks to the Captain, "F%$^k me that bucket of bolts is still flying, that f$#@ing c&^t Ossie sacked me for such and such" and captain replied "yeah I flew that [email protected]@@*ng bucket of bolts in whenever and f###%%ing Ossie sacked me to".
The captain went on to tell us about Ossie doing coastwatch in the P68 in the early days , they used to leave Darwin and fly for about 8 hours apart from when then stopped over at somewhere like Bathurst Island for about four hours!
A family friend worked for Ossie in the early 1973/4 used to get sacked at least once a week by Ossie. Got sacked one day at 11am and was rehired at 4pm due a opal buyer needing to get to Coober Pedy asap.
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Old 23rd Jan 2008, 22:26
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I can't remember when the "stute" became popular, around the move to the öther/Dark side".
The friday nights or saturday mornings, it was the liveliest pub in town for a couple of years, it died with Adrian's demise.

There is a road leading into the new bunnings and then towards the GA area named Özgood Drive".
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Old 23rd Jan 2008, 22:44
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Don't forget the Nightcliff pub when Nightcliff was out in the sticks.
Kim Kosh another legend in own his lunchbox, I can recall when he was a boy at Wimray and was allowed to fly FDQ.
Darwin aero Club instructors sent out to Jabiru for a weekend of instructing.
Who was bloke from Skywest who owned the Baron VH-RNL?
Talk in the late 80's of Skywest getting a B1900 or a Dash8 for the Troughton Island run.
Charter's out to Cooinda for the day, sit by the pool and hopefully a free lunch.
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Old 23rd Jan 2008, 23:21
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Ah, The "good" old days!
Bob Miller owned RNL.
Ossie used to say " If I sack you come back tomorrow and see me, but if Shirley sacks you, you're really sacked!"
Remember landing at Jabiru and being scored by The Black Parrot and Scorch on your landing?
My favorite was the Darwin Aero Club Coke machine that dispensed green cans or white cans for 2 bucks 24/7

Last edited by The Baron; 23rd Jan 2008 at 23:27. Reason: typo
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Old 23rd Jan 2008, 23:27
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RNL-Root no ladies
Don't forget Ossie's children.
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Old 23rd Jan 2008, 23:56
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Stationair8, that would be Eddie I think - well one of them. Used to work in the engine shop over the road.

Then there was

George (James) Washington
Slim Rosier, his son Mike
Bill Funston
Henk Van Der Maas
Charlie Downes
IBJ

Maurie G
Ian Drennan
Gordon Bretag

a few years before, Tim Georgettie (I can´t spell it).

A (now) QF 767 capt leaving a couple boxes of prawns in the nose locker of a C207 over the weekend.....someone sending a human leg wrapped in plastic on Air North over the weekend and it suffering the same fate as the prawns!

Did a C310 catch fire while being refueled back about then.....what was that story.

Aero Med Nomads.

RPT DC3s

´Coffin Flights`

`Hector` between Bathurst and Melville Islands.

Ahhh! It was a great time
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 00:00
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OMG ! ...Col Kronh ! what a mind !
Can you remember the interminable stations breaks on the local TV?
They would always play a clip of Long John Baldry & Kathi MacDonald "..lost that loving feeling.."?

Bill Funston BBJ skipper
Henk retired and ok in Darwhine
Slim RIP sadly
"Gundy" Mills still pickng a pocket or two I believe
IBJ retired at 70 not out
anyone know where Peter Croagh is? (sp)
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 00:24
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Chief Pilot who took up taxi driving as a career change?

That was only a temporary move. You'd be surprised where I am now!
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 04:41
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Pelair and the Shorts 330 out to Narbalek, to service the uranium mine.
Bruce Cosgrove, Doug Stott

The Aztec dubbed "fire truck" that was operated by the people building Seven Spirit Bay.

A few more from Air North - Tony Willis, Geoff McDonald who used to fly the DC-3 and Queenairs.

Flying -Spike, Ossie had a number of CP who took up taxi driving. You may be the one if you are large person with a chip on your shoulder.

Have met the Black Parrot, he was always trying to get a ride in or out of Darwin.

