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Moonee Ponds International Airport(YMEN)

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Moonee Ponds International Airport(YMEN)

Old 18th Feb 2010, 07:02
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Moonee Ponds International Airport(YMEN)

Okay PPruners must be a few stories that can be told about Essendon Airport.

Nothing like standing on the tarmac and watching Oscar Victor Mike taxi out and take-off on a cold winter's night for one of the Gooney Bird flights.

The arrival and depature of a Learjet, or Citation or Gulfstream always looks impressive agianst the backdrop of Melbourne Skyline whether it be day or night.

The days of the mass departure by the Penguin flights, was always a way to spend a lazy afternoon, when the Doves, Navajo's, Cessna C402 would be heading off to Philip Island with the Japanese tourists.

Whatever happened to Skybird?

Fond memories of doing Link Training with Keith Hants while trying to unravel the mysteries of the ADF and holding patterns!

The night's of Ipec's Argosies going back and forth across Bass Strait.

The Disco in he main terminal.

Over to you Captain Wally, Fly-Spike and any other ppruners must be a few stories to be told.
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 09:11
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I'll Join in! My first memory of Essendon Airport

I guess I was about 5 and dad parked the car near the airport boundary somewhere. (I was a mad aeroplane tragic even then) a big beautiful shiny DC4 or 6 taxied passed, side window open, captains elbow hanging out, I was thrilled when the pilot returned my wave! A simple but good memory
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 10:46
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..................sheeeez "CLX" cut that out will ya I have a tear in my eye from reading that post, ahhhh the memories:-)
Too many stories to tell here after 30 yrs of EN ops but the old Penguin flights where the best & I learnt the most about airman-ship/survival right there & then!. The DH104 (Dove) was typical Pommy CRAP..............flew beautifully but ergonomically was a night mare! One night returning back to base (EN) in the old Dove full of nipondenso's ( no disrespect meant) I had a young lady who was sitting up front with me (we crammed 'em in!13 POB) she leaned over me (wasn't all bad this night) & took a flash shot of the CBD skyline pretty much right in my face..................(they loved their cameras) for a little while there I was gunna ask her to take the controls as I could see sh1t!!!!!!.......as I said too many stories to tell here not enough scope to tell all We (the pilots) where still asked by MM to do a city orbit even in IMC for the happy Japs!. AlsoS/H ( & I mean second hand too!!!) champagne for the punters b4 we left for PID. They don't know how lucky they where to survive a ride in da old Dove!
"Skybird" had the biggest & fanciest rubber plants in their office, attracted us gringo's because we where impressed!:-) They had the most shinniest planes on-line, hardly any where there's I think.. Solo rates on VH WYG (for Eg) was $30 bucks!!!!.....God where did we go wrong from there?

Poor old KH may he rest in peace he was the most DTE guy I had ever met & real character when you where in that old steam driven Sim trying to concentrate on an NDB whilst he was talking away like there was no 2moro How he ever kept that old thing running I will never know! The stories he had alone ( DC6 engine off airframe over the water for one Eg) would take up the whole PPRuNe site for years!
AAA also remember them at EN, Hi Russ if yr still about

Loved the Disco, a real chick pick up joint for us lonely old men Doing joy flights out of the Disco of a night time, that was the cue for polishing the old ****** bars although with enough booze flowing you didn't need them anyway!
The Canberra bombers up at the Nth EN graveyard, often wandered around them for a look pre security BS, ahh those where the days............best I wipe the tears away here & let reality come filtering back


Wmk2
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 11:42
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The disco at Essendon Airport was called "The Cockpit" yes it was, running from late 70's until early to mid 80's and what a place it was, great views and plenty of beer and ladies.
It was from a brain cell depleted memory, open on Tues nights (ladies night, free entry) Thurs and Sunday and it closed around midnight.
Growing up on the flight path for the Western bound planes landing (I am not a pilot) is a memory I will never forget.
The early jets were very loud and we had to wait until they flew over before resuming a phone conversation.
Keep it open, as I can see both Tullamarine and Essendon plane movement from where we live now.
We live on the Eastern end of the runway and have not a worry at all from the airport traffic, and we know that and a few airline pilots live locally so we all should all form a "Keep Essendon Airport Alive" group.
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 12:01
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we all should all form a "Keep Essendon Airport Alive" group.
There's already one on facebook.
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 12:36
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Ah the Cockpit,then the Flitedeck, then Hangar 55. The .1 joyflights in the Chief, frozen meals at the Island, having to drive the Nippondensos back to their hotel, and still cant believe I got paid to fly the Great Ocean road at 500'. So many memories, most good
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 13:20
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Oh dear ... memories, indeed ...

