Overview of my Work Experience.
I was fifteen and eagerly started my working life in the sub basement of Adelaide’s premier department store. From memory, my first pay envelope contained less than five pounds. Within three months I gained a sales position in the photography department and was manager prior to my eighteenth birthday. The future looked bright, but I moved into the building industry. Over the next two decades, I experienced general process work, completed two years National Service, performed carpentry work, cabinet making, general office work, sales and estimating. The experience evolved into an executive staff position for the company. During this time I married, started a family and discovered a passion for flying. By the mid eighties, with my marriage over, I abandoned the corporate career to pursue a career in aviation. While acquiring the necessary hours and experience to advance a flying career, I needed to supplement my income. I worked as a limousine driver, a handyman, sold security systems, houses, computers, installed patios and sheds. The computer age had arrived and I embraced the technology, exploring new opportunities. Acting in a consultancy role I provided computer based solutions for accounting, payroll and job costing. My flying career worked in parallel with the computer based work. I enjoyed the freedom the computer based work provided with flexible hours and a work from home environment. When I retired from flying, the computer work, seemed to be a natural choice for me.
Why I Built my First Website
Computer crashes were common place and I repeatedly restored or re-entered lost data on both my own and on clients computers. I became very creative, developing ways to reduce and eliminate this problem. I discovered that a lot of data, web links and personal settings could be stored within a website making the restoration process a relatively simple task. This was the catalyst for the first website I built.
How I Became Interested in Aviation
I was approaching thirty and had reached the executive management level of promising corporate career. Why wasn’t I satisfied? Something within was questioning me to seek a new endeavor. I decided to further my education, selected a course and attended lectures. During a coffee break, I mentioned I needed to find a course with a more challenging subject matter. Someone suggested I undertake the ground theory courses needed for a private pilot’s license. So I started a flying theory course, even though I had no intention or need for any of the practical flying training. I enjoyed the course subject matter immensely and quickly obtained passes in all of the required subjects for a private pilot’s license. What next? Why not start the courses for a commercial pilot’s license. These were more intense and like all testing related to aviation, for obvious reasons, demanded an 80% pass mark. In the early stages of the first course I attended, the instructor became aware that I wasn’t a pilot. He and the class were amazed and the next day I was on the main runway at Adelaide Airport, at the controls of the instructor’s aircraft, having my first hands on exposure to aviation. I was hooked and I started my practical flying training shortly after.
Overview of my Flying Career
I progressed through the various stages and obtain a private pilot’s license as quickly as I could while supporting a young family. During these early stages, I was able to incorporate flying with work travel requirements. I remember how proud I felt when my father praised my efforts for passing the ground theory exams for a commercial pilot’s license and he duly urged me to pursue the license it was meant for. My Dad (was the “Mid Upper Gunner” in a Wellington Bomber Crew, during WWII).
I obtained my Commercial Pilot’s License and while furthering my corporate career, sought weekend work with various Parafield based charter operators. When I finally accepted that my marriage was over, I gave up the security of my corporate career to pursue a career in aviation. Like all pilots, I spent years building up flying hours. I added a MECIR (Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating) to my license and gained a Chief Pilot Approval. Charter work meant flying anything, anywhere and at anytime. Sometimes a plane full of passengers and their luggage. Other times just a freight run. Every day, every trip was different. I enjoyed many VIP charters for senators, state premiers and various state and federal politicians. I experienced a unique period of almost three years, flying joy flights, air show demonstrations, fly over’s at Anzac Day Parades and the Adelaide F1 Grand Prix in the replica of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith iconic aircraft, “The Southern Cross”. This ended spectacularly, with a “one wheel” landing at Parafield Airport in 2002, which was highly publicised and televised by local TV stations.
The final stage of my flying was completed in jet aircraft, conducting medical evacuations and FIFO operations for the mining industry. I was in my late sixties when I retired from aviation. My Dad, (flew bombing missions in WWII as a air-gunner) witnessed that I had achieved a pilot’s dream, but I regret not telling him, that I had started flying because of him.