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My adventure in the Top End

Old 17th Feb 2010, 13:27
  #101 (permalink)  
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Great Thread. keep posting Krazy.. il prob end up there next yr ..
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Old 17th Feb 2010, 14:15
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
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hey krazy just wondering where are you at the moment?

have you visited kunnus yet?
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 02:22
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Alice Springs
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If you get a flying job up there you will soon find that aboriginals are a very relevent factor in a pilot's life, and you will be actively involved in aboriginal affairs. Aboriginals make up a large part of the population and a still larger part of the passengers you carry. They are different and discussion about this is appropriate. But, as taily says discussion should be sensible and not offensive to anyone.
I understand that young pilots are only interested in jobs and bigger and better aeroplanes, but, if you choose to be involved in the operation of light aircraft up north, then expect to have lots of contact with aboriginals.
I remember landing a C310 at a community and finding that one of my pax wished to stay in the aeroplane. He eventually did get out, carrying one of his boots, which was full of urine.
Guess what! He was aboriginal.

Last edited by bushy; 18th Feb 2010 at 06:10. Reason: Osama Bin Laden got into my computer
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 04:50
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
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What does the severely caught short passenger do if he has to go, like now! Mate had a couple of young stockmen in the back of the 182. Think he said it was on a run down to Curtin Springs. Won't repeat what he said about the stench, but he was quite impressed by the speed and agility displayed and the effective employment of a battered old Akubra

Pardon a bit of further drift, but seeing how it's Friday tomorrow -

One day Mrs Flanagan comes over all sickly and goes to the doctor. He looks her over and says, "Well now Mrs. Flanagan, I am a bit perplexed on your condition, but if you bring along a urine specimen to me in the morning, I'm sure I'll be able to tell you what's wrong."

So she goes home and says to her husband, "The doctor wants me to
bring him a urine specimen in the morning. But I don't know what he's talkin' about. What I am I going to do?"

Mr Flanagan replies, "Well you know I'm the last person to ask. Get yourself across to Mrs. O'Toole, she'll know what to do."

So Mrs Flanagan goes over to Mrs. O'Toole's place and comes back a
few minutes later with her clothes all torn, a black eye and her hair tangled like a bird's nest.

Shocked Mr Flanagan gasps, "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, woman! What
happened to ye?"

"I went over there and I asked her what a urine specimen is.
She said 'Piss in a bottle, woman.' So, I said 'Go shit in yer hat !'
And the fight was on."

Many an Irish joke here -

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Old 18th Feb 2010, 05:00
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: out there
Age: 39
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Bushy, I'm surprised he went in his boot. Or that he took it with him.

But what you say is correct, they are the driving force behind GA in the Top End. If it wasn't for them all these young guys wouldn't have jobs, other than the few airvan jobs flying scenics. They are different to us, in their thought processes and values, just takes a bit of effort into understanding them, and life is so much easier. Seems to be to hard for alot of people to comprehend, so hell bent on telling them what to do.
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 12:56
  #106 (permalink)  
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Australia
Age: 39
Posts: 76
Long time no write, so here's a bit of a catch up an answers to some of the questions I've been asked that I'm happy to answer in public ;-)

Firstly - after 3 weeks of hunting, and having many doors closed on me, I have been fortunate enough to 'kinda' have an opportunity. Which, after a LOT of thinking I have decided to take up until something better comes along. Thankfully, the people I'll be working for are happy with this arrangement. And I use the word 'work' a bit loosely. I'll be helping some people out doing maybe 10-20 hours a month. Paid work. Weekend work. And in the mean time I will be starting a new job in my home city down South which will provide me with an income to take care of my adult responsibilities! Something that is sorely needed after nearly 4 months of not working! On the one hand it's the best of both worlds (since the day job is a good paying job and is in my profession), on the other hand it is highly disappointing not to fulfil my dream of finding a full time flying job at this point in my life.

My time up North has made me want it even more. And actually made me really want a flying job up there - not just one based from my home city. I have always loved travelling, and now I feel the pull of the great North and will not only be trying from afar to get back there, but will be looking for jobs in my current profession up there where possible, and will be paying more visits up there to continue meeting with operators. Be it 6 months time, 12 months time, or whenever I sense an opportunity awaits me. Being able to earn an income at home in the mean time at least will afford me with that option, while still being able to gain some flying experience in the mean time, and perhaps continue with some additional flight training.

To answer some questions in the mean time:

where are you at the moment?
Just got back home a couple of hours ago. Back in the (relatively) big smoke.

have you visited kunnus yet?
Yes. Not a bad town. Far from lots of places, but fascinating landscapes. Lots of pilots in wait there. Lots.

Which towns do you recommend going to?
Definitely Kununurra & Broome. Darwin definitely has potential, and very possibly Jabiru. That's my honest opinion for the moment. In a month's time, things may change a bit.

Do you spend long in each town?
Personally I didn't. But perhaps that is my downfall. I would like to think that operators employ people based on merit (eg., good pilot, good people skills to deal with customers, etc.) and not just based on the fact that you're in town or been in town for a long time. Perhaps this isn't the case (based on what other people say on here), I'm not sure. If you do plan on staying in one town, I highly recommend checking out a few towns to see which one you could see yourself staying in long term, and after meeting some pilots and the chief pilots at the local operators - which places you would definitely like to (or not like to) work.

