Category Archive for: Phil’s Blog Posts

The Life of a Fighter Pilot

If you’ve watched the original “Top Gun” movie starring Tom cruise, you might share the common public perception that the life of a fighter pilot is an exciting series of high speed thrills and night time partying by handsome, brave individuals who are not overly averse to risk taking.  While this fictional movie is fun…

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So You Want to Become a Jet Pilot

There are many active pilots and prospective pilots who harbour the ambition of eventually gaining their endorsement on a jet aircraft. I’ve been in a fortunate position to help numerous pilots earn their jet aircraft endorsement, so let’s discuss the differences between jet and propeller aircraft and how to fulfill that ambition.  A lot of…

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Performing Low Level Intercepts at Night in the Mirage

As part of the continuous training and currency requirements of fighter aircraft there are many and varied missions that need to be practiced in order to remain an effective fighter pilot.  With the Mirage there were a number of missions that were very difficult to master and one was night low level intercepts.  The Mirage…

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My interview with Gareth McCray for the Ad Astra Aviator Podcasts

I recently teamed up with Gareth McCray OAM for a podcast interview about my life and experiences in the RAAF. Gareth is the host of the Ad Astra Aviator Podcasts, an initiative by RAAFA NSW to capture the recollections and experiences of both retired and serving Air Force personnel. It was a genuine honour to…

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The Hawker Seafury Incident & Becoming Famous

During my time as a display pilot I met most of the warbird owners in Australia, of these Mr Guido Zuccoli became a good mate. Guido was living in Darwin in June 1990 when 77 Squadron, of which I was the Executive Officer, arrived for an exercise. During my time off I, of course, went…

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Almost Missed Australia While Bombing

During my time at 77 Squadron, flying the Mirage, we spent time at the bare base Learmonth on Australia’s North West coast.  This was a very good detachment with excellent flying to be had.  On one such detachment the Squadron ran a bombing program with a gradual build up to quite complex operational style missions…

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A Close Call in a Hercules

After about two years flying as a copilot on the venerable C-130 Hercules I was being groomed for captaincy and as such I was doing a lot of flying with the Squadron executives to ensure that I was capable of being a captain.  On this particular mission I was programmed to fly with the Commanding…

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The Mirage Heavy Landing

I am proud to say that I have only ever damaged an aircraft once that was my fault, although I have been guilty of some other silly mistakes during my career.  So what did I do?  I was in 77 Squadron at the time and one of the Squadron luminaries decided that we should attempt…

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Going for a Spin in the Mirage

The flight manual for the Mirage IIIO was quite specific in prohibiting spinning the aircraft. A spin in an aircraft is when one wing has lost all its lift (stalled) and the other is still producing some lift, this usually occurs at slow speeds and high angles of attack when the aircraft enters an unbalanced…

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Close Call in a Mirage

During my time flying Mirages I did have a few close calls. The first was while I was in 3 Squadron in Butterworth Malaysia. The Squadron was running a ground strafe program on the air weapons range known as Song Song. Song Song was an island to the North of Penang and on its Eastern…

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