Despite the cold rainy days, Winter bestows a unique charm. Wouldn’t you agree that sitting rugged up inside a toasty helicopter on a cold crisp morning, or flying through grey gloomy skies makes for a rather romantic setting?
Well then jumping into a helicopter simply for fun, a flight lesson or to get away to a winery for a lunch date might just be the remedy to keep those winter blues at bay. Keep Calm and Winter On!
We've certainly been on a roll this past month with students either going solo or earning their long awaited wings. Kudos to Adam Parkinson, Darcy Rider, Deon Coote and Ross Adornato on their first solo flights. It's such a significant milestone guys, we’re so proud of you.
And massive congratulations to Darryn and Ricky on becoming Australia's newest helicopter pilots. Well done lads!
Darryn Henricus - PPL
Ricky Liu - PPL
(Pictured L to R: Ross, Deon and Darcy making an entry into the Solo Club; Darryn receiving his wings from Wing and Ricky with Glenn, in high spirits post their flight tests)
Napoleone Brewery and Meletos
There are plenty of fantastic wineries at our doorstep, but what about a brewery? Just a quick 20 minute flight from Essendon is a large, welcoming site with plenty of great food and local produce on hand. And did we mention great beer? Well what’s not to love!
Given stellar reviews from staff and friends who've visited Meletos on numerous occasions, we thought we'd shine some light on this hidden gem tucked away in the Yarra Valley.
With floor-to-ceiling windows and sensational views across the Great Dividing Range, Meletos showcases an incredible menu with a focus on great quality local ingredients. The gorgeous venue currently offers two dining experiences to it's customers - the Meletos Garden Experience and the Meletos Café.
Meletos Garden has an ever-changing menu of all things Mediterranean - think fresh calamari over hot coals, marinated prawns, gyros, Chimichurri lamb-shoulder all enjoyed with a glass of wine or beer in hand whilst overlooking acres of vines and onto the blue-tinged mountains. Their garden menu is only available for weekend lunches.
Meletos Café is perfect for those wanting to dine indoors with 2 courses priced at $65 and 3 courses priced at $80 per person respectively. The Cafe' is open 7 days for lunch and dinner.
Meletos also have on site, The Farmhouse - a Tuscan inspired boutique hotel and a French Cellar door offering No.7 Healesville’s wines straight from the barrel. They reckon this is your very own slice of Europe.
Quoting Noel Courtney - our own aviation enthusiast with a love for good food and wine, 'Meletos is a friendly and relaxed place that welcomes helicopter arrivals. There is a large flat landing area at the rear of the dining space and from my experience there is always an excited crowd watching as we descend and land. The staff are friendly and accommodating, the food is fresh and delicious with something for everyone. There is a wide range of brews and great wine list and the coffee machine is always going. A place you want to come back to time and again.'
So if you're looking for options to explore the Valley or perhaps just a quick getaway to celebrate that special occasion, look no further.
P: (03) 8727 3030
Private Hire: We’ve introduced a new process for private hire of our machines by ex-students. For insurance purposes, students will need to undergo a check flight every 12 months. Please note that each helicopter type requires a separate check flight. Pilots are responsible to ensure they remain current with this requirement. In addition, we will also maintain a record of when the check flights are undertaken and become due for renewal. Should you have any questions or concerns in relation to this please feel free to contact us or drop in for a chat.
Knee-boards: We've trialled this Flyboys knee-board over the past month and highly recommend it to our students. The knee-board is quite handy for carrying additional information on your person for those solo navs - for example relevant ERSA pages, radio frequencies, flight planning notes etc. We will maintain a stock of these in-house so please feel free to ask one of us should you wish to purchase one.
Pictured L to R: 1. Front of knee-board with plastic sleeves; 2. Back of knee-board.
Oil top-ups: We’ve recently made a switch from 1 quart oil bottles to a 5 quart pump for topping up oil in our aircraft. Please seek staff assistance if an oil top is required prior to your lesson or flight.
Pictured L to R: 1. Oil pump with 0.5 quart markings; 2. Oil pump set on top of the oil drum.
Instructor's tip of the month
As pilots we understand the importance of conducting a walk around of an aircraft prior to a flight. Yet there are multiple instances of pilots having put themselves in a compromised position by failing these basic everyday checks.
So for the sake of your own safety and that of your passengers, always take the time to ensure:
- cowl doors are latched and secured
- fuel caps are on and tightly closed
- all doors are closed
- there is no ballast (when not required), open oil bottles etc. under the seats
- there are no tie downs or covers left on the rotor blades
- wheels are not accidentally left on the skids
and the area is clear of any foreign objects and hazards.