February 28, 2009

Bill Chalton: Bellingham memories. Learning to fly

Northumberland, history, memories, learning to fly

By Bill Charlton

Bill Charlton preparing for Shark Patrol

Learning to fly

After moving to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales in 1995 I learned to fly. The Cessna 172 was my favorite plane which could carry 4 people, and I often had a full load. I used to do the Shark patrol between Woolgoolga and Nambucca Heads for the Radio station here in Coffs.

Pat and I often would go up for a spin for an hour or so, and it was great fun and a great sense of achievement for me. I haven't flown for a while as the Department called CASA started to get a bit hungry for money, as all these Departments do these days.

In September 1995 I also did a Parachute Jump from 10,000 ft over Coffs Harbour. It was a tandem jump but was very exciting. On the way down I took 11 Pictures of the area. I was pleased that I learned to fly when I did, as it's not as popular now because of the extra costs.

While we were in England on holiday in 1996, we hired a plane and flew from Carlisle airport right down the military road to the Fairshaw road-end then across to Wark and up to Bellingham. We did a couple of orbits and then on to Kielder over Kielder Water, back down to Lane Head and over by Cairnglastenhope to Green Head and back to Carlisle. It was a most enjoyable flight for us to fly over the old haunts.

Bill Charlton and new Cessna Skyhawk

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