Are you calling ahead as a rule or just dropping in to companies?
I have done this most of the time, but not all of the time. I don't think this helped in any way apart from finding out ahead of time whether I would be wasting my time (or the chief pilot's time) by coming in and speaking to them. If a town is 500km from the next closest place you're going, and there's only one operator, and you know before you get there that they don't employ anyone with less than 500 hours due to requirements A, B & C. And you only have 200 hours, then you have an easy decision in front of you!

Is the plan to stay at a place and hang out until something comes up?
Kinda. Yes, but not up North at the moment. Too many other issues to consider right now, and I have a small opportunity down South which is better than nothing!

Is it best to buy a car or rent?
Work out a rough idea of where you plan on going and for how long first. If it's more than ~10 days AND it's a one way trip (eg., start in Darwin, end in Broome), then better to buy (money-wise). Renting has the benefit of nothing to worry about, but it gets expensive quickly. If you buy a reasonable car and sell it when you're done, you can easily get away without losing too much money on it. That's the route I took as it gave me more freedom and less to worry about.

From a CV perspective, i'm guessing it needs to be pared back to cover only relevant points?
For a new person starting out in aviation, relevant points are a bit subjective. IMHO, relevant points are not just flying related, but also things to show experience with dealing with customers, education, and demonstrating professionalism. These are the things I would think are important - others may not. Not sure.

Any companies to avoid?
Not that I know of!!! I'm sure people who have worked for companies would have stories to tell. But being a noobie, I don't know if there are any companies one should avoid. I can imagine some of the more experienced pilots reading this would be having a giggle to themselves....

Well - that's it for now. Long post, I know. Be well everyone!
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 14:20
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: adelaide
Posts: 17
krazy, thankyou for sharing your experiences with us. sounds like im in a similar position to you and will be looking for jobs up north later on this year. i'll be keeping an eye on this thread. good luck!
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 19:40
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
bushy, your man showed resource, presumably that's what you're implying. There used to be in the army an old nostrum about the best way to soften and break in your boots. Pig's arse. They end up smelling crook and the ammonia rots the stitching.
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 23:03
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 61
Smile The way of the world


I, amongst a lot of other people, have read with interest your various postings and wish you well in your future aspirations. Although I no longer have a current license, engineer and pilot, I have a great deal of sympathy for those folks wishing to get on the aviation treadmill and feel frustrated in not able to get a decent leg up the ladder. My son is in a similar position to you, and many other folks who have contributed to the thread, and I can only say that those who wish to realize their dreams will have to stick with the game plan and wait for the opportunity to arise as it surely will one day.

However, your posts have no doubt been a valuable source of first hand information and experience for other eager guys and girls thinking along the lines of heading north, and I wish you well in your endeavors, wherever they may lead you.

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Old 18th Feb 2010, 23:49
  #110 (permalink)  
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Good for you Krazy!

Many inspirations through and through. Cheers for the story and good luck in the future

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Old 19th Feb 2010, 01:24
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
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hey krazy

why was it so difficult to ge a job? was it because of your hours of experience? what are your qualifications? and what did the operators prefer?
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 02:25
  #112 (permalink)  
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why was it so difficult to ge a job? was it because of your hours of experience? what are your qualifications? and what did the operators prefer?
I think the following things would have increased my probability of getting a job:
  • Hanging around in a given town and continuously making it known that I'm there hoping for a position.
  • An extra 100+ hours flying experience (I have just over 200). This would have opened up more opportunities (even though if may have closed a couple as well).
  • Being more confident and more of a risk taker (not flying-wise, but in terms of risking my comfy life back home type thing).

I don't specifically know of people that have been hired over me. It's not like a 'standard' professional job where there is an advertisement, you apply, get shortlisted, have an interview, and then get feedback if you don't make the cut. It's more like Owen Stanley points out actually!
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 02:47
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SYD
Posts: 8

Thanks Krazy for an excellent thread. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about your journey.
I'll recommend it to a couple of aspiring pilots I know.

Best of luck for the future.

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Old 20th Feb 2010, 09:45
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chunny
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Wrap some of this around your laughing gear ....

This bloke should be given a HUGE thumbs up ... All you need to know is here.

Enjoy the Kimberley , I kicked off around there ... was paid little , worked hard and slept rough but had the best time and made the closest of mates.

The Adventures of Robbo the Yobbo!

Last edited by myshoutcaptain; 20th Feb 2010 at 09:47. Reason: to make the post look neater!
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Old 22nd Feb 2010, 19:19
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Manchester
Age: 37
Posts: 167

Hope all is well and good, I have been directed to this thread by a few of our peers. I have just had a chance to read it, firstly thank you for the mention you gave me. Secondly you are doing a great job, I must say welldone on your efforts and courage. Keep up the great work your doing.

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Old 1st Mar 2010, 06:51
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ringer Soak
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Just to clear it up, Alligator will be hiring a maximum of 12 this year. The first couple of pilots will be taken on around mid to late april, with a further 6 in May and 4 late May/June.

Not sure about Slingair, all reports say around 6-8.

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Old 1st Mar 2010, 10:40
  #117 (permalink)  
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All you got to do at Slingair to get one of those slots is to feed the CP full of piss at the hostel when he arrives for a swim......

Word travels quick boys
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Old 7th Mar 2010, 04:13
  #118 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Australia
Age: 39
Posts: 76
You get the golden handshake yet?
Not golden, and perhaps not even silver. I would say bronze. And for the moment, I'm happy with it :-)
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Old 7th Mar 2010, 05:10
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Posts: 77
So you got a gig then?

With out giving too much away, what you flying?
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Old 7th Mar 2010, 22:06
  #120 (permalink)  
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Australia
Age: 39
Posts: 76
what you flying?
Just a 182.
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