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VALE - Jack Funnell - Mildura Instructor

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VALE - Jack Funnell - Mildura Instructor

Old 21st Sep 2011, 14:08
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VALE - Jack Funnell - Mildura Instructor

Many Pruners will be saddened to hear that Jack passed away early today in Mildura after suffering a stroke a week or so back.

Many of his students progessed into the industry as pilots in charter, RFDS, VIP ops, the regional's, domestic operators as well as some overseas.

All will remember the many "Jackisms".

He was a legend in his own lifetime conducting training from Mildura and Swan Hill since the late '50's and from his new hangar in Mildura right up till recent times.

He will be remembered fondly by all those who were privileged to be one of his many students and friends.

Funeral will be Thu 29 Sep at 1pm.

May you continue to fly high Jack............. One of the "lads".
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Old 21st Sep 2011, 23:51
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One of the finest Instructors and Aviators the industry has known, sadly missed.

R.I.P. Jack
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Old 21st Sep 2011, 23:53
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.....damn,am stunned!! Bloody hell Jack, don't leave us now mate you'll be missed way too much. That is so sad, the guy was an enigma. Taught me the intricacies of my first twin. Will never 4get his casual helpful R/T when inbound to MIA he simply stayed out of our way whilst others slipped in ahead of him.

Jack may yr days of flying just be a little easier with wings of a diff kind strapped to yr back, you will be missed but never 4gotten as many a story will be told of the good 'ole days with you as the star

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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 01:57
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Glad to have met you Jack and thanks for sharing your favourite toy


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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 05:25
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Its a pity the good guys can't go on forever! Great bloke, great pilot.
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 08:02
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Sad news indeed. Seems like only yesterday that I did my CPL test with him. Having done training with another operator I still remember him saying to me, "Now son let me show you how to do a real short-field Take-off!". Great Pilot, great bloke, and no doubt he will be missed by all in the Sunraysia region. RIP Jack.

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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 08:53
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In the immortal words of major Darling. Bugger!
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 10:36
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Sad news indeed.

I've still got my little ATS wings badge ....
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 11:22
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My only experience with Jack was my CPL flight test 10 years ago. I logged 3.5 hours but I feel he passed on a tremendous amount of knowledge in that short amount of time. I was so nervous and he really put me at ease, made passing the test so much easier than I anticipated.

Thanks Jack, RIP

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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 12:26
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Jack will be missed

I never thought I'd have heard of Jacks passing on the Internet, what shocking news. I will attend the funeral, can anyone else who is going please PM me?

I'd like to share my memories:
I did my CPL with Jack in 2004. I had so much fun, his PSL exercise was brilliant - "now son, picture yourself in as much sh1t as you could ever imagine"

Twin training- excellent. "Now, my boy, when pilots shut down the wrong engine it usually means the dopey [email protected] was sitting their daydreaming of his wife's sister"....

Refueling in Broken Hill, he did the fuel test and said "son, I just better give it a taste," dipped his middle finger in the fuel sample and put his index finger in his mouth (but made it totally look like he licked the same finger!!) "right son, she's good to go"

Very old fashioned, still used fax to get the weather and submit flight plans...

I believe the day he issued my CPL he said I was about his 6500'th CPL student, and he was 67 years old then. he would pick me up in the valiant (that he run on avgas!) and take me to training everyday.

I remember doing circuits in the tomahawk (which he loved calling the "THOMASHAWK"!) and every time a Rex or Qlink would call inbound, everyone would say "Hi jack"... Then he'd turn to me and say "He's one of my boys!"..... I used to say back "I'll be one of your boys one day too mate"!!

Just writing this I've managed to get watery eyes, I think all would agree we've lost Australia's finest instructor. You'll live long in my memory pal

Nev B
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 13:28
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Over 7000 students as of a couple of weeks ago when I last had a chat.

One of the more memorable apparently was a chap who bought a Baron and Jack did his entire PPL in it - 10 hours of airwork and 10 hours of assy work and away he went solo!

There must be a lot more stories to share!
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Old 22nd Sep 2011, 13:49
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RIP Jack

I had a bit to do with you many many years ago. My father learnt to fly with you, I flew with you, and heard many stories from the old mallee days buzzing around in the old Victa's, Tomahawks, Cherokee's & Seminole's.

Sadly the last time I saw you (i think) was at John Lindsay's funeral at Moorabbin Airport.

May your wings continue to soar old mate !!!! You were one hell of an instructor!!!!

