Thursday, December 23, 2010

Special Offers for the Holiday Season

To celebrate the festive season and my shiny new AOC I have put together some great deals for people looking for Scenic Flights or Joy Flights or Aerobatic Flights from Jandakot Airport.

Experience the thrill of a 30min flight with Aerobatics over the Warnbro sound for just $175

"We will take off from Jandakot and fly out over Fremantle before heading south along the coast over Rockingham to Warnbro, with Garden Island on our right you can experience Barrel Rolls, Loops, Flats Spins and Hammerhead Turns and much more. Then we head back up the coast and return to Jandakot via Cockburn and Bibra Lake. You get to choose how many Aerobatics we do and how many G's you feel, take it easy or hang onto your lunch!"

Six Inch Trail UltraMarathon Logs

Ok, here is the log from my Garmin GPS Watch, it shows my heartrate and pace during the event.

Six Inch Trail Ultra Marathon 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Aerobatic Flights at Jandakot Airport with RolfAir

CASA have finally approved my AOC. It means I am now able to offer Aerobatic and Scenic flights to members of the general public from my base at Jandakot Airport. I am in the process of getting my new website up and running, the old one is there at the moment and is, er, basic.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

6 inch trail ultra marathon

About to cross the finish line..

About 8km into the race...

Here I am in the second half after about 3 Hrs...

I completed the 46km course in 5hrs 20 mins. It was hard!

Sunday, December 05, 2010


It has been ages since I last flew at Serpo. The weather was no good for Bakewell this weekend (after a great run the last couple of months) but it looked OK, if a little strong for Serpo. I rang the owners to confirm there were no easily frightened animals in the landing paddock and got the OK to fly there on Sunday.
Sure enough the winds were W to SW at between 15 and 25 knots. It was a little lively for the fun at times, and I was very careful not to go anywhere I was not absolutely sure I would get back from. I had a fun fly and that is what it is all about. I had performance envy as the boys on the Stings could actually explore the ridge.
I am reminded to replace the bungies on the fun, I'm sure there would be another 5 knots of penetration if I could stop the sail flapping so badly. I miss my climax.

Considering the ridiculously small amount of effort I put into this panorama it is amazing.

And here I am getting thrown around in the Fun...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The magnificent Fuji

Just before I left for my European holiday I did a lot of flying. I
crossed the country in light aircraft 3 times in 10 days!
I delivered my Cessna to it's new owner in Orange and collected my new
aircraft and flew it back. I also got a re-positioning job of moving a
Cessna 210 from Jandakot to Longreach.

My new aircraft is a Fuji FA-200-180. A very rare aircraft with 180Hp
Lycoming and constant speed prop. What sets it apart from the rest is
it's aerobatic capability, it can do almost every manoeuvre possible. It
also can carry 4 adults and has a dedicated cargo area that will take
80KG of bags. It is not quite as fast as I had hoped, but will manage
120kt comfortably.

Since my return I have been averaging an hour of aerobatics practice
every day and I am falling in love with the Fuji.

I am also running again, I am back to an hour a day and so far all is well.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Fun in Davos

I did my second half marathon on Saturday. I was initially planning to
do the downhill full marathon as I feel that down hill is my speciality
(gravity assist). My stress fracture ruled that one out, even the half
was probably pushing my luck a little.
As it turned out it was a brutal 2Hrs and 17Mins thanks to a lot of
technical track and huge, steep climbs and descents. I managed to keep
running and still enjoy myself despite a brand new knee injury rearing
it's head at the 6k mark.

I'm leaving mainland Europe soon an my way back to Blighty.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fun in Switzerland

I'm having a great time climbing and running around Switzerland. The
scenery is so beautiful and such a refreshing change from the Australia
I see the most. I've managed to set foot in England, France, Belgium,
Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland so far, and I'll get Liechtenstein
later this week.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

It's time for a long overdue update...

Firstly my Sacrum has been healing itself and I have been taking any supplement that I think might help to speed things up and make it as strong as possible for the future. I have just started running again this week, I am on a carefully designed program of run/walks that limits my exercise to about 35mins a day.
As usual I am impatient to step things up and get back to some more challenging distance, but then the pain and inconvenience of the broken Sacrum is still pretty fresh in my mind, so let's see how long I can stick with the program.

I've flown over 50Hrs in the last 2 weeks, and flown across the country 3 times!

I flew my Cessna 172 over to it's new owner in Orange and apart from actually passing through a cold front on the way there, the highlight of the trip would have been the night flying from Forrest to Ceduna.

Ceduna by Night!

As I was in the front I had some amazing ground speed for a 150Hp 172.