Skybird

John M, last I spoke with him up in Gisborne, was (is ?) busily making a quid in the legal eagle game .. no idea if he still does any flying. An interesting chap if ever there was one.

Keith Hants

(and Ken Fenton - did my initial I/F training with Ken when he was at AN)

lovely fellas both of them - gentlemen with high motivation for their student folk.

unravel the mysteries of the ADF

once you gave the RMI the flick and did it fixed card it became too easy ..

Ipec's Argosies going back and forth across Bass Strait

BBA, IPF, IPC and I think, from the fading brain cells, that BBA came back from Asia as IPA ? Phil Petersen, Dick Creak. Some interesting folk amongst that pilot group ... Keith, Jack, Denis, Terry S and Terry H, Russ, Baz, and a bunch of others ... They even had a DC3 at the start.

The Disco at the Cockpit

.. many nights spent there in disgraceful disarray with the usual cadre of reprobates .. fond memories of the entertainment afternoons ... Chad Morgan comes to mind .. a thoroughly interesting and entertaining chap.

the old Penguin flights where the best

I still think Jack Mac's test flights in Bob Eastgate's Mustang were the best. Can remember standing with the boys at the IPEC hangars when Jack departed for a quick circuit ... held the beast down and then a tactical transition to downwind .. magic stuff. Memories of Maurice's city flights and being grabbed to replace one of his pilots at the usual short notice .. hadn't been in that Chieftain before and couldn't find whatever switch was important at the time .. asked Maurie if he knew where it was through the DV window ... the passenger in the other seat didn't seem to notice or care.

Jess Smith's Melbourne Aircraft Maintenance and Omni Aviation

Ernie Shipanis' InterAir

Ralph Caponi's avionics business (how many know that Ralph originally flew for some time as an F/O with ANA before qualifying in medicine and, subsequently, electrical engineering ?)

Jim Small's fish business when AN couldn't drag him to work on the Goose. The establishment replaced by the Air Ambulance after Jim wrote himself off in the Shrike .. lovely machine to fly. I think I saw in the paper recently that Phil Hogan stills heads up the Air Ambulance operation ?

The DCA Flying Unit (interesting memories of dear old George)

Mike Fall's operation

Notty's GAM

Can still picture the original Inspector at PAW but can't recall his name after a couple of wines (red hair and he then went off flying LearJets as I recall) .. followed up by Darryl Knight who, last time I ran into him, was at MB instructing. Both fine chaps.

Ansair with its seat manufacturing business

Noel Lamont's AAA (subsequently Pascoe da Gama's). Can recall one night .. no, no ... we won't go there .. and someone else won the lottery, anyway. Nimbus Coaching and the origins of Trevor Thom's ATC books hark back to those days and, for those now of senior vintage who think they know who I am .. "waffle, waffle, waffle".

Wally Bednar

Alan Baskett

The origins of Flight Data Systems

And, with a bit of effort, I could bring to mind many others.

However, that list should give others enough of a start to recall many, many anecdotes relating to tales of derry doing ....

Time now to retire to another glass of fine red with some Wagner in the background and rock gently in my rocking chair contemplating times now long gone .... a brief smile from time to time ....
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 21:33
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Gee "JT" that rocking chair must be getting a good work out there How many flasks of red have ya got?

I recall Jim's escapade into the Northcote Golf Links in VH-ALH many years ago, sad story that one, won't go there, no need to now.
Yep JM is up my way (Gisborne), I don't think he's grown any, well vertically anyway He was always good to us gringo's, made us feel important

Yes PH is part of the Vic Air Ambo's, nice guy easy to talk too with no doubt many stories to tell as well.

