The Ballard of Ringling Aerodrome.

12 Aug

The Ballard of Ringling Aerodrome. – AP Forum version.


 

Ringling, Ringling
Slippin’ away
Only forty people, livin’ there today
Streets are dusty and the bank has been torn down
It’s a dyin’ little town
Church windows broken
That place ain’t been used in years
Jail don’t have a sheriff or a cell
And electric trains they run by maybe once or twice a month
Easin’ it on down to Mussel shell

Ringling, Ringling
Slippin’ away
Only forty people livin’ there today
‘Cause the streets are dusty and the bank had been torn down
It’s a dyin’ little town

 


Been a fan of Jimmy Buffett for may a long year now. One of the best albums he ever made was ‘living and dying in ¾ time. There is a small, poignant  offering there –  It is the tale of a small town – clearly one that failed to realise that an airport was an essential item, not an incubus; or, even a way to screw some extra cash out of the air services which operated there. This is not just a mile and half of ‘road’ – it is an artery supplying the life blood a growing, prosperous town needs.


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After a time, civil servants tend to become no longer servants and no longer civil.


Mind you, as aviation continues its slow, but unpreventable descent into the tar-pits: to be discovered in millennia to come as a curiosity, the lack of airports, infrastructure to support aviation (like fuel pumps) will not trouble the current minister or his acolytes and advisors. At the current rate of extinction – and the historical increase in the CASA budget; there will be nothing to trouble those responsible. We’ll have robots who don’t get fatigued, aircraft pre programmed to self repair and the CASA rule books will be abandoned as there will be an utterly compliant ‘industry’ which will respond to the touch of a key board whim. Imagine a huge budget and nothing much to worry you. CASA nirvana, served up on a silver, ministerial donated, platter, by an ever grateful minister who thinks that his the best job in the world. Hell, the aircraft will probably all be vertical take –off ‘drone-like’ things which can silently depart the local cat-house and deposit the sated minster back home, in time to welcome the kids back from therapy. What a wonderful future government offers us. No matter, down by the river here, there will be a relic or two preserved, only to be illegally flown, by human hands (shock horror), on moon dark nights, when nobody is looking – is such is the ‘official’ version of the future?


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Although exactly what the future holds for this sun-burnt country ain’t clear. We have our Veterans getting shafted by slick bureaucrats, farmers with little to look forward to but the wrong end of a gun barrel, it’s a crying shame. Aircraft maintenance being done ‘off-shore’ and flying schools shutting down at a time when the world is short of trained pilots. – Particularly as we have, without a doubt the very best training conditions on the planet – bar none. We even used to train world class pilots with a well deserved reputation. Alas no longer, we are now even afraid of stalling an aircraft these days; (Mummy say’s it’s scary) cos if the GPS/Auto pilot quits – most of our ‘aviators are ducked. Thank you minister, thank you DoIT and bless all who toil, endlessly for ‘safety’ at CASA HQ. Great job; stellar. But enough of my ramblings; time for some brass tacks.


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“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” ― Mark Twain.


I note the miniscule paid an ‘unscheduled’ visit to Essendon aerodrome, no press, no announcement, just popped in on the off chance? Or was it to try out the latest taxi through Macca’s on the main taxiway. Happy coincidence, a crew from Sharpe was there and a photo op presented. This wool blind idiot, masquerading as a minister needs to become familiar with Essendon, for as sure as eggs, the USA interests in the King Air fatality – fireball – will be paying a lot of attention. Particularly to the infringements (liberties) of the runway WIDTH limitations, who approved them; and how, in the seven hells, was a DFO allowed to happen within the promulgated minimum limitations? Aye, Essendon Fields alright, a bit like Flanders fields – blood soaked and fire burned – all in the name of progress.


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“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” ― Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome


I’m staying away from matters aeronautical today. The problems aviation faces are government sanctioned, as is every other problem this country faces. Politicians, smooth talking, well dressed, manicured, Akubra wearing blow hard’s, with NDI of what it takes to farm, paying flying visits in the Gummint jet (tax payers drive now) to visit, for a nonce, farmers, who could last afford a new hat 10 years ago, and that bought from the pennies made by the Missus cleaning at the pub. Ministers with power being spoon fed ‘the right stuff’ by the experts who created the mess, with their own interests and rice bowls to protect. What happened to ‘government’ to the statesmen who actually gave a monkey’s? Where are the far seeing leaders and fearless policy makers? But, most of all I miss the ‘men’ who could dictate policy to the bureaucracy, not take dictation from it. They just seem to plough on into debt until the next ‘boom’ comes along, use that to catch up and keep the credit rating, then descend into the pit of debt once again. Aye, the lucky country indeed – farking lucky we can still send half a billion off shore while we have hungry, homeless folk sleeping rough and farmers at their wits end, and veterans tossed onto the scrap heap, humiliated, just to save a hundred thou. You do realize, that the Barrier Reef was here a long time before Cook bumped into it and will still be here long after we are gone.


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The Betoota Advocate

There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves dwelling in a fool’s paradise ― Winston S. Churchill.


Oh, bugger it all – One of my saddles is back from the Saddler; looks great, old, comfortable, but now repaired by skilled hands. Seems a shame to leave on the rack, it being such a nice day and all. Perhaps……………Slow fade – to a fine, hard bay, first cross  quarter horse being led out of the orchard gate, flanked by two four legged hooligans who know what comes next, a romp, a day away from this madness, fresh air and a shared muffin (or two), coffee from the flask by the river side.

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Selah..

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