Then I flew back to Perth in a magnificent Fuji-180. A very rare (as few as 30 of this model) fully aerobatic 4 seat aircraft with a 180Hp engine and constant speed unit. The highlight of the return trip was flying from Renmark to Ceduna in the dark.

The Fuji is a lovely aircraft to fly, very responsive with a great roll rate, it feel slightly like a warbird inside and I guess that comes from it Japanese manufacturers heritage.

Just a couple of days after I got back I ferried a Cessna 210 to Longreach in QLD, I knew the name, and when I got there and saw the 747 on display at the Qantas museum I realised why.

The 210 had long legs and if I had had the kind of tailwinds that graced the 172 I would have seen 230 knots ground speed! As it was I had headwinds most of the way.

This was the best I got from the 210.

I'm off to Europe for several weeks, time to trade winter for summer for a while.

I'm still in an idyllic relationship with the most amazing girl, life is good.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to fracture your Sacrum

Ok, lets face it, unless you are involved in the world of medicine, or
have a really keen interest in human anatomy, you probably don't know
where your sacrum is. I'll be honest and admit that I would have had to
guess if I was asked to locate it.

Well, actually pre-Internet I would have had to guess, now-a-days I
would just fire up Google on my Android smart phone and I would know
exactly within a couple of seconds. Who needs a brain the size of a
planet when the entire planet is search-able?

So in January I decided to reverse my life long loathing of running by
getting good at it. I was fortunate to have access to highly
experienced and accomplished runners who offered me plenty of great
advice, and even made up a training schedule for me. The schedule had
things progressing at a nice sedate pace, following the universally
accepted principle of increasing distance by around 10% a week. When I
look at that training schedule now I notice that in late Feb I was still
supposed to be doing run/walks and I would have progressed to a 30Min jog by mid March.

This is what I actually did...

Actually in February I covered about 130km with my longest run being
18km. I was averaging a 6.15Min/Km pace and starting to actually enjoy
some of the runs after the hard slog that was January.

In March I covered about 200km with my greatest distance in one day
being 25km. I was averaging a 5.57Min/Km pace and starting to push
myself harder in search of the speed I felt was just around the corner.
I enjoyed most of my runs.

In April I covered about 250km with a couple of runs over 20km. My
average pace was down to 5.39Min/Km and I was feeling good about my
running. I still wanted more speed, but I was used to my local 8km
training loop and could run that at race pace and enjoy the feeling of
speed. I was starting to learn that hills were going to be my nemesis
until my fitness and strength improved further. On the 25th I took part
in the Perth Marathon Clubs 10km race around the river and I managed a
4.42Min/Km pace. At this point I was starting to convince myself that
the rules that might apply to other people were not applicable to me,
all that 10% small increases stuff...

In early May I started to get some general hip pain when running, I also
had pain in the area of my left hip flexor. It was general and could be
acute at times but came and went in severity. I was used to occasional
muscle glitches, after all I was pushing as hard as I could, I assumed
it was a recalcitrant muscle. I started taking Vitamin I before long
runs and after long runs to help with the inflammation. After my success
at the 10km race I figured I was ready to step up to the half marathon
and so I was signed up for the Bunbury event. Looking back now I think I
started to notice the fracture in early May, I can remember a night of
pain that I put down to my left hip flexor, but now that I actually know
what I am feeling I realise it must have been when my sacrum gave out.

For 2 weeks before the half marathon I tried everything I could think of
to heal myself, but rest and massage did not seem to help. Vitamin I was
still the only solution when it came to pain management. The day before
the event I decided that I was going to run anyway, Vitamin I was not
enough and It took every ounce of my determination and perseverance to
drag myself through the event. As it turned out I still managed a time
of 1.48 which I am quite pleased with as such a new runner.

After the event no amount of rest days would take the pain away and
running became excruciating. I was incredibly fortunate to be sent to
see the top sports medicine people in WA and I was quickly diagnosed
with a likely stress fracture. then ensued a barrage of X-Rays and Bone
Scans and CT Scans and now I know what I have broken and where exactly
it is.

This is what broke...

I have a very impatient personality type, I am very determined, I expect
great things of myself. I was determined to push myself to the limit and
use the limit as my guide for how hard to push. It turns out that just
maybe the established running community does know something when they
talk about incremental training programmes!

I am optimistic that it will take 2 weeks for the fracture to heal to
the point where I can at least walk freely and perhaps ride a bike a
bit, I am hoping to be back to running in 4-6 weeks. This time I think I
might actually stick to an incremental program that is created for me by
someone who knows.

