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Those were the days

Old 16th May 2022, 06:08
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Those were the days

I have just been reading again the book “Call of the Kyeema” by Doug Whitfield, which tells the story of the early days of DCA and Flight Service. I particularly like this bit in relation to Alice Springs in 1970:

“The staff included six flight service radio operators, three flight service briefing office operators, three communication officers to operate the teleprinter circuits, three administration staff, twelve airport groundsmen, three district airport inspectors, three mechanics, three electrical tradesmen, six radio technicians, and an officer in charge. An air traffic control unit was about to commence full operations, and with it would be six to eight air traffic controllers to add to the list.”
I can see why the Review of Resources was so successful. Imagine if the industry had to pay for all that!
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:12
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Just quietly Dick, aviation costs me a whole lot more now than it did then, something didn't quite go to plan.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:19
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If I remember correctly in those days we had Airnav charges which cost a lump some of about $3k a year for a twin Comanche

Last edited by Dick Smith; 16th May 2022 at 13:25.
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Old 16th May 2022, 09:48
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Yep and about $3,800 for a Baron 58. So much easier back then.
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Old 16th May 2022, 10:19
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A bit disingenuous as it ignores the staffing requirements for shift work and the functions filled today by the airport staff and the geographic coverage provided by technical staff at the time.
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Old 16th May 2022, 10:30
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Really

Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
I have just been reading again the book “Call of the Kyeema” by Doug Whitfield, which tells the story of the early days of DCA and Flight Service. I particularly like this bit in relation to Alice Springs in 1970:


I
can see why the Review of Resources was so successful. Imagine if the industry had to pay for all that!
ok, I was flying all over the country when the then DCA had all those quoted resources. We as pilots felt very supported in an era of no social media and no weather radar on the phone. Pilots today have all those resources and yet the accident rate is way in excess of the rate in the good old days. Sorry Dick, your view on costs and the old days of DCA don’t mitigate the accident rate in GA today.
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Old 16th May 2022, 13:08
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FSUs were a home away from home on those numerous all day charters in winter. No motels provided in those days, most FSU's made visiting pilots welcome to find a spot in the warm on those miserable days, make a cuppa or just have a chat. Devenport, Wynyard, Mildura, Broken Hill, Mt. Gambier, Leigh Creek, Cooma, Broken Hill particularly. I worked out of King Island for just over a year in the early 70's and spent many nights staying in the OIC 's DCA house, Brian Jones, great guy. Remember many times trying to cancel SAR in the circuit late at night on arrival at KI and getting Dubbo, or Mt. Isa or Carnarvon or Tennant Creek on HF. Great Service from all those Ladies and Gents.

Last edited by deja vu; 16th May 2022 at 13:19.
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Old 16th May 2022, 13:23
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The friendly FSO at Ceduna in 1984 loaned me his car so I could drive into town and get some lunch.
At Dubbo they would call a taxi
Those were the days!
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Old 16th May 2022, 17:06
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
FSUs were a home away from home on those numerous all day charters in winter. No motels provided in those days, most FSU's made visiting pilots welcome to find a spot in the warm on those miserable days, make a cuppa or just have a chat…..
Agreed
I spent my 21st birthday out of the winter chill, with the boys in the King Island FSU.
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Old 16th May 2022, 22:47
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Oldbrigade
What data sources are you using for your statement re accident rates?
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Old 17th May 2022, 03:40
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Apart from the 6 FSO's (the 3 briefing officers were more likely Met guys employed by BoM), the industry is still paying for most of that, just not directly. Apparently those were the days, because since that "problem" was fixed, the industry has done nothing but complain about how much the present system costs and how little value they get out of it. That Review of Resources was a triumph all right.
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Old 17th May 2022, 06:21
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
FSUs were a home away from home on those numerous all day charters in winter. No motels provided in those days, most FSU's made visiting pilots welcome to find a spot in the warm on those miserable days, make a cuppa or just have a chat. Devenport, Wynyard, Mildura, Broken Hill, Mt. Gambier, Leigh Creek, Cooma, Broken Hill particularly. I worked out of King Island for just over a year in the early 70's and spent many nights staying in the OIC 's DCA house, Brian Jones, great guy. Remember many times trying to cancel SAR in the circuit late at night on arrival at KI and getting Dubbo, or Mt. Isa or Carnarvon or Tennant Creek on HF. Great Service from all those Ladies and Gents.
And don't forget Wagga FSU, Getting back home after midnight when Pat Chiswell remained on duty until I landed and kept my wife briefed on my progress, no mobiles in those days!
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Old 17th May 2022, 09:07
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Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was View Post
Apart from the 6 FSO's (the 3 briefing officers were more likely Met guys employed by BoM), the industry is still paying for most of that, just not directly. Apparently those were the days, because since that "problem" was fixed, the industry has done nothing but complain about how much the present system costs and how little value they get out of it. That Review of Resources was a triumph all right.
The industry has done nothing but complain about how much the present system costs and how little value they get out of it?

Can I go all Vag on you? Please define “the present system” and “the industry” and please cite some authoritative source for your assertion that “the industry” has done “nothing but complain” about how much “the present system costs”.
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Old 17th May 2022, 10:30
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Old 18th May 2022, 11:34
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cite some authoritative source for your assertion that “the industry” has done “nothing but complain” about how much “the present system costs”.
Pick one
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Old 18th May 2022, 13:20
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I was glad that Alice Springs FSU was there in mid 70s when I had to leave an oil rig in the middle of the night that was half way between Alice and Broome with a snake bite victim on board.
They organised everything, relayed info from the medical people and had the ambulance waiting in Alice. Even arranged to the taxi to take me into town.

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Old 21st May 2022, 23:44
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Those were the days.

Flew into Parafield in 1962 and asked the FSU officer where nearest hotel was for overnight accomodation. Was taken upstairs in the tower and given free use of the itinerant pilot quarters . Was a fully equiped flat for two.
Those really were the days.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 00:10
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And today there are no public toilets at Parafield. I kid you not.

’Progress’.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 01:48
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Are you sure LB? Everywhere I go there are mens toilets. Just after you jump out of the plane, quite convenient
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Old 2nd Jun 2022, 05:26
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What are you flying these days Dick? I was reminscing at The Old Station Fly In on the weekend about the year you dropped in in the Caravan. Maybe 2003/4.

Cheers
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