I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by apollo11 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:22 am

Alan Robertson wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:41 pm
I’ve treated the guy that washes the helicopter the same as the person who is CEO of the multinational helicopter company, and most times trusted him more.
Dear Alan, goodness me I'm shocked but I completely understand as I too just a couple years back very nearly quit flying. I'll never forget your kindness in giving me some stick time here and there on a couple of flights and helping out a friend with a marriage proposal that needed a helicopter.

Quoted partially from your post above completely reflects the person I know.

Maybe it's time to get into gliding? :twisted:

I've decided to plod on for another couple years but when I do give up I'm going for a real trick home sim setup, yoke throttle quadrant multiple screens where I can fly the worlds most demanding approaches, fly fruitcake maneuvers without risking anything or spending a dime after initial acquisition!!

Take care Alan all the best with new adventures.

Perry
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by Golf Tango » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:42 am

Alan,
You're a gentleman and a pilot (very rare :lol:).
My early days in the profesional flying fraternity were, like for many, a lonesome slog, handing out CVs like a blackjack player cuts a deck. But just as the "best foot forward" smile started to fail, I was given a hand up by a friend. This friend turned out to be one of those "pick up where you left off" types, consistent and caring, always ready to lend a hand. Thank you Alan, for always helping where you can. I know that I was certainly not the best employee but the strength of a man is certainly his ability to overlook people's failures and "press reset". You did this, time and again. Thank you.
With the passing of Uncle Mike, it's hard to read this post and the responses and not think that it's in some way a post mortem tribute to your flying career. But to put it into perspective, I have a friend who gave his adult children thier inheritance early, some did not understand it but when asked, his reply was that he'd like to see them enjoy it in his lifetime.
With that said, it's particularly sweet to see your son Stephen's tribute to you as his father. Flying aside (as it is for you), you've built well as a friend and father, that will outlast your flying and it's a much better investment than any logbook can afford.

You are always welcome in my home.

Much love
George Tonking
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by Alan Robertson » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:51 am

Thanks so much for the very kind words from so many people:

@Bearcat: I remember the flight with you very well. Schalk flew into Tintswalo and I flew out. I still have the picture you took from the centre seat at the back as we took off over the polo field. Would love to hear the 'side story' when you're ready.

@Fransw: I didn't even know there was something called a 'moderator's choice', but thanks for the nomination.

@Burner: Good to hear your recollection of RZZ and yes, she's sleek and beautiful. She worked all over the place before we gave her a good home in 2009: in the Cape, Vic Falls, KZN on surf rescue, and she even flew over the channel to Madagascar from Mozambique for use during the elections.

@Ugly Duckling: Very sorry about your Dad but what a career and clearly the passion lives on through you. I was asked by a couple of friends if my decision was AME initiated but I think I'm in better health than when I started flying helicopters.

@ Jean Crous: And I hope you fly for another 30 years. If we're the same age (and in the same shape) then you're young and healthy.

@Stephen Robertson: Thank you my boy for your words. In your 21st birthday video I inserted your little voice saying as a helicopter flew over our house, "Daddy, will you take me in one of those one day." You were about 2 years old and boy did you not have the love of flying. With 7 kids in total thank goodness you were the only one.

@cage: Thanks for the words and friendship.

@V5-LEO: Wow indeed. What wonderful words from someone whose posts I have enjoyed (and will continue to) so much over the years.

@Jim Davis: Next project is relocating our large family to New Zealand at the end of the year. We have 7 kids in total (eldest 25, youngest 5 - so yes, flying hasn't been my only passion 😉), and 4 of them are right at or just reached university age and we have decided to put them through university in NZ. The eldest two will stay here for now. Having a 'laat-lammetjie' who will be Class of 2035 does give you a different long term perspective. We are 70% through completion of a home that we are building just north of Auckland and I see the relocation as an exciting adventure to the Land of The Long White Cloud.

@ Spoke Eagle: Thanks so much and I'm not sure how to reply. But if you think I am then I guess I am.

@Whirly: I already miss flying but I also miss other things in life too - just not enough. I hope that when your day comes, Whirly, it is on your terms - in many, many years and after more amazing memories.

