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Old 07-14-2018, 08:22 AM   #160
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,158
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

I have slipped the surly bonds of earth.
What bullshit
I love the bonds of earth.
I don’t wish to detract from those pilots who flew in WWII and especially since so many of them were killed. The poem by WWII pilot, a Canadian by the name of John Magee, is frequently quoted at funerals. I have been to many pilot funerals and heard it so frequently I have written my own account. Why? I don’t think the bonds of earth are surly. Yes, other aspects of the poem are true.
John Magee’s poem can be found at

My professional life.
Early daylight has arrived. Just light enough to see without lighting. The aeroplane accelerates down the strip, tail lifts, main wheels lift and I free. My own world. I have command of a modern cropduster aeroplane.Pratt turbine powered. These days no anxiety about engine failure unlike the days of radial engines. No oil on the windscreen. More power. The pointed nose means an extra 100hp is available because it is not required to offset the frontal drag of those radials. A lighter aeroplane too.
No movement in the air. Beautiful. I love this job, I’d not swop it for quids. What a good decision to fly ag. I climb out. Love it. I feel privileged. The eastern sky is becoming orange.
I land on a narrow grass strip. Farmer meets me. I love working for farmers. They are forthright and honest. No bullshit. They produce the food that is put on our dining tables. They don’t make much money and frequently need to borrow from the bank to plant and maintain their next crop. The nation shows little gratitude to these hard working fellows and their families.
I listen to the farmers instructions and my aeroplane is loaded. Again I am airborne. I love this. Flying across fields. Treating them with pesticides for a specific pest. Be gone insects or fungus or competing weeds or rodents. Or sowing a crop or fertilizing a crop. Getting paid for this, enjoying my work and contributing to the national economy .
The morning is about half way. The air is moving and becoming bumpy. I continue. By late morning the wind is really up. Flying is uncomfortable and difficult. The pesticide can no longer be contained in the field so it is time to quit and go.
Springtime is rice sowing time. The seed has been soaked and has the shoot emerging. It cannot be delayed more than 24 hours because it will be too shot to sow. It becomes entangled and won't flow. Worthless. More seed will have to be purchased and soaked. The water in the contoured bays will be getting older and sour. I continue on. Very difficult and most uncomfortable.
I see jet trails overhead from slick airliners with engines each developing up to 115,000 pound of thrust. Today I wish my backside was parked in one of those.
Flying cropdusters is a love hate job. Great when all is straight forward and weather is good and spray drift is not a consideration. When conditions are bad one wonders why the hell one is doing this job. And whilst never boring but can be repetitious.
I remember returning to Finley base one evening following a day of repetitive work, back, and forth, back and forth on and on. I spotted John Robertson digging a channel with his excavator. In a whole day he had moved about 40 yards. It made me realise my job was interesting even exciting. That pleased me.
I was pleased to think I was an ag pilot. But next life (assuming) what would I be.?
An ag pilot of course. I have enjoyed my working life and feel privileged to have spent it in a productive and enjoyable way.
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I know many things,
But I don't know everything,
Sometimes I forget things.

And there are times when I have a long memory.

Last edited by; 07-14-2018 at 08:40 AM. is offline   Reply With Quote