Mark McLachlan chalks up 200 hours

1 March 2015

In 2013 after selling his Tiger Moth, Mark McLachlan from Moruya took possession of his Bristell at Riddells Creek in Victoria

 Mark handing over the cheque to Brett Anderson for his Bristell in 2013

 Upon acquisition he proceeded to do some transition work with John Blackburn, retired military test Pilot and Bristell owner. John and Mark are both retired Air Force personnel.

 Mark and John ready to head north John in his Bristell over Melbourne

John flew with Mark up to Northern Victoria to enable Mark to get his aircraft back to NSW after two failed attempts to fly down commercially and pick it up due to typical, unpredictable weather experienced in Melbourne at certain times of the year.

 Mark and John flying North towards Lake Eppalock

Due to the fact Mark was still unable to get the aircraft back to Moruya, Peter Lapthorne and myself suggested we fly his and one other aircraft from Melbourne to Moruya to deliver his aircraft when the weather was suitable. This turned out to be a bigger challenge than expected.

The plan was to fly north and navigate around Canberra and then coastal back to Moruya and return the same day. Upon approach towards Holbrook around 10/11am the fog in that area had not lifted and it appeared we may have to return back to Melbourne.

 Looking North Looking North East Canberra in fog

Both Peter and I surveyed our options and realised if we were to zigzag a track initially further south and then  to the north around Canberra then we could avoid the fog areas and potentially proceed. The Bristells are very fuel efficient and fuel would not be an issue.

The zig zag track allowed us to continue and on arrival Mark went out with Peter for a local flight.

 Peter and Mark head outPeter and Mark return

After Peter and Mark finished their flight we had some lunch and Peter and I flew back to Melbourne only to discover all the head winds and problems we had coming up were now head winds and problems on the way back. We managed to get back to Melbourne right on last light.

Mark recently called and informed me he would be flying in from Moruya on Saturday the 28th of February 2015 on his way to Hamilton.

He arrived about 10:30 am with Bob, who I was informed by Mark was retired and also ex Air Force, Roulettes pilot and CASA personnel. Bob said he had been in many aircraft and the Bristell was an excellent aircraft- high praise from such an experienced pilot.

Mark topped up the 60 litres of fuel he used from Moruya to Riddells, getting ready to head straight off to Hamilton, another 1- 1.5 hours away. We grabbed a quick shot of the three of us before they both departed.

Mark and Bob arrive

 Bob and Mark get ready to head to Hamilton Brett Bob and Mark

Departing to Hamilton

Mark texted me to let me know that he has “just ticked over 200 hours and to give Milan a big kiss”.  (Milan-BRM Aero)

I guess he is very happy.