GAM.....Notty was an apprentice working for Exec's back in the late 70's. Skinny little kid (believe it or not) we used to make go get our morning tea's & lunches. Little did we think at the time that he would go on to own the most AC's in the Sth hemisphere. RIP Steve & thanks for doing our dirty work for us

"yowie" the 500 ft coastal jaunts down the coast where fun dropping into Peterborough (the more inland strip) to let off the Japs & at times Cobden. One day I was tasked to take 2 Japanese tourists along to the GOR (Great ocean Road) & it was one of those typical hot Melb days where the wind was howling from the Nth.
Down around lake Colac after bouncing around like a cork in an ocean for a while I smelt something that I think I will never 4get. I turned around only to see the female pax pretty much green as the grass & spew EVERYWHERE! I didn't know someone could redecorate Maurice's old AC that much with every type of rice meal known to mankind! The hubby ( I assume) tapped me on the shoulder & pointed back behind us, didn't take long to realize that they wanted to go back even though we couldn't communicate language wise. I always wondered if they ever understood the cabin safety briefing, oh well every man for himself going down in a ball of flames I reckon! When back at EN the lady was carted off to hossy by ambulance i think, MM wanted to know if they said anything about wanting their money back.........god I had to laugh!


Gee where does it end...............I wouldn't give any of it back for one second, I'd hate to have no stories to tell after a lifetime of flying if i was a product of a cadet-ship pilot sausage factory, but I guess they'll never know anyway.............such is life!

Wmk2 reaches for the tissues
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Old 18th Feb 2010, 21:49
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Poor old KH may he rest in peace he was the most DTE guy I had ever met & real character when you where in that old steam driven Sim trying to concentrate on an NDB whilst he was talking away like there was no 2moro How he ever kept that old thing running I will never know! The stories he had alone ( DC6 engine off airframe over the water for one Eg) would take up the whole PPRuNe site for years!
I vividly remember how you would be (sweating) conducting a DME homing in his Link, when the Link side door would open and K would ask how would you like your coffee and a couple of minutes later, whilst still sweating, this time doing a letdown, the door would open and the coffee handed to you. Talk about pressure and again most of the time he would be relating some of his experiences. Ah, the GOD's.
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 02:05
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Both Keith and Ken were masters at the "have a coffee" workload overload increase .. most students didn't realise what the gameplan was all about.

Both managed to gauge what the student could handle in stylish fashion.

... we all had more than a fair share of sweaty Links and sims ...
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 03:37
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The very old days

I took my 93 year old grandmother to the airways museum a few months back as her dad was the first ATC at Essendon back in the 30's.

She looked at the big aerial photo of EN on the wall taken in the late 30's and she commented, "yes, that's just how I remember it. I used to play just there [pointing to a shack where the tanks are now] when dad was at work."

She recounted how the Holyman airways pilots used to come over to her house to socialise with the family (who lived off the end of 17) and how devastated they were when the two aircraft were lost in Bass Strait in the mid 30's as they knew each other so well.

Many other stories as well. I'm trying to get it all on tape - particularly the bits about growing up on Thursday Island then Broome (where my great great grandfather was a radio operator) as a little white girl in the 1920's.
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Old 22nd Feb 2010, 05:27
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Did some time in Keith's sim, always found him a great teacher but also had a few good stories to tell as well.

I asked about the DC-6 incident and he just said, "oh had a prop overspeed and then a problem with the engine as well". Over a coffee explained what happened and how they dealt with it, and the next day he bought in the cutting out of the Sun. An interesting article in one of the ultralight magazines a few years ago, including the DC-6 incident.

Still got the J.O Lancaster invoices from him for the simulator.

Wonder what happened to his immaculate Holden Kingswood?

The other story he told me was getting the job with Ansett after many years of trying, like every other unemployed RAAF pilot. The checkout in the DC-3 consisted of three circuits on the old cross strip at Essendon and then sent off on a night freighter.


Capt Wally, if the disco was still at the terminal you could slip down while on night shift, and show the chickey babes some flash moves!!!!

Imagine Capt Wally with a mullet and tight flares.
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Old 22nd Feb 2010, 06:00
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What Navaids did Essendon have prior to Tullamarine opening?

Was there an ILS onto runway 17?

