Women Pilots’ Relay/ Moruya to Nowra Leg


Shelly and Catherine who flew the baton to the Nowra girls

Women pilots from all areas of Australia will fly their aircraft around Australia and pass a commemorative baton from each flight crew to the next. The relay aims to assist in raising awareness of women in aviation and also raising funds. This year the decision was made by the National AWPA  Committee to donate the funds to the Cancer Council.Today was the third day of the relay and  Shelly and Catherine flew the baton from Moruya to the Nowra girls. An afternoon tea was held at the base amidst much excitement. It was great to see a group of female school students there and also to meet the Navy girls, they are an inspiration and a great model for any women interested in aviation. Well done to all involved.


If you are interested in raising more awareness of women in aviation and also want to assist to raise  funds for the relay, please share the below links to donate to the cause.Please also share this relay information with family and friends and help us find a cure.


Lavender Blues; Captain Kirsten Part 2

I had my first tap dancing lesson when I was eleven. Up and down the worn timber floorboards of the old scout hall we would go, tap tapping away, our cheerful noisy activity creating little sheer clouds of dust in the sunlight streaming in through the door. Before long we had a whole sequence of tap step heels, shuffles and heel pickups sorted – all to the dulcet tones of the song,  ‘Lavender Blues Dilly Dilly’.

To this day I can still remember the steps to that dance. And the words to that song -I was smitten. I was the oldest one in that class and about as graceful and co-ordinated as an elephant, but I loved it.

Five years later I was dancing in jazz, ballet and tap troupes and teaching the littlies, dancing was a joy. The greatest thrill came the day that my teacher said to me, ‘Kirsten, when you came to this dancing school you were one of our worst dancers, now you are one of our best.’

Sometimes the thing you love is not the thing that you’re  good at; but you become good at it because you love it.

Take flying for example. Learning to fly has not come to me naturally.As a student pilot I make a really good dancer!  But I just love it and something in me burns to keep going.  In July this year, just over two years after the trial instructional flight that hooked me into flying forever,, our CFI gave me a pilot’s licence.

My teachers and mentors, those people whom I respect the most, said I had become good enough to do the thing I love – to fly; to FLY!   What a life defining moment!

Noel Kruse, the founder of Sydney Aerobatic School says it like this:                      ’Guarantee for a difficult but happy life           ‘:                                                                       1. Find what you want to do more than anything else in the world                                        2. Do it, no matter what stands in your way                                                                            3. Give the gifts of what you have learned to those others……..                                                                                                     …….. who care enough to ask.’

Who knows what adventure you might find yourself on!                                              Kirsten x


Captain Kirsten – July 2014

The day started much like any other. An early flight followed by a rest and then another flight. The last two weekends had been great for flying and I’d had the bonus of fitting in a mid week fly as well.

I now had enough hours to be eligible for testing for both my licence and passenger endorsement.

We spent some time that morning on revisiting stalls, steep turns and fine tuning my landings. Alex told me I was ready to be booked in the following weekend for my flight test.

Our CFI Andrew suggested a pre flight check with him so off we went. He has a way of making students feel immediately at ease in the aeroplane and it was a great lesson as always.

Imagine my surprise when we landed and he shook my hand and told me I’d just passed my flying test :) :) :) happy days! After I got over the shock and excitement, Andrew said I could take Greg for a fly.

One of the great highlights of my life has been that particular flight where I took my Gregory John xox flying for the first time. :) :) :)

I’m grateful for the wisdom of my instructors in not making me wait for a week to do my test; the anxiety would have been awful.What a journey so far! I have only come to this point thanks to the constant encouragement, teaching and support from Greg, Alex, Andy and LIz.. You all taught me to believe in myself; that’s a beautiful gift. Thank you so much xox

Onwards and upwards ……. :)

Kirsten x

“We have been given the ability to explore his creation in safety, to move without fear in this space we’ve been given to inhabit.” Unknown source

Captain Solo & Gazelle Girl; Maiden Voyage

The plan was simple, pick a good day, pack a picnic lunch and fly Tweety down the coast to Moruya, our first trip away together with Greg as pilot in command.

