Ted Shaw father of Avisure’s Managing Director Phil Shaw, was a pilot in the RAAF during the Second World War. On the occasion of RAAF’s 100th Anniversary, Avisure would like to publish Ted’s story.
Learning to Fly and Service
By Ted Shaw, Edited by Phil Shaw
[Note: unless otherwise indicated, all photos and aircraft information obtained from Wikipedia].
The older I get the more appalled I am at how ignorant I was of things mechanical and aeronautical when I learnt to fly with the RAAF during the Second World War.
Pre-war suburban Brisbane was not renowned for the number of car owners or even motorbikes for that matter. All my friends and I knew about machines amounted to the workings of alarm clocks, door locks and bicycles. We vaguely knew internal combustion moved vehicles, and the nearest we got to aircraft was when one occasionally flew over the city.
So, armed with all this knowledge young Ted went to learn how to fly.
My first flight was called Air Experience. Clothed in a parachute and something like a sleeping bag, covered by a heavy, rubber-lined flying suit, huge leather gauntlets, helmet, goggles, and fur-lined boots my instructor introduced me to a Tiger Moth. He particularly stressed that while entering and leaving the aircraft it was necessary to walk on the catwalk over the wing otherwise one’s foot would pierce the covering of the wing. The penalty for missing the catwalk was to be cursed forever in this world and the next………..