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Interesting Stuff
  • Email Brad
  • My interest in Flight Sims
  • RAAFSIMS
  • IL2 Resources
  • Brads Photo and Screenshot Gallery
  • Wedding and Baby Photos
  • Real World Aviation

  • Flight Safety Foundation
  • Airline Command Training
  • Brads 737 Info and Command Notes
  • B737 Technical Site in UK
  • Australian Federation of Air Pilots
  • Pilot Job Ads and Crew Info
  • 737NG Simulator Stuff

  • PMDG 737NG Addon for FS2004
  • Geezer Guide Ver.6 for PMDG
  • FMC Database and SID/STAR
  • Flight Sim Sites

  • DCS A10
  • IL2 Pacific Fighters
  • LOMAC!
  • Voice Comms via Internet - it's so EASY!

  • Teamspeak
  • Skype - it's FREE!

  • The pictures on the right are from the Boeing 737NG. My friends at QANTAS call it a 'Super Maggot' = white things crawling everywhere - fortunately I fly a red one :D It is the latest version of one of the most successful, reliable and modern airliners ever built, the Boeing 737-800. The 737 is so popular that one takes off every 30 seconds somewhere in the world as opposed to Hairbus at one every 90 seconds or so.

    Welcome to Zappers Webpage. It has a bit of bio stuff but more about flight sims and my professional interests. I hope you find something here that interests you too. You can find stuff on Teamspeak, FS9 and the fabulous PMDG 737 add-on for it. There is an area for professional pilots with a bit on operating the B737, pilot jobs, professional associations etc.
    So. Why do I use Flight Sims when I get all the real world flying I want?
    Below is a screenshot taken from an on-line flight sim that my friends and I use to practice Combat and Formation Flying, Pylon Racing and Aerobatics in WW2 era aircraft. IL2 Forgotten Battles is by far and away the most realistic ever released for a home computer. If you can fly this sim well then the real world is a breeze.

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    Training Innovations and Solutions
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    Wot pays the Bills!
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    Flying for fun on-line :-
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    Special Interest Pages

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  • BIO:

    Born in Brisbane in 1963. Supposedly educated in that city although my friends would argue that the efforts of my teachers were pretty much in vain, at least it didn't seem to stick at the time :). A love of adventure saw me walk the Kokoda Trail in PNG with the QLD Air Training Corps at age 15 and I fell in love with the place. After that I always knew I'd be back. Dad often took us to Archerfield to see the lighties flying around and Brisbane Airport to watch the jets (DC9s, B727s, B707 etc in those days) come and go to all parts if the world. We would gaze in wonder as he retold the story of Smithy's 'Southern Cross' as we stood in front of the big glass walled hanger at BNE when we were kids. I guess this is part of why I always wanted to fly and started on the theory subjects at 14 and hands on flying at age 16 with No. 11 Flight QAirTC. It was my great fortune to be awarded a scholarship to PPL standard by Sqn Ldr Noel Bellamy. Given the nature of the scholarship the then DoT allowed me to sit my PPL test a week before my birthday and I was handed my Licence by Noel on the morning of my 17th birthday. I'll never forget that. Took Mum and Dad for a fly around Archerfield and the training area in the Piper Tomahawk (PA38-112) - then they drove me down to do a car drivers licence test. Noel remained a close friend and mentor of my career right up until his death in 2002. His hand still guides my flying today.