@csparksfly: Very kind, Craig (with the coolest name on Avcom), and I loved flying and hanging with you. That was a great afternoon.

@apollo11: I remember how well you flew the first time you went 'hands on' and I have always enjoyed the friendship albeit from afar. Like you, I've thought about getting a kickass simulator and have already acquired a brilliantly handmade cyclic - collective combination from Charl Hartman (083 292 2857) who manufactures these to order. I'd love one of those pro helicopter simulators like the ones I've flown at Hover Dynamics and the old Alpine Aviation but sheez, they're pretty expensive things. I recall you thinking about hanging it up a few years, Perry, and glad to see you've kept it going. With your incredible experience and deep interest in aviation (Tiger Moth trips, seaplanes in Canada, etc.), intellect, and writing ability, I've often thought you should write a book, startup a 'Pilot Yellow' type You Tube channel, or become an aviation columnist.

@Golf Tango: I am just not sure how to respond. You are a consummate gentleman, an inspired aviator, and as someone that know what drives you (which I am honoured to know), I am privileged to call you a friend. I'll be waiting for you to come visit in New Zealand. You have an address there.

Everyone: thanks for your kind comments and wishes. It felt good to share my little story and hopefully it resonates with many of you for obvious reasons. If there's anything I wish for everyone that flies is that they get to create the memories I did and are able to end it on their terms.

Many, many safe years of safe, exciting, and wonderful aviation to you all.

*salute*
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by Mike Tango » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:58 pm

Alan Robertson wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:51 am

Next project is relocating our large family to New Zealand at the end of the year. We have 7 kids in total (eldest 25, youngest 5 - so yes, flying hasn't been my only passion 😉), and 4 of them are right at or just reached university age and we have decided to put them through university in NZ. The eldest two will stay here for now. Having a 'laat-lammetjie' who will be Class of 2035 does give you a different long term perspective. We are 70% through completion of a home that we are building just north of Auckland and I see the relocation as an exciting adventure to the Land of The Long White Cloud.

Don't forget to be in touch when the jetlag has calmed down - I am sure that you will enjoy a frosty or 2 at North Shore Airfield pub with us, and we might be able to strap you kicking & screaming into the back of Brent's Long Ranger or the '44 for a "pax perspective" of the NZ northern coastline ... ;-)

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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by hugo_visser » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:44 am

Hi Allan,
Where are you relocating to ? We... north island Whakatane. Bay of plenty. Cabeng ( avcommer) is in Rotorua, Mike Tango ..Auckland. Lion..somewhere by Waihi. Welcome to phone me, I can help with the process and have lots of tips for you if you need.

Cheers.
Hugo
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by Alan Robertson » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:03 am

Mike Tango wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:58 pm
Alan Robertson wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:51 am

Next project is relocating our large family to New Zealand at the end of the year. We have 7 kids in total (eldest 25, youngest 5 - so yes, flying hasn't been my only passion 😉), and 4 of them are right at or just reached university age and we have decided to put them through university in NZ. The eldest two will stay here for now. Having a 'laat-lammetjie' who will be Class of 2035 does give you a different long term perspective. We are 70% through completion of a home that we are building just north of Auckland and I see the relocation as an exciting adventure to the Land of The Long White Cloud.

Don't forget to be in touch when the jetlag has calmed down - I am sure that you will enjoy a frosty or 2 at North Shore Airfield pub with us, and we might be able to strap you kicking & screaming into the back of Brent's Long Ranger or the '44 for a "pax perspective" of the NZ northern coastline ... ;-)

Johann
Thanks so much, Johann. Will certainly look you up. On my recce a while ago I visited North Shore and in fact even gave thought to buying land in the air park.

Until then. 😎
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by Alan Robertson » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:10 am

hugo_visser wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:44 am
Hi Allan,
Where are you relocating to ? We... north island Whakatane. Bay of plenty. Cabeng ( avcommer) is in Rotorua, Mike Tango ..Auckland. Lion..somewhere by Waihi. Welcome to phone me, I can help with the process and have lots of tips for you if you need.

