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.
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)
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
expensively in 45 seconds at about 1930
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
well for his family - but not many
families respect their departed as did
Muz's with his personalised casket.
Well done team!