We had a few false starts when the weather wouldn’t co-operate but finally  all the planets lined up on Sunday and we were good to go. Packed up with our map and assorted navigation essentials, Ipad, GoPro and us, we pretty well filled out the cockpit of the Gazelle! Lunch was packed in the boot, fuel in the wings, a steady windsock before us and we were off!

Our coastline here on the east coast, is simply stunning. Dotted with lakes of all shapes and sizes, there are tributaries that spread out like fingers, secluded beaches with aqua water, alongside dark green rugged ranges and pockets of towns like handkerchiefs and bigger towns lazily sprawling over the land. Magnificent!

We arrived in Moruya in an hour and twenty minutes – we had a headwind of 10-15 kts. After refueling we enjoyed our picnic lunch and a cuppa at the clubhouse and went for a walk on the beach. It was sheer bliss, we couldn’t wipe the smiles from our faces :)

Then it was time to head home. A lovely 10 knot tailwind saw Tweety speed home in an hour and although it was a bit hazy, it was an equally spectacular trip back. What a great little aeroplane, she’s a beaut.

What an awesome trip:) It was such a joy to do this trip together – its been our goal since we started learning to fly  to  go off and explore this great country in our little aeroplane  and here we are doing it, what a privilege – wooohoooo!!!

P.S. this was the first time we used the GoPro and we didn’t quite have it working properly – sigh – so I can’t share those images with you. Looks like we’ll just have to fly down there again  ……. :)


Sporty flies Home

In February, Alex invited me to fly the mighty Sportstar home to its owners  in Gladstone Queensland with her.  What an amazing opportunity and privilege!

The journey took two very full flying days and nearly 13 hours total flying time. We  flew over spectacular coastline, islands with aqua blue ocean, endless sandy shores, small towns and big cities.  Day one covered Jaspers via Victor One to Cessnock and Port Macquarie via the Lane at Williamstown, then Coffs Harbour to South Grafton and Lismore overnight. Day two took in Lismore to Caboolture via Stradbroke Island to Bundaberg via Hervey bay and finally to the mining town of Gladstone. And then on a commercial flight home.

The trip was an awesome adventure, just what flying is all about – exploring new places with good friends; it was inspirational and set me on a dream to see as much of Australia’s coastline from the air as I can.

Thank you Alex, it’s a joy to fly with you, you’re an awesome pilot and you’re great company.  I really felt like a pilot by the time we got back :) )





Be in Front of the Aeroplane

 I came across this quote from young pilot, Bronwyn Fraser in a pilot mag recently.

Says Bronwyn, “I love the challenge of learning to fly. It is a steep learning curve and requires a lot of patience, especially given that it is very weather dependent. But it is incredibly satisfying and rewarding when you bring all your skills together to master a new technique and you know that you are in charge of the aircraft.’  

Well said Bronwyn, I couldn’t agree more :) )

Kirsten x

Be In the Moment

Christmas 2013 has come and gone! The lead up to this time of year is always huge and there’s no escaping it. In amongst the craziness Greg and I have kept moving toward our aviation goals. Greg is now cross country endorsed – a huge achievement – and I’m so proud of him. He’s also achieved his Level 2 engineer – LAME- qualification which is just fantastic. Go Greg!  I’ve done more solo time in the circuit and also my first area solo (just yesterday!) I’m very excited :) It must have been the beautiful new pilots watch Greg bought me for Christmas!  Its taken two years, 100 flying hours, everything in me and the whole JB team to get me to this point; in my flying journey.! A great way to wrap up 2013. It looks like aviation is going to be a big part of our lives for the foreseeable future.  I wonder where it will take us? One of the big lessons I’ve learnt this year is mindfulness; learning to be in the moment. In flying, you can’t be thinking about that messy bit of the last landing you did while your’e on upwind. You need to let go, move on and focus on where you are . It’s also true in life.:) 

So there we have it dear reader – we wish you a very Happy New Year and much safe flying :) :) See you next year…..

Kirsten and Greg xx