    School was always a drag as it never seemed relevant to flying - and to be honest, it wasn't. Joined the RAAF at 18 as an Instrument Fitter and went on to Avionics, Calibration and other boring stuff. Whilst in the RAAF, another passion {fast motorbikes} was sated going Road-Racing. Over several years I had a great time riding in a swag of classes from Formula III to Post Classic and Grand Prix Sidecars. The most memorable ride was probably the Australian Grand Prix at Bathurst in 1986 as passenger for Peter Searle in a GSX 1100 powered short frame, one of Brian Paynes originals. Pete is a hard peddler by any standard and a great rider and he is the only guy I have ever felt properly comfortable with zooming around at a couple of hundred kilometres per hour without my hands on the controls. So off to BATHURST we went with the outfit and what a track that is! Scary as hell and as exhilarating as can be imagined. Anyhow, back to work - completed 6 yrs RAAF service and then brief stints working for QLD University and in seismic exploration for oil and gas over a fair slice of Australia and then into the jungles of PNG for weeks at a time living under canvas with up to 1000 nationals on the crews. Finally got round to finishing my Commercial Pilots Licence and Instrument Rating and then I started the search to try and find that elusive first flying job.

    Something more stable was required to get me launched into professional flying and so when offered a position in aircraft maintenance with Talair in Goroka I moved to PNG full time. A year later I landed that first flying job with Airlink in Rabaul PNG. A great place to really learn to fly! My first 3000 hrs were flown there and I acquired memories that are shared with a select few who have had the privilege to see this paradise on earth from the air {although PNG can be pretty hard on the liver - hic!} The Rabaul volcano went off in SEP94 and I, along with a lot of other people, lost just about everything. Flew in the evacuation of Rabaul and then down to Bougainville where a secessionist war had been going on for years. We were supposedly safe from attack by the BRA through a negotiated agreement but sure enough one of our Twin Otters was badly shot up a few days after I had just completed a tour of flying there and was back in Oz for a break. That made it pretty clear that it was time for a career change so I never went back, but who knows.. one day they might clear up the law and order and civil unrest problems and it might again be a paradise to live in.

    Back to Aussie to fly for Flight West Airlines and then a move to Europe working for KLM as Captain on E120 Brasilia for two yrs and easyJet on B737NG as First Officer for a further two years. Whilst still in Holland I was married but I am afraid we suffered the same fate as so many other couples in this modern world. I returned to Australia in JAN03 due to the protracted illness and subsequent passing of my Father in JUL03. If you really want a reason not to smoke then watch someone die slowly over 6 months from Emphysema. This took 12 months out of my career - family always comes first. In late 2003 Lady Luck smiled again and I got a start as a First Officer with Pacific Blue in New Zealand operating 737-800s. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Virgin Blue in Australia and we conduct all International operations on their behalf both trans-Tasman and out into the Pacific to Fiji, Vila and various other places to be decided. As always in aviation, you just never know what is around the corner. The Company is a great place to work and is growing fast to meet the high demand for a friendly, low cost airline. Now living in Christchurch, New Zealand and I have to say what a nice place it is to live. So nice I have bought a house here and expect to be here for some years.

    NZCH is a hotbed of flight sim activity and the PMDG 737NG addon for MSFS9 is an amazing piece of work. It is so good we can use it to train for real world operations. In terms of a positive endorsement I don't think you can say much more than that about any sim. These days I am busy preparing for the last step in my career and that is Command on a jet. I was previously training for it with easyJet but personal circumstances dictated otherwise. Hopefully I will be selected for training as a Captain here at Pacific Blue. 17MAR05: I was selected for Command training late last year and after 5 simulator sessions, 2 progress checks, lots of training and study I underwent a Command Check to Line with PB and as of 17MAR05 I am a Captain on the jet! Been a few years getting here and my only regret is that my Dad and mentor Noel Bellamy were not here to see it. It is what they both always wanted and had I been a little smarter all those years ago and listened to good advice then perhaps it would have happened back then. Nevertheless I feel that I have at last got close to achieving a significant goal in my life and I am enjoying flying in the left hand seat immensely.

