FSX Index

Alan Blencowe's


My Pilot's Logbook - Aircraft 1958 - Present





Auster JB5 Autocar

 Royal Aero Club of WA

My first flight at the age of seven was four training circuits out of Maylands with my father and I as ballast.  We had been queueing for about an hour along the boundary fence on a Sunday afternoon for a joy flight in a Tiger Moth or Chipmunk and the instructor came over and asked for two volunteers.  The student pilot was Kent Carter who went on to become the chemist at Maylands.  Thanks to John Douglas of RACWA for knowing who to ask and Bill Carter for checking his logbooks to get me the Registration.


I recall taxying out to the western corner of the field and taking off to the east in line with the windsock.  This is interesting because most Chipmunks and Tigers flew south to north over my grandmothers at 10 Kathleen Avenue while photos show the grass runways running east west.


The circuit was to the left downwind over Maylands and Highgate turning on final just to the north of the city where the buildings were only about five stories high.


History of VH-KAL provided by Kerry Skyring

J5B Autocar VH-KAL c/n 2914 was registered to Kingsford Smith Aviation Services on 11.12.50 and soon after began earning a living in Western NSW - first with Dickson Air Services at Bourke and then a year later (28.11.51) was registered to Allen James Carmichael of Wilcannia NSW.  In 1954 KAL moved to Western Australia where she was to remain until around 1980. Her first registration was to Westralian Oil Ltd of Perth and then to D.T.F. Preston of Nedlands in July 1955. A few months later she went to the Royal Aero Club of WA and served there for 4 years before being sold to A.L. & R.E. Fox of Applecross WA. In 1963 KAL was struck off the register following some damage. The entries in the log books would indicate a ground loop. One wing-tip, cowl, prop and undercarriage. Interestingly, 20 years later when restoring KAL, I found damage that could probably be traced to this accident and which was not found when she was repaired and returned to the register in 1966.  This time her owner was J.B. Beckett of Bundering WA and he named her Ivory B. Then came two more owners, K.L. Ramm of Dumbleyung WA and S.F. Melville of Cowramup. In 1970 she was bought by C.S. Smith of Cowramup and there she stayed until being advertised for sale as "deceased estate" in the Rag & Tube magazine of April 1979.  L.B. (Lyle?) Shelton of Deniliquin bought her and flew her across the Nullabor and put her in a hangar on a farm strip just outside Deniliquin. I purchased KAL from Lyle in 1982 and flew her to Evans Head aerodrome in Northern New South Wales. Over the next two years, with the help of LAME Don Angus and Engineer Peter Brooke, I restored her. It was a complete strip back to bare tubing, with new dacron fabric and randolph dope, repairs of earlier damage and top overhaul of the Gipsy Mk1.  From 1984 to 1994 KAL and I flew regularly, with a couple of visits to Auster Rallies and AAAA Fly-ins. In 1994 I moved overseas and KAL was hangared at Watts Bridge and inactive until June 2002. After a couple of days work I flew her across to Pat Harrington's Vintage Aircraft services at Redcliffe where she was given a thorough going over and all faults rectified. From September 2002 KAL is based at Hervey Bay where my daughter Kim, a commercial pilot flies her occasionally.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Hi Alan,

Yes, KAL is still flying.  It is hangared at Kyneton Airfield in Victoria.  My father Kerry owns it, and has left me as caretaker as he now lives in Austria.  Dad bought KAL in the early eighties in flying condition (just!) and then spent 2 years restoring it at Evens Head aerodrome.  I grew up flying around the country in it to various fly-ins and airshows with Dad.  When Dad moved overseas in the mid 90's KAL was hangared at Watts Bridge, and stayed there for about 9 years without flying.  In the meantime I had got my commercial pilots licence and was working in Hervey Bay.  Dad decided to get KAL flying again, and to leave it with me at Hervey Bay to fly.  I have since moved to Victoria, bringing KAL with me.  Dad visits every year or so and flies to an AAAA event in KAL.  I fly it as much as I can, which isn't enough at the moment! 


