Australian Flying

For Crying in a Bucket!

Jim Davis has a passion for instructing. He has been training civil and military pilots, in the air and on the ground for 50 years. His other passion is writing, which he studied at Curtin University in Perth. You can see, and buy, his two pilot text books PPL and Flight Tests at

A pilot’s logbook is far more that just a record of dates, times, places and flights; it is also a history of a pilot’s flying career and a chronicle of the lessons learnt that makes them the aviator they are today. Jim Davis takes a look back through his own logbooks, and records the incidents that have shaped his approach to flying.

I had an unbelievably emotional evening last week. It was a penguin-suit, horizontal-tie thingy. My enthusiasm for such events can be judged by the fact that I had to borrow a suit and black shoes and go to Woollies for a presentable shirt and tie. My daughter, Margie, told me that she was not prepared to accompany me unless I found some decent upholstery.

However, during the evening, my disdain for such events gradually evaporated, partly because it slowly came to me that this sort of dignity and ceremony does have its place – actually it’s a necessary part of our society, and partly because it was, for me, an unexpectedly emotional evening.

It was the Aero Club of South Africa’s annual prizegiving bunfight, held at the oldest operational air force base in the world: AFB Swartkop, just south of Pretoria.

The setting is stunning and I was starting to feel a bit nostalgic before we even went inside. It was

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