    Of course 'it' all happens straight away in a new job and so on my first trip as a Captain I was rostered to fly NZCH-YSSY-NZWN and the weather in Wellington NZ was pretty lousy, and had been for days. So much so that very few aircraft had landed there in almost a week. The leg to Sydney was OK except for a few laps of the hold out to sea and in sight of the coast. Sometimes I wonder if the passengers think we are lost and looking for the place.. It is also funny that I do more holding in a month in Australia than I did in 4 years flying in Europe. It just doesn't make sense really. Delays to passengers, additional cost for flight hours and maintenance and of course much more fuel burnt and pollution. Anyhow, I was most fortunate to have a very experienced pilot as my First Officer in Murray Weston on this trip and so between us we came up with a plan, starting with a shed load of fuel. We shot off to WLG with a company preferred alternate of Palmerston North should we have to divert but sufficient fuel to hold for about 45 minutes at WLG and then go to NZAA as well. Keeping a jaundiced eye on the weather as we crossed the Tasman and it wasn't looking good. With a QF 737 a few minutes ahead of us we slowed down about 150nm out of WLG and ended up doing a bit of holding waiting for a break in the weather. No joy there so when QF decided to have a go anyway we asked to do the same as if you are within about 10nm of another jet and they go around due to low cloud there is just a chance they might thin the cloud out enough with all that 'go around thrust' and steep pitch up to allow us to see to land.

    The best laid plans of mice and men, they say, saw an ATR72 vectored between the two jets. A nice steady dual autopilot approach saw us down to the minima and absolutely nothing to see so up went the thrust, the nose and the gear and we decided on plan B. We held for about another 20 minutes then flew back over WLG at 9000' but with no change in the weather off to NZPM we went. A VOR DME to Rwy 07 saw us there with a swag of other aeroplanes and to be honest the ground maneuvering of the -800 in a confined space close to other Boeings was probably more harrowing for me than all the flying.. you are relying on guidance from ground marshallers and, regardless of that fact, if you bump into something it is, as always, the Captains responsibility. I really didn't want a 'tea and biscuits' session with my Boss so early in my career so slow and steady was the order of the day. Fortunately we didn't touch anyone else .. whew! Bottom line: As a first day out on the line it was a hoot. The training and advice I received from our Training Captains, and my good friends Capts. Arthur Dovey and Stephen Bates, was as good as any you will find anywhere in the world. In particular these two aforementioned gentlemen are highly experienced Checkies from the likes of BA, Cathay, RNZAF, Air NZ etc. Veritable fonts of knowledge and I am forever in their debt. My sincere thanks to you both! So now it is out on the line, day to day Command of a 737 and it feels great!

    In my spare time I help other people learn to fly using flight sims like IL2 Pacific Fighters and the PMDG 737 add-on for MSFS9. Most of all I get a kick out of sharing my passion for aviation with others not quite so lucky as to be paid to do what, IMHO, is the best job in the world. The preparation these so called games and toy simulators provide for real world flying can be of huge value when you come to fly in the real world. When there is sufficient interest I host Online Tutorials for the PMDG 737 and general sim flying. You can find me at MSN on Super_Maggot_737_800@hotmail.com and when needed I also host a Teamspeak Server on 60.234.155.42 I look forward to seeing you online soon.

    UPDATES:
    JUL05:
    Have been having a great time flying for Pacific Blue and have recently moved to NZAA with the opening of our new base. Everyone asks "Who are you guys?" Standard answer is "New Zealands next national airline" Some get it and some don't ;D Anyhow, a joint venture between PB and Polynesian Airlines has been in the wind for some time and steady progress was mode up to the point where we needed to exchange some crews for training into PB SOPs and that meant we had to send some guys to Poly and yours truly got a slot - so now it is balmy days in Apia, Western Samoa having the odd sip at the various pubs and flying up and down to NZ via interesting places like Tonga, Niue and occasionally up to Honolulu (which I haven't done as yet). For those of you with MSFS and PMDG 737-800 - have a go at Niue Runway 11 NDB/DME with say 2000M vis and at night ... got pretty interesting for me the first time I did it under those conditions IRL :D. What this all means is that I am away from NZ and my good Lady Girlfriend as well as the 'puter so am a bit haphazard with my net presence. The deployment may go on for some months but if you have a question about flying real or simulated then still email it and I will answer it as soon as I can.

