High Flyer

John Ross, at 85 years young

Had the pleasure taking a retired Australian Army Helicopter pilot for a flight recently.
John Ross first flew solo in the Bell 47 (G2) with the Australian Army in 1961.  After a posting to Fort Rucker with the US Army to train as an instructor, John returned as the Senior Flying Instructor-Rotary Wing for Army’s 16 ALA Sqn prior to joining the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) in Melbourne in 1966 as the first rotary wing examiner of airmen and airways surveyor in Australia. 

After investigating a fatal offshore helicopter accident in Bass Strait 1969, John left DCA and spent his career advising aviation operations supporting the offshore oil and gas industry. 

John hasn’t flown a Bell 47 in 50 years but I tell you , he flew my Bell 47 “ Larry the Mighty Bell 47” as if he had flown one just yesterday. Not bad for 85 years young. 

John is the father of PAC member Cameron Ross, who also flew helicopters in the Australian Army (’87 – ’95).   

by Darren Barnfield


This rticle originally published in Peninsula Aero Club Newsletter. January 2021       

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