Cheers Cheers Cheers, KP
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Old 23rd Sep 2011, 05:22
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Really sad news, heard about his stroke....thought he'd just keep going forever. Spent many hours sitting next to Jack in PBN, PBR then PBP. Hope your somewhere sailing with that all female crew you used to talk about. R.i.p. Jack. You will be sadly missed by us all. Cant attend the funeral unfortunately, would love to be there to pay my respect. Really sad. Another one of the "boy"s you trained.

Last edited by kimir; 23rd Sep 2011 at 10:48.
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Old 24th Sep 2011, 09:22
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life long friend and mentore

I was not able to absorb this terrible news that my life long friend and above all the man that saved my life several times through passing his knowledge onto me had passed away. It all started by him asking if he could have a ride on my brand new cb450 honda in june of 1972. (Can I take it for a spin BOY) My reply was "can I have a fly?" while looking at PBC. He immediately called GB outside and said, take greg for a fly, I'm pi--ing off on his bike. Jack was and always will be a dear friend. I can still remember that little triumph herald ripping up our driveway in Irymple when I was about 6 years old. I then lost touch with Jack until that day that he rode my bike. I found my way into a few tight spots while up there in one of the PB's over the years, but Jacks passed on knowledge saved everything. I remember the last time that i renewed my licenence with him. Here I am a VFR pilot, hit the soup at 2000 feet about 4 miles out of Mildura headed for Adelaide, collecting ice at 6500 and jack just sat there playing around with my new electronic flight computer. "What do ya want me to do jack?" Its your bird "BOY" do what you think is right, its your decision. I did what i thought was right, then through the headphones came, "i musta taught you right boy". Last time i seen Jack was on a visit to mildura last year and had a can or two with him in his hanger. The angels have got the best instructor they ever had now, really miss ya mate, hope your the one to give me my next set of wings. GMA.
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Old 26th Sep 2011, 13:43
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For anyone who is interested... I've been in touch with Jacks family and here are the details:

Funeral is on Thursday the 29th at 1.30pm in Mildura VIC at the North Westen Funeral home.

I was going to suggest full uniform to the funeral, in respect to Jack. I didn't know if it sounded unreasonable or not. I wouldn't like to be the only one in full uniform but I will if others are.

With over 7000 pilots licences issued you'd imagine there would be a certain percentage of them attending the funeral: it might be an idea to indicate if you are going or not?
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Old 27th Sep 2011, 08:43
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the only picture I could find... PBR

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Old 27th Sep 2011, 12:22
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some more of his babies.

i got pics of FLG (250 single comanchi), PBJ AND PBR. Cant work out how to load them on here. Some of Jacks other birds from the 70's were, PBW and PBC. I believe all these birds are still flying. I know FLG is because i seen it today.
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Old 27th Sep 2011, 14:01
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Jack, you didn't do too badly for a bloke who said he was retiring within 12 months when you did my GFPT in December of '93!

All Jacks's students will remember "The Bible", his compilation of checklists and notes. I took it out of the bookcase tonight and had a flick through.


1. Loosen neckwear, remove glasses, dentures, high heel shoes, bras and scanties
I never did ask about the last couple there. I guess if you've got to go out, you may as well enjoy yourself; I'm pretty sure that's what you'd be doing right now.

Young Jack took his doctor’s advice and headed for the dryer and warmer climate of Mildura and got a job for 12 months at South Merbein with Jack Hunt clearing land with an old bulldozer and a couple of tractors.
I remember Jack pointing out that dozer out in the Mildura training area as we did PFLs and precautionary searches, still sitting where it broke down many years earlier.

Thanks for giving me the honour of being the last multi endorsement in your logbook.

Blue skies, always.
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Old 29th Sep 2011, 02:56
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Did Jack fly the MU-2 when Cobdens run it on RPT?

ASA will no doubt have to issue a Notam for Mildura to cover the wake as their will be lots of flying and lying activity, tall stories, alcohol consumed, bagging CASA blokes during the afternoon and evening!
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Old 29th Sep 2011, 03:53
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no beer

I remember a fly in we did to mootwingie somewhere north of broken hill in the early days. All jacks planes went. We found out that there was no beer there. Jack couldn't hack the idea of not having several beers that night so he flew into broken hill in FLG with a broken tacho and all to get some beer for all of us. The next time we seen jack was on the next day when we arrived back in mia. He had one real bad hangover and we had nothing to drink. Fond memories of jack and more to come.
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