    FEB06:
    Well I guess it is time for a bit of an update. A lot has happened in the last few months, most important of which: my previous version of Girlfriend underwent an upgrade to Fiance in JUL05 and was subsequently installed as Wife1 on 07JAN06! I will write a little more on this and post some pics a bit later. All such things are of course now subject to wifely editorial control ;D

    The takeover of Polynesian Airlines has been completed and most of the pilots absorbed into the Pacific Blue operation. Whilst on the Polynesian deployment I also started conducting ground training sessions for the induction of new pilots to PB and also CRM and Emergency Procedures training for all our crew both Cabin and Technical. I have always enjoyed training roles but have since rescinded these duties. There have been major changes in the way PB is managed at a Flight Ops level with the very regrettable loss of Captains Stephen Bates (was Fleet Manager and virtually started PB) and Arthur Dovey, both of whom are considered to be pillars of professionalism and true pilots' pilots. Both will be sorely missed for their advice, guidance and sense of humour. Stephen in particular is renowned for his genteel manner and diplomacy. Both of these gentlemen epitomise everything I would want to be by the time I reach their stage of their careers. They have set very high standards and their experience in jet operations the world over shows through the commons sense evident in our procedures and practices on the line.

    I am increasingly concerned with the threat of an Influenza A pandemic, namely H5N1 and I have a dedicated webpage on it for those of you who may be interested. I do not believe I am given to alarmism and whilst the message is quite gloomy I find it incredible that many people would just rather 'not know' than give thought to a situation that has potentially grave implications for all of us and our families. I will leave it to say that for 6 months now I have been carrying antiviral drugs, gloves and masks with me at all times when away from NZ.

    The building of the commercial side of my website for pilot Route and Port Familiarisation is proceeding apace. It is a password protected area but all the other flying and Boeing info I have is available via the link above left on this page to Real World Flying.

    JAN07:
    This website has been lacking input for a while and our RAAFSIMS site has been unavailable as well. The latter issue is being addressed and in the meantime I have relocated RAAFSIMS to my own webspace. It is again accessible by clicking the logo on the top left of this page.

    On the family front ... After our wonderful wedding and honeymoon Cherie and I have settled into life in AKL and we are living in her unit in Eastern Beach. It was a little dated, so (with Cherie now a few months pregnant) we decided it was time for renovating .. in fact this was all started by the wonderful Christmas present I received from Cheries' parents for Christmas 2005 .. would you believe it was a vanity unit for our bathroom .. well even one as thick as I can take a hint and so in July06 we started ripping walls, kitchens, flooring and various bits and pieces out - what should have been a quick make over turned into two months of living in a bomb site and sleeping in the lounge room, bare concrete floors, cooking on my camping stove etc etc. At last it was complete and we are both very happy with it but once again (just like I said last time "Never Again") :D

    So all was ready for the arrival of our beautiful baby boy (Bradley Neil Marsh) and I cannot possibly express just how deep an impact it has on a father to be present at the birth of your child. Absolutely life changing, you suddenly realize what it is all about! I could not be happier and our little boy, now 3 months old, is beside me as I write this, smiling and gurgling for all he is worth. There are a few pics of our little arrival available from a link above left on this page with some of our wedding pics as well.

    On the work front: As I previously mentioned there have also been large changes in management at Pacific Blue. Many of the new people are exAnsett NZ and the flavour and morale of the operation overall has changed. So much so that the standing joke at VB is that we are to be renamed Ansett Blue or the ABC = Ansett Blue Club.