Anyone remember the guy at the aero-club who offered to put away the warrior for you, taxi it around and log it as flight-time.
Anyone remember the presidents daughter?
..

Last edited by Stationair8; 24th Jan 2008 at 08:04.
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 04:58
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Don't forget Ansett NT
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 06:29
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This is 1980's stuff...certainly pre 89

By the end of the 80's the good times were over and the move to the north side was on the go.

What about all those great nights at the RAAF Officers Mess. Many GA pilots were Hon Members and in the early 80's it was Wed nite and then Thu nite for the raffle. Some top events over there including the odd Dining In night were it was the only time in DN that one got to wear a dinner suit and bow tie!!

Charlie Downs left RAAF ATC and did some flying then moved to BNE where he worked for Flight West - Now retired I believe.

Civil ATC did Arrivals outside of 30nm.. remember "handrail" - one of the characters of ATC (now in BN tower I am told).

The RAAF 75 Sqn came down from Butterworth in 84, before the MIR's were sent to Woomera in 87(?) and the Sqn moved to TN with the F/A18.
Remember the new RAAF hangar that had the fire system go off and flood the place with foam... it took a while for some of the MIRs to be cleaned up..! When the hangar was new, they held the annual RAAF Base Ball in it... what a night!

NTAC - Graham Ball (used to fight with Ozzie all the time!)

WimRay - Ray Allwright and Wim ????. Started with just one a/c then a demountable near the aero club. Used to x/hire the club a/c quite a bit. One of the few companies that moved northside.

Bob Miller went up there as a tech for Telecom in the late 70's. He had a Victa then. He had RNL (Baron) and used to use it for the club and Wimray and anyone else that wanted a twin. He finished up with Skywest or was it NJS. Since left DN.

Remember one time that SAO was on the ground at OEN and called up for a relay as he was u/s. Msg passed but then some 3rd voice come on the freq and "is your biscuit crumbling?" .. got lots of laughs.

Anyone remember the line book in the old tower with all the classic R/T comments... ROFL..!!

Have some pics of the AF Concorde and a MIR on each wingtip.. what a great day that was.

Theres more... but that will do for now... what great times
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 07:23
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The RAAF were great. Remember doing ´practice GCAs`, then when you got better ´request a practice GCA, talk to touch`. (You could do them at Katherine too.) At those nights in the O´s mess ATC would make themselves known.....one bloke told me if ever shits was trumps to call him out any time for a real GCA. I thought about doing it once when the ILS was taken out by lightning... but the weather wasn´t that bad.

What about navigating without GPS.....in the dry season smoke and in the wet at night. Getting there was half the fun - and hard work sometimes.

DME descents.

Listening for the Null when tuning the ADF in MMA.

Or at 3 am `Darwin tower, this is DHP, Med 1 for XXX request taxy and airywas clearance, details on departure.`

Sad to hear about Slim. When did he die. Slim was a great bloke - as he would say ´a straight shooter´- a real gentleman, and a very good pilot.

Ah yeah, I remember the Col Khron interludes and that other luminary of the airwaves, Dave Nason, of ´Nason Off` fame.

Keith Boulby, working on a DC3 and reminiscing about the TSR2 !

The Air North Hanger Cat. Who was it that fed him...

Airport security. All the gates were open - free access to who ever wanted to wander around and look at aeroplanes. Eventually they put locks on the gates and the keys were handed out and passed through the ranks as guys left and others arrived. My key opened every perimiter gate on the civil side and a bunch of doors in the terminal. I don´t remember who I passed it on too.

....and it was mostly blokes flying back then, not many girls. Mandy Dewar, Sue Michaelis, and, way back Christine Davis an Olympic skiier and an airline Capt who went on to fly helicopters out of Troughton.

PITHBLOT
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 08:14
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No GPS.
No mobile phones
No computer flight planning, everything by telex machine with the help of Darwin Flight Service. Lost track of the number of plans put in by HF, or reverse charge phone calls to the FSU, to get wx or notams.

Micheal Bridge was a boy in short pants down at the Rock.