Cheers.
Hugo
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Hi Hugo

About 15 minutes north west of Albany on the North Island (S 36º 33'38.14", E 174º 39'.03.37"). We're building on a bit of a country stand (lot they prefer to call it). It's 1.3 Ha, green, and undulating. Very nice.

I will definitely give you a call, Hugo, thank you. And thanks for those very hospitable visits out to Petit a few years ago. I loved flying in, hanging out, and enjoying the activity in your 'playground'.

Alan
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by MTex » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:13 am

Hi Alan,

What a wonderful, reflective and sincere post... always a Gentleman( from the very first time I met you at Grand Central - as an aside, my father hung up his license after the Cherokee 6 changed hands, so was quite a milestone, right up to your post), and wonderful that your son was so inspired and motivated by your passion

Wishing you all the best for the future

Steve
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by ARFFSA » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:28 am

Sir,

You have always been a great supporter of the ARFF and HEMS services and it is a privilege to call you my friend.
I have extremely fond memories of flying with you Alan and will treasure it forever, thank you.
I'm certain we will still see a lot of you in the future so don't be a stranger!

See pic I took from... a year ago? of you taking off from the HEMS Base in RZZ at sunset. Still one of my favourite!

Best Regards,

Jo Nieman
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by The Hun » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:31 pm

Congratulations Alan, even so we never met. It must be a hard decision to make.
There a two types of last flights,
a)you know it's your last flight.
b)you didn't know it's your last flight.
May your memories fly with you for many more years.
Roland Raible
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by apollo11 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:07 am

Terrific warm, sincere replies Alan, thank you, was also thinking drones? A most pleasant next step and huge fun... I've been horsing around with them, just unbelievable, and now with all the high tech of virtual goggles and FPV ability, it's like one is in the "cockpit" of the drone.

Yup the future is so bright one does not need aviator sunglasses, :P flight sims and drones are just getting to be where the action is when I and others do quit flying there is plenty of aviation fun to be had in other areas.
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by hugo_visser » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:27 pm

Thank You Allen. Your post made me look at my photos and brought back a flood of memories. You are always welcome for a flip. Now the journey is carrying on to NZ. I think I will die owning a TLB, Boat and Alouette/helicopter. Maybe upgrade to a lama.
Hugo.
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by Alan Robertson » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:55 pm

What wonderful replies:

@MTex: what a privilege and stroke of luck it was when I met you all those years back and bought ZS-EIX from you. I hadn't even started my PPL I think, but it all turned out so well. Went solo in a Cherokee 140 and then immediately converted to EIX (PA32-260) and never looked back. I was always so impressed with how you flew, Steve. Just wanted to be like you if the truth be known. Do you still have your beautiful Cessna 337?

@ARFFSA: As I was saying to you recently, Jo, every flight with you was memorable: the formation memorial flight in the rain after the tragic passing of Shaun Barendsen, and our landing at Sandton Medi-Clinic. And yes, I remember that positive take off from the HEMS base as the sun was about to set. You won't often see an H120 lift off at that angle in JHB.

@The Hun: Thanks for your kind words, Roland. And yes, it was a hard decision to take - but I'm glad I did.

@hugo_visser: I still have a great picture of you and I in our kortbroeke standing together at Petit. I love the combination of TLB, boat, and helicopter. Have always appreciated your hospitality, love of aviation, and the practical advice you generously dispense on Avcom. Will be in contact.

Thanks again everyone who replied and I think that's more than enough about me. But it would be great to hear from other people who retired from flying how and when they took the decision, what prompted them, and what it was like for them after the decision.

Any takers?
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Re: I took my last flight as PIC and it was great

Unread post by ARFFSA » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:50 pm

Alan Robertson wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:55 pm
What wonderful replies:

@ARFFSA: As I was saying to you recently, Jo, every flight with you was memorable: the formation memorial flight in the rain after the tragic passing of Shaun Barendsen, and our landing at Sandton Medi-Clinic. And yes, I remember that positive take off from the HEMS base as the sun was about to set. You won't often see an H120 lift off at that angle in JHB.
I'd do it all again in a heartbeat with you Alan :D

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