    Life in the 'Low Cost' world is never boring, that's for sure. The fundamental requirement for success of a low cost airline is clearly laid out by Herb Kelleher (CEO of the worlds most successful airline 'Southwest") and Stelios, the man who created easyJet and my former employer. It is a people-centric operation, where your employees are clearly the most valuable asset you have in the business. As Herb says "We are a people company that just happens to run an airline" The book about Southwest and its' phenomenal success 'Nuts' is a great read and a clear guide on how to make your Company the most profitable and, not coincidentally, happy as it can possibly be. Reading 'Nuts!' you will understand how 'low cost' is really meant to be done and the only way airlines, or any business for that matter, will be successful in the long term. Unless you truly embrace the human aspect of the low cost model anything else that claims to be 'low cost' is in fact just penny pinching and cheapskate. Only the fullness of time will tell but surely the failed attempts at 'low cost' by BA, KLM et al are testament to the results of bringing outdated management attitudes to the modern, highly competitive business of airline flying. Who knows what the future holds but there is no question that life is never boring in aviation :D
    Something I was told recently and on reflection I can't think of one exception .. 'People don't leave their job, they leave their boss'
    Here's a qutoe from Herb writing for 'Leader to Leader' that may be worth your time reading .. that will, or course, all depend on your attitude:

    Building Employee Partnership:

    You can't have a culture of commitment and performance without equitable employee compensation, and that includes executive compensation. Our officers -- whom I consider the best in the business -- are paid 30 percent less, on average, than their counterparts at other airlines, and at companies of similar size in other industries. On the other hand, most of our employees are at or above average pay levels in our industry. We try to make up that difference to our officers with stock options, but of course that depends on upon how well the company does.

    We also have provided profit sharing to all employees for the past 24 years. We want them to have a significant ownership of Southwest Airlines. We want them to share our success. We want to offer top-notch benefit programs. But in return for this we want our people to be productive. And we achieve productivity through people's enthusiasm and dedication, to be sure -- but also through work rules that encourage flexibility and cooperation up, down, and across our organization. I think it says a lot that we have had no layoffs and only one strike in our 25-year history.

    Our commitment to job security has helped us keep our labor force smaller and more productive than our competitors. Our most important tools for building employee partnership are job security and a stimulating work environment. Our union leadership has recognized that we provide job security, and there hasn't been a lot of that in the airline industry. Certainly there were times when we could have made substantially more profits in the short term if we had furloughed people, but we didn't. We were looking at our employees' and our company's longer-term interests. And, as it turns out, providing job security imposes additional discipline, because if your goal is to avoid layoffs, then you hire very sparingly. So our commitment to job security has actually helped us keep our labor force smaller and more productive than our competitors'.

    But it's not enough to try to assure people a job; equally important is allowing them to feel liberated when they come to work, to be creative, to think outside the lines. To foster problem solving and cooperation, for example, we have the Walk a Mile program, in which any employee can do somebody else's job for a day. The operations agents cannot fly the planes, but the pilots can -- and do -- work as operations agents. (They also, on their own, have held barbecues for all our mechanics, to thank them for keeping our planes flying.) Seventy-five percent of our 20,000 people have participated in the job-swapping program. It's an administrative nightmare, but one of the best tools I know for building understanding and collaboration.

    Our most important training is not in how to manage or administor but in how to lead. Training is another way you forge committed partnership. Naturally, an airline must train every employee, but our most important training is not in how to manage or administer but in how to lead. Originally that training was part of our pilots' crew-resource management program; it focused on how the first officer and the pilot relate to each other, how they exchange information, and how they focus on the task at hand. In short, how they work as a team. Today we have reservation sales agents, flight attendants, mechanics, administrative staff in those classes, as well as the cockpit crews.

    Above all, you have to seize everyday opportunities to build bridges between people, especially in moments of crisis. Some years ago, for instance, one of our employee groups, in effect, voted itself out of its union. Many of the rank and file were feeling insecure about their future, so we gave them a personal contract signed by me. It provided for a grievance procedure, arbitration procedure, and so on. Several labor lawyers and professors called me and asked if that was legal. (I thought it was their job to tell me.) But they missed the point. Our agreement with those employees was a matter of good faith; it didn't need to be legally enforceable. We didn't set up an iota of the structure that the experts recommended, and a year later we had no grievances pending. They were all handled informally, by people with good will getting together and talking to each other.

    Until next time, All The Best,
    Brad Marsh