Roger Leach at just got his first Conquest.

Air North were going to takeover Tillair.

High altitude would have been a Kindergarten thug.

Police air wing had a very slick PA-31CR in Darwin.

Borrowing Kakadu Air's company car to go into Darwin.
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 08:19
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Yes, the GCA's were great. The controllers did not get enough practice with Military aircraft so it was somewhat easy to get one as a civie.

....and it was mostly blokes flying back then, not many girls. Mandy Dewar, Sue Michaelis, and, way back Christine Davis an Olympic skiier and an airline Capt who went on to fly helicopters out of Troughton.
Don't forget little Christine Hayes who worked for Ozzie, then flew the JetCharter/Pelair Shorts to NAB. I saw her load a Navajo full of beer one day and go wherever. What a top little worker.

Then there was the Lear that used to do the Wards Express daily service from south - one of the pilots on that was Mary O'Brian (RIP). Used to spend a bit of time in DN. She later went to CAA at BK.

Then there was the lady ATCO. As was the done thing, all the RAAFies had a nick name - she was just a junior controller from the school at Sale and she was call "Narf". Reason being, it was about the time the movie "Ten" came out and she was a nine and a half (narf) out of 10... she was too!! Promoted lots of visits to the Tower!!

And of course there was the boys in the tower. They had large signs with numbers on them and they used to come out on the balconey and give you a score for your landing - one day, one of the regulars turned off at that taxiway opposite the old tower to look up for the "score" only to see 3 brown eye's!! yeah.. good days

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Old 24th Jan 2008, 08:39
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bonez, I believe Charlie Downs is flying the F100 for Alliance in Brisbane. I first met him at RAAF Richmond in the late 60's where he was a C130E Flight Engineer. Even in the 60's you could never tell whether he had his flying helmet on or not

Charlie even managed to teach me to fly gliders.

tipsy
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 12:54
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ST8 we share way too many memories, sure you don't have twin.

Wim van den Herric and Nattalie moved to FNQ somewhere just up over the ranges. Nat now in Cairns, John Biffo would be able to confirm that.

RNL came back from the paint job in the late 80's, first thing someone said to me was "gee that R looks like an A" = ANL?

The C310 story was just around again a few weeks ago, yes she burnt after the pilot saved the tanker driver.

Charlie had a daughter who went on to become and aero eng through RMIT though I can't remember her first name. Bill Hodge,s daughter was Lesslie Ann still in Darwin at last count. Still remember Bill syaing to me" That Birdie was a good bloke, but he did not like him as a lover for his Daughter", care to comment Birdie!!

As for females Glenda, Monica, Jillian and who could forget Kath. Well then there was BONNIE little BONNIE and her puppies. Of all the things I remember about Ozzie, the day he had a punch up with bonnies Hubby, still lingers. Unfortunatly I was 43rd in line to throw a punch at that bloke.

The Bathurst Is Grand final, when you could get a parking place without overlapping wings and reversing Brazzs out of the tarmac. While we are over on the islands, that little water fall just down from the Picatarramore(spelling) airstrip, heaven with a bottle of wine (woops did I say that(Dry island)).

As for HA, taught him BAK.

The Lawford bros scott and Lockie.

Friday arvo formation flying in the worriers.
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 13:06
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I may have missed it, I don't recall anyone mentioning Ron Beach. Turned into a hippy at Nimbin i believe.
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 19:27
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Last I heard Ron B was living in the UK
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 20:43
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Stationair8

Woah! I'm well aware that there were a few of us. Not sure about the chip on the shoulder though. I asked you to expand on it to see if you were talking about me specifically. I still have a lot of good friends from those times and I can still sleep at night. You know who I am , and I would love to know who you are. You have this perception that I have a chip on my shoulder, perhaps it is you that is harboring a little guilt?. If you don't want to identify yourself in this forum I will repeat the invitation to PM me.
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Old 24th Jan 2008, 21:34
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Ex Arnhem blokes and others

Anybody know the wherabouts of Steve Cunich, Ashley Ruhl, "biggles" Williams, Birdy or Keyser (ex Wimray)?
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