Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Looking at 2009

I've been on holidays here on the surfcoast at Torquay so plenty of time to relax and ponder.

Earlier I had anounced my new year resolution:
To lay low! The intent is to become less involved in organisations in which I've been active in recent years; fewer emails on the few lists that I've posted on; fewer meetings and committees. i.e. to slow down.

That should make some time available for other things and near the top of my list is more flying. 2008 was the first time that I competed in all but one aerobatic contest in Australia. The one I missed was the aerobatic event at the Australian Light Aircraft Championships - they don't allow professionals so I'm not eligible. Victorian Championships in February, Nationals in April, Queensland in June and New South Wales in October. Perhaps this year there will be a contest in Western Australia - plenty of help available from some of us if need be. The Avalon Airshow is in there somewhere but I'm not interested in seeing a succession of grey, noisy jets but its a convenient place to catch up with many friends on the trade days.

Contests means practice and critiquing. The Australian Aerobatic Club Victorian Chapter organises occasional training camps (I'll miss the one next weekend as I'll still be at the beach) and maybe there's a need for some of us to put in some additional effort. I'll be available to help coach pilots in preparation for all the contests, including ALAC which is in W.A. in March.

I'm now operating from Lilydale on Sundays as well as Moorabbin on Saturdays which means a lot more work in teaching tailwheel, aerobatics and spinning. And the world certainly needs more of that last one. I continue to be amazed at the lack of knowledge and incorrect information amongst pilots. An experienced PPL who put the Decathlon into a flat spin while attempting a straight power-off stall. Another with a spin and aerobatic endorsement but who hadn't done any for some time was recovering from our spins by simply centralising the rudder. The one who didn't really understand what a spin was. Finally, the myriad of online forums where people pontificate on how to recover from spins and too often the wrong information is being presented. I've been accused of pontificating online too (hey - you don't have to read it) and I never present anything other than some basic info plus appropriate references. Rich Stowell's new book on Stall/Spin Awareness.

There are some other flying activities which interest me so perhaps more of that later. Also a couple of engineering projects which I'm unable to say much about at this stage.

Looking forward to an interesting 2009.

DJP