Rotor Research Helicopter Info Site
This site contains knowledge and safety information freely given to enhance the aviation  industry. See what our lawyers make us say these days by reading our disclaimer at the bottom of this page - the times are indeed a-changing!

Helicopter wire strike prevention
Contact Us
Metal has memory
Tony's Pages






horizontal rule

Originally written by TC 1999

horizontal rule

 "My mate Muz"


Muz was the best.

A guy I could trust and who took the time to listen to my point of view when we were talking about what maintenance might be needed to happen to keep my machine in good safe nick.


I’m still here because of the help and advice this great man provided.

Heli-Muster - operating out of VRD (Victoria River Downs cattle station up in the Northern Territory) - was going full swing during the early eighties – not a Robinson R22 in sight as they had only just been invented.



Muz wasn’t chief engineer but he was “The Man” on the mighty turbochared Lycoming TVO435 engine which we relied on for up to 2K hours per year in the Bell 47G 3B1.

A typical Muz deal was the night one of the “slaves”, involved in greasing and checking the machines while we had a shower and troughed in the Pilots’ mess, started a machine without refilling the engine oil.


It seized expensively in 45 seconds at about 1930 pm

While one team pulled the engine out of the helicopter, Muz and his offsider Mick pulled a bunch of serviceable parts off the shelves in the engine shop; built up an engine from scratch and had it painted and running in the test truck at 0330 am. We heard it.

The other machines departed that morning at our usual time,  some following the glowing exhaust stacks of the lead machine until the early morning glow on the horizon as the sun came up.


The re-engined machine joined us at 0900!


Muz had done it again. In 7.5 hours they built a complete engine from parts and had it running and ready to go back into the helicopter. That had to be some sort of world record.

Apart from the day to day work - it’s tough on people who live on an isolated station for 9 or 10 months of the year.


Sure – there was a small school for the kids, the mail plane came thru, I could radio/telephone home on the Flying Doctor radio once a week if I wasn’t flying and Captain ‘Slasher” and his dog flew the jet black company Navajo with the prancing stallion on the tail up to Darwin for urgent stuff.


However, around October the Monsoon heat and humidity not only effected the helicopter performance, it also caused the occasional ruckus on the ground.

One day of the season (we didn’t know one day from the next as it was a seven day/9 month operation) Muz blew.


What a sight – evidently there was a bit of stirring happening and Muz was being incorrectly and indirectly blamed for things which he had nothing to do with.


I didn’t know that some of the words Muz knew existed as he spread them around the hanger that afternoon like the fiery darts out of a Catherine wheel at a firework display.

Muz stormed off into the engine overhaul shop with a dozen cold tinnies, locked the door and disappeared for the night.

Next morning he came striding into the hanger – and I mean striding!

He was wearing a snow white tee shirt he had nicked from somewhere and with a wide brush he had painted a big red target on the back.

Perched on his shoulders was the contraption he had made while brooding in the engine shop that night.

With the perfection and style of a trained sculptor, he had welded up some old crashed helicopter tail boom chrome molly tubes to make a frame and out on the LH and RH outriggers of this frame he had fitted two giant truck mirrors – to see who was going to stab him in the back (verbally) that day.

There were no problems after that.



Mighty Muz working his magic on a Bell47G 4A


True story



Very Sad News:  Muz passed away in late 2022 and left this world for a peaceful place. We all mourned for his loss and even today we often reminisce about his exploits and the good times we had with him.

Sad as well for his family - but not many families respect their departed as did Muz's with his personalised  casket.  Well done team!





Want to contribute your stories either anonymously or otherwise? Why not send me e-mail ! Your privacy will be respected - your contribution welcomed.




Copyright © 1995 - 2023 The Owner of This Site - (Rotor Research (ABN) - All Rights Reserved.
Please read our
Legal / Disclaimer