If you are like me you are probably reading this and thinking that it
won't happen to you, fair enough.

For everybody else this should serve as a warning about ignoring the rules.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bunbury Half Marathon

I managed to complete the 21km in 1Hour 48Mins. It was a nice road
course with some hills thrown in. I was not having a particularly good
day health wise, so I am quite pleased with the result as it suggests
this might be at the lower end of my performance range. According to the
pace calculators this makes me capable of about a 3Hr 45Min Marathon.
That of course assumes I could actually complete a marathon, I needed
everything I had to complete the 21km at my 5.01min/km (11.8km/hr) pace
today. I have more training to do.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bakewell Again

Monday was another great day. Karl and I tore up the skies. It is
getting cold though.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Life continues to stay interesting!

On the weekend I just managed to survive a 24k run on Friday, although i was only able to run 21k of it. Then it was off to work in the hash house at the 12hr rogaine near York. It gave me a new found appreciation for the work that goes into preparing for and running the events.
After too little sleep and having the smoke from the BBQ I was manning invade every pore in my body, I still managed to run (and really enjoy) a 16k trail in John Forrest National park on the way home.

I have lifted my running to 10km a day now, I managed to run approx 250km last month. I have found some shoes (adizero xt) that I really like, they are light and have quite a narrow footprint with very little cushioning and that seems to suit me. I have been wearing my Nike Free Trainers for months now and I no longer find that the heavy, highly cushioned shoes that I used to wear (like the Nike Air Pegasus) suit my running style.

As a new runner I have been through the whole gamut of running learning in the last few months, having discovered how to injure myself, and then how to avoid injury. How to run so that I did not enjoy it, and how to transition to loving running. How set myself up for a spectacular failure, and now hopefully how to manage things so that all goes according to plan.

Because I just happen to be in the vicinity at the time, I have signed up for the Bunbury half marathon in a couple of weeks. I managed to force myself to complete 21km on the weekend in less than ideal circumstances so at least i know I am capable of it. Exactly how fast I should be trying to go is something I will discover on the day.

I think I have decided now to hold off on my full Instrument Rating, it is hard to justify as I can not see myself using it in the foreseeable future, it is money that I don't need to spend now. I am going to get my tail dragger endorsement though as that is very useful to have.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I had an awesome fly at Bakewell yesterday. It was quite a day with the
race in the morning followed by a long soaring flight and then the climb
back up the hill to get my car.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My First Race

Getting up at dawn to go run 10k as fast as I can. I never saw that one coming last year. Life is full of surprises.

The distance was actually 10.5Km which equates to 47 min for 10Km.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I'm doing a 10km race in Perth on Monday just for fun, I regularly do
10km training runs so it will be interesting to see what effect if any
it has on my pace...

We have also booked another event in Switzerland, this one is a 1600M
height gain in 10km running event, or probably a walking event for me I

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I got a couple of flights at Cott last week. Neither day was particularly special, but a sign of better days to come. On Thursday a bunch of guys turned up and there was some excellent flying at times. The photos are from Tuesday when I was testing the HD recording feature of the Pentax Optio W80, these are screen shots.

Does anyone else think that Gerolf looks a bit too serious in this photo, I mean using a drogue chute to land a single surface glider on a beach? (Come on Moyes the performance is not that good!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bypass the Great Australian Firewall!

If you want unrestricted access to the Internet, coupled with complete anonymity perhaps to prevent your government or employer from deciding which parts of the Internet are withheld from you, then you need to sign up for a service like this:  Provide a VPN Service that gives you complete access to the entire Internet.

They charge a very reasonable 5USD a month for the service and it works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

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Friday, April 02, 2010


I had a short and exciting little fly this afternoon. It was sw and a bit thermic and switchy. Short but sweet after a safe landing.

Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Marathon Training

Here is my last month of running training. I am fighting a couple of irritating muscles (Hip Flexor is the latest) that are not stopping me from running, but are making me do less distance than I would like. I am trying very hard to be patient (not easy) and keep my fitness continually improving and the injury to a minimum. I did my first Rogaine on the weekend, boy was that fun. Looking forward to the next one now!

My resting heart rate is now well below 60bpm and I can run at a reasonable pace and my heart rate stays below 160bpm, both unthinkable just 3 months ago!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Year So Far

Some runs that i did without a GPS are missing, but you get the general Idea!

Run Baby Run!

Ok , on the weekend I was at a training camp in the hills that had Steve
/Moneghetti/ as the guest speaker, he is an Olympic grade marathon
runner and quite an inspirational speaker. I learnt a fair bit and
managed to run 43km over the weekend, despite injuring myself on the
first day.