Last edited by Stationair8; 22nd Feb 2010 at 06:43.
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Old 22nd Feb 2010, 06:27
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Christ "S8" i'd be lucky to climb the stairs to get to the disco these days buddy:-)

His Kingswood made way for an immaculate Toyota Cressida which I took a look at for him a few times being an ex motor mech. Even though I don't drink coffee old Keith still made me one & tried to hand it into the cockpit whilst I was turning inbound on an NDB all the while talking The likes of Keith made EN, the place has no personality now, just a commercial precinct that has lost her soul God I found my old log book with KH as my Sim instructor 1983 for me. The AT-34, amazing high tech machinery
As far as I know S8 EN had the ILS on rwy 26 (as now), an NDB & a twin Loc for rwy 17 & an Aussie DME Ch 5 I think? Probably a DME homing proc I can't recall.


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Old 22nd Feb 2010, 06:41
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Having a look in the logbook, used to hire a Cessna 172 VH-HJY off Skybird in the mid 80's. Pretty little red one, cause they always go faster.

Very humble experience going to Skybird with all those ace pilots wearing more gold bars than one could poke a stick at.

Remeber the Cheyenne they operated for corporate charter?

Anyone remember the Expo at the airport in 1984 or 1985?

What happened to the Cessna C207 that did survey work out of Essendon?
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 21:35
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Funny how the airport designers of the day, put a tram line in all the way to the terminal in the 1930's, yet here we are 2010 and they are still talking about a fast train line from Tullamarine to the CBD by 2025?

Anyone remember the Nord Mohawks that Par Avion run through Essendon during the pilots dispute?
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 22:22
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Melbourne

Geeez Station8,

Your mention of the Melbourne-Tulla rail link has got me reeallly wound up - where are my pills?

Warning - rant coming:-

I don't know what is going on in Australia.

With what we pay in taxes it is a joke that Tulla has no public transport link.

I had to get in a taxi the other day to go down to Essendon from Tulla and the taxi driver nearly spat in my face when he discovered how short a journey he was getting. I got out and went upstairs and got in a drop-off cab, who was real happy.

Melbourne, and most of the other Australian capitals are creaking at the seams and it shows in the attitudes of the general population now.

We all seem to have the pressure rages just simmering underneath the surface and it is let go with the smallest of catalysts - in traffic or in crowds, or when we get the bills that are never ending. Australians are no longer polite or well mannered, or seem to have pride.

Maybe its because we pay huge taxes plus GST and look at the sh1tty infrastructure.

The citylink tollways in Melbourne? FFS? The system is a serious p1sstake and ridiculous cost where in most other countries it would be free. And we just can't build a decent road. The system is like me - ready for a quadruple bypass.

Flinders St station is like a sewer.

Roads that resemble goat tracks, limited bike paths unless you live in the 'name' suburbs, trams and trains destroyed with graffiti and abuse.

Either the train or tram system should be buried underground, and the recovered arterial rail land used for proper road and bike links.

What is going on?

We are 100 years behind. Time for a revolution!
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 23:18
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the taxi driver nearly spat in my face when he discovered how short a journey he was getting

Keep in mind that the driver has just spent probably 3-4 hours in the taxi holding pattern over past the freight sheds.

Simple courtesy consideration.

In a previous life I did numerous taxi trips from around the back of the airport to the terminal - about a third of the distance to Essendon. When departing from Tullamarine airport for a short trip, consider jumping in the cab at the departures, rather than arrivals, level just after the arriving taxi passenger gets out .. no complaints then.
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Old 23rd Feb 2010, 23:53
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So no ILS on runway 17, only the twin locater approach?

Must have been big balls stuff taking a B727/DC-9 into Essendon on a dirty wet night with a low cloud base then.

Did the B727/DC-9 use the 26 taxiway or did they have to backtrack for depature?

Ipec had a contract at one stage for G.J. Coles warehouse so consequently at Christmas time the Argosies were running around the clock to meet the demand.

Come on Ppruners must be few more stories lurking about Essendon.
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Old 24th Feb 2010, 01:49
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re taxi drivers

Yep. Learnt many, many years ago that at Tulla, you go upstairs to Arrivals, ask the cabbie politely if they would like a short fare to EN and have never been turned down yet.

Come on Ppruners must be few more stories lurking about Essendon.
Ah yes there are, but fortunately, most of the characters are still with us, so to protect the (not so) innocent.....mum's the word.
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