Austers are a bit tricky to fly near and on the ground.  You really need to pedal on the take off and landing roll to keep it straight, and you can't relax until it is safely back in the hangar!  I haven't ground looped yet, but I'm told there are those that have and those that are going to!  (I have about 150 hours on Austers, 2500 total time) The flap handle is ok once you are used to it, although there can be some interesting moments after take off (using 1 sage of flap) holding the stick between your knees, one hand on the throttle, the other on the flap handle!  Crosswinds are easier if you are current, not something to be attempted when you are a bit rusty.  They can only cope with about 12 knots, but any more than that and you can usually land across the strip! It is difficult taxiing with a crosswind because the brakes fade badly once they get hot.  Sometimes the only way to turn is by going 270 deg. the other way because your down wind brake wont work, spectators think it is very funny!  The only difference you would have converting from Cessna's to an Auster is in learning to handle it on the ground.  In the air, while slower, they are very well behaved, you just need to use a bit more rudder for turns.


If you are ever over this side of the country, get in touch and come and visit if you want. 




Piper PA-24-260 Comanche B (Romeo Tango Foxtrot)

Murchison Air Services Pty Ltd


























  In June 1968, I flew this aircraft at the age of 16 about 40 miles from Carnarvon to the blowholes and return from the co-pilot seat.

On the 24th July 1969 a pilot landed at Mount Magnet with the wheels up.  This pilot with a commercial rating had previously completed 2194 hours with 54 hours on type.  He must have forgotten his "BUMFH" drill and replaced it with "BUMP". The photo, courtesy Ed Coates Collection shows the aircraft subsequent to repair at YPPH Perth Airport (Photo Geoff Goodall)







Cessna C-150 (Romeo Whisky Oscar)

Cessna C-150 (Romeo Xray Papa)

Cessna C-150 (Romeo Oscar India)

Cessna C-150 (Romeo Whisky Zulu)

Cessna C-150 (Sierra Romeo Romeo)

Cessna C-150 (Romeo Oscar Foxtrot)

Cessna C-150 (Foxtrot Yankee Sierra)

Royal Aero Club of WA




Romeo Whiskey Oscar at YBUN Bunbury







Cessna C-152 (India Bravo Papa)

Cessna C-152 (Tango November Oscar)

Cessna C-152 (Romeo Whiskey Quebec)

Cessna C-152 (Juliet Bravo Xray)

Cessna C-152 (Uniform Whiskey Xray)

Cessna C-152 (Romeo Whiskey Foxtrot)

Cessna C-152 (Romeo Charlie Foxtrot)

Cessna C-152 (Romeo Whiskey Foxtrot)

Cessna C-152 (Bravo Foxtrot Charlie)

Royal Aero Club of WA


Tango November Oscar at RACWA tarmac, YPJT Jandacot



Models for Microsoft Flight Simulator painted by "Squeeker" representing the current RACWA fleet.


Cessna C-172 (Papa Kilo Zulu)

Cessna C-172 (Romeo Kilo Xray)

Royal Aero Club of WA

Near miss in Jandacot circuit area

While flying dual refresher circuits at Jandacot in November 2008, I experienced a near miss flying circuits with about ten aircraft in the circuit.  I was climbing out of a touch and go on croswind and the first warning I got was a call from the tower for an aircraft on collision course to break right.  A foreign voice responded with "Say again".  Fortunately my instructor happened to look up out of the skylight windows and saw the wheels of the other aircraft about 40 feet directly above.  The pilot had taken off behind us in a faster aircraft and was flying his circuit in "a circle".  Obviously he had lost sight of the aircraft in front which was now directly underneath him and climbing into circuit height.  My instructor took over and we dived and broke left flying wide and lining up in the circuit behind the offending aircraft.  I am convinced that the offender flew on never knowing how close he came to death and not understanding what the tower said.  I would like to state at this point that if not for the quick mind of my instructor, there would have been three deaths in a similar manner to the one at Moorabbin a few months before.  I firmly believe that there was a language barrier, poor training and lack of a proper lookout that lead to this near miss.  I subsequently left the Aero Club, not because of anything they did but because of what I believe is overcrowding in the sky above Jandacot.  I joined the Pearce Flying Club where I was the only pilot doing circuits on a magnificent airfield at Gingin but unfortunately, the gloss had gone and I now prefer the joystick behind a computer.  Flying the PA-28 instead of the C-172 is a different experience.  I discovered smoother landings with the ground effects of the lower wings but found taking my eyes off the runway to manually lower the flaps a bit disconcerting.  Other than that, I think I prefer the PA-28.













Piper PA-28 (Charlie Alpha Echo)

Pearce Flying Club













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