So far this month I have run over 160Km at an average pace of just over
10kph. I have got my resting heart rate down to 54bpm. I am on track for
completing my first ever marathon in a reasonable time.

Running is keeping me sane whilst i wait for CASA to approve my AOC so
that I can start earning money again.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Marathon Crazyness

Well it seems to be the year for people to do crazy things and rather than get left behind I have decided to run my first ever marathon in July in Switzerland.
I've been contemplating it for a while but have avoided actually commiting to anything, but I guess the time has come to make it public knowledge and stop me changing my mind.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Words and such

Virga dammit! After months of lamenting the lack of a spell checker on my phone I discover an auto correct feature that sneakingly changes words on me when I least expect it. I will have to edit these posts later! (Now)
Anyway even though I was earlier than yesterday, by the time I was ready to take off it was south west. As I walked to take off the wind swung due west and picked up a few knots, it also started to rain gently. Thinking I was in luck I launched but within a minute the rain stopped together with the wind and I found myself scraping over the trees to a rather quick bottom landing. I even had to carry my glider most of the way across the field, that's how unplanned it was.
Oh well a great take off and nice landing and I got my exercise walking back up the hill too.

Later Bernadette and I went for an 18km run over the hills, most of it at night with head lamps, I survived and really enjoyed most of it!

Heading back to Perth this afternoon, forecast suggests 20knot tail winds for a change.
Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

City view Again

I tried for a flight from city view again on Saturday afternoon. I was earlier this time but the wind was lighter and there was solid overcast high level cloud with Virgo falling on the horizon.

Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Safe back on the ground!

When I started to setup it was WSW. By the time I was ready to fly it was SSW. I decided to have a go anyway. Just as I went to take off a thermal came through and I came within a second of visiting my mate Mick at work.
Somehow with an adrenaline fueled spurt of strength I managed to abort the takeoff and get the wing back under control. A few seconds later I took off safely and the had several exiting minutes working the unpredictable lift. I managed to get above launch for a while but decided that discretion being the better part of valour It would be smarter to land safely in the padlock at the base of the hill.
I got good exercise climbing back up the hill to get the car.

Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

Double Gees

Particularly viscous near take off where I setup. I quickly learn not to kneel down!

Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

City view

Today I took the Perfex up to city view just after 2pm.
It was very thermic with a light westerly blowing. I figured I was probably in for a short flight, but it was going to get me outdoors and give me some exercise.

Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

Off to Geraldton...

I always dreamed of being able to fit my hang glider into my aeroplane. Imagine the possibilities!
Well this week my dream came true when I managed to jam the Perfex into my Cessna 172 and fly it up to Geraldton.

Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Karl and I had another great day at Bakewell. It was strong at times and quite thermic. We had dinner at the york pub afterwards.

Sent from Rolfs mobile phone.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I have not flown a hang glider since xmas day! I was starting to pine. Today i had a really fun flight at mt bakewell around midday. It was quite thermic and challenging at times but i loved every second.

Friday, January 22, 2010

In other news....

I've been a busy boy. I've got more physical exercise in the last month that I got in the last year.

The highlights include...

I've got a new toy. Amazing bike. Stupid name. Let's pretend it's just called an F650 shall we.

When a Canadian lets you use her gun you know it is getting serious!

Actually finding myself wanting to do stuff like this, another sign it must be serious!

Despite my initial fears, it turns out to be relatively easy and fun!

Ok, I've done plenty of this in the last year!

Angel Flight

I have been wanting to get involved with Angel Flight for a long time. They offer a fantastic service that provides free transport for people in need. I finally had my first flight a couple of weeks ago. It was a profound experience and very rewarding, I am very much looking forward to my next chance to help someone in this way.


Mission 4856: Perth/Geraldton

Initial Trip Request

A gentleman from Geraldton has been in Perth undergoing treatment for Prostate Cancer. he has just received a terminal diagnosis and wishes to return home to Geraldton to be with his family. Due to the distance and financial hardship, Angel Flight will assist.

Angel Flight Leg 1

Pilot: Rolf Schatzmann

Earth Angel: Hugh Butler

Pilot: Rolf Schatzmann
(1st Angel flight)

Earth Angel:
Hugh Butler
(4th Angel flight)

Comments from Rolf Schatzmann:
"The flight to Geraldton was pretty uneventful. It was a pleasure to meet the Earth Angel, Hugh, who did manage to get some photos before we left Jandakot. I had plenty of time to chat to Alan during the flight and I was honoured to have the chance to meet him and to be of assistance. It was an extremely positive experience and I look forward to my next mission."

For more mission stories please click here.