Summary: Interview with NSW Aerobatic Champion and Red Baron Flight Training Owner Joel Haski. Joel has had an amazing career flying Aerobatics including racing a V8 car along the beach in his Extra, performing in front of thousands of people as an airshow performer and even taking the hosts of the Channel Nine Footy Show for a spin in the Pitts as apart of Dare Devils Dudes Segment.
Starting Out – Joel started in aviation by learning to fly gliders and recommends this for people starting out in aviation.
Commercial Training – Joel started his commercial training at a Flying school at Cessnock.
Joel decided to come back to Sydney to continue his flying training with the Sydney Aerobatic School. He witnessed the 75th anniversary Air show and decided he wanted to make A flying a career. Joel enjoyed reading Chuck Yeager’s autobiography and was captivated by the description of aerial combat.
Red Baron – Noel (the owner of Red Baron) was looking for Commercial Pilots and Joel was given a job as an instructor and adventure flight pilot.
Businessman – Joel always saw potential in Red Baron and liked the business so much that he bought it (Joke – Just like in the Remington Shaver commercial). Over time the Sydney Aerobatic School name was used less and less and Red Baron became the primary trading name.
Getting in Involved in Aerobatics – Red Baron teaches Aerobatics from lesson one of both its RPL and PPL courses. He notes it’s not something that you don’t have to wait to finish your RPL/PPL to do Aerobatic training.
Aerobatic Ratings – Joel talks about the benefits of an Aerobatic rating for safety.
Challenging aspects of Aerobatics – Achieving overall situational awareness is paramount. The physical act of maneuvers can take longer for some people. Most people will pick up each maneuver at a different rate.
Upset Recovery Training – Can take a pilot who is not necessarily interested in aerobatics to learn how to avoid and or get out of dangerous situations they may encounter. He explains that sometimes stalling is not taught in a practical manner as per the syllabus. He notes that the greatest risk of stalling is generally under the stress of weather, turbulent conditions and where you may not have sufficient height to recover. Stall recovery within minimum altitude is demonstrated during the course.
Minimum Hour requirements for PPL – Joel notes that PPL training completed in minimum hours may not have received enough training. The PPL (included aerobatic and upset recovery training) course at Red Baron is longer than the PPL minimum hours. After around 60 hours pilots generally achieve their PPL.
Aerobatic course for PPL holders – They can complete the Basic Aerobatic Course which includes the Upset Recovery Course. Joel notes that it’s a lot of fun. Pilots can get certified for each extra manouvuers after they finish the basic course.
Joel’s Aerobatic Career:
– Racing a V8 Car on the beach for Redbull
– Flying the A37 DragonFly (Jet) – Climbs at 10,000 feet a minute, can do nice jet warbird type aerobatics, it’s a nice technical aeroplane to fly with a complicated fuel system (1,000 litres an hour). It comes in over the threshold at 105 knots.
– Landed on the Eastern Creek Motorway for Red Bull racing
– Flying in movies – Joel did the flying scenes and consulted the Director for ‘Never Tell me Never’, the story of Janine Shephard. Joel flew in a Korea TV show and recently flew with a Bachelor on the Living Room TV show.
PPL Advice – for people wanting to start their PPL training:
– Do your homework, go to a few different schools
– Fly with different schools, instructors and types of aircraft
– You will save a lot of money in long run by not changing flying schools halfway through
Part of the Infinite Aviators Podcast (Video) – Aviation experiences, hints and tips and interviews with great aviator minds.
Rapid Fire Questions
Dream Aircraft – P51 Mustang
Which famous aviator would you fly with – Chuck Yeager
Favourite Aviation Phrase – Aviate Navigate Communicate and ‘Rule the Sky’!