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Bill Anderson - Author of "A Lifetime in Longhaul"

A Lifetime in Longhaul
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Information about the books

A Lifetime in Longhaul'A Lifetime in Longhaul' is an opportunity to look into the fascinating world of longhaul aviation.

In 1965, Qantas Airways commenced the Qantas Cadet Pilot Training Scheme. Thirteen courses were completed over a period of seven years, with the last course graduating in 1972.

Bill Anderson was a member of 5 Course. He and twelve colleagues from that course recall their challenges both on the ground and in the air after 'A Lifetime in Longhaul'.

These men have some amazing tales to tell, from their early days as young men learning to fly, their entry into Qantas and on to the present day.

These stories contain humour and excitement, with some close calls and some very funny situations that arose during the course of those years. There are celebrities that find their way onto the flight deck and tales of cities that many will remember the way they used to be.

A Lifetime in Longhaul - The Bigger PictureIn his latest book "A Lifetime in Longhaul - The Bigger Picture" Bill Anderson includes the stories and recollections of seven senior Qantas Captains and four long serving senior ground staff from the Operational departments of Engineering, Flight Dispatch and Ops Control.

These are all 'hands on' people and their stories allow you to experience the many day to day problems and decisions that occur in the running of a major world airline.

These two books take you to the heart of the operations areas of Qantas Airways.

Excerpts from the books "A lifetime in Longhaul" and "A lifetime in Longhaul - the Bigger Picture"

From "A Lifetime in Longhaul"

....A few minutes later we were told to climb to FL80 and we levelled at that altitude. It was a great clear day when suddenly the skipper called 'Traffic at 12 o'clock'..... four Phantom fighters were coming straight towards us....

....I headed down through the cargo section and opened the door into the passenger area. All the lights were on and the members of the Moscow Circus were heading home from Australia. A huge party was in progress, with the circus members stripped down to their briefs, doing cart wheels up the aisle and dancing and singing, while consuming most of their recently purchased goods....

....The actual flying training at Avalon was the pinnacle of enjoyment. When the wind blows down there it can generate thirty knots or more of crosswind.....approaches in these conditions were all part of the syllabus.....on one engine......the two of us were like kids in a toy store....

...The first indication that I had done something stupid was when attempting to take off at the normal speed, the aircraft didnít respond and the stall warning started to sound....

Qantas 747....passing over Istanbul en route to London. It was a beautiful clear night with everything running smoothly, when all of a sudden, a huge ball of flame erupted from the direction of Istanbul and rose to about 20,000 feet. It was well below the aircraft but most spectacular and completely unexplained....

...."Having a spot of bother old boy?" Bugger, it was Air Commodore Archie Winskill, Captain of the Queenís Flight. I could visualise the Tower of London quite clearly! I gave another shove, and the flag was flapping in the breeze!...

From "A Lifetime in Longhaul - The Bigger Picture"

....a mayday call came through on the VHF emergency frequency, 121.5. It was from a Beech 18 heading from Hilo (in the Hawaiian chain of islands) to Tahiti; the pilot advised that an engine had failed and he was preparing for a possible ditching.

....We really had no idea how all this was going to unfold as the world awoke to the events on the east coast of the USA ... I linked bin Laden to Afghanistan and my reaction was that right now we do not want any of our aircraft in that airspace...

....Now the 125 is pretty flukey (code for exciting) in this phase of flight and could roll very quickly onto its back. So I had Rob fly it into the stall and as the roll began....

....This info was quickly followed by another call from the tower...this time the controller stated that sparks had been observed coming from our undercarriage during the take off.

...."Well Qantas, the wind is all over the place, horiziontal rain and the visibility about 800 metres...you've got your work cut out for you, Qantas."

....The sunset was magnificent, slowly turning to a pitch black night over the Indian Ocean. The interphone rang, a call from the cabin with a voice hysterical, advising that there was smoke in the cabin.

Information about the books by the author, Bill Anderson

"My forty years with Qantas Airways introduced me to many wonderful people across the aviation spectrum, but specifically within the Qantas group. This book will introduce you to a few of the ground staff, engineers and of course, the pilots. They all work in the operational area of Qantas - 'the coal face', and all of them have interesting tales to tell. There has been little attempt to record any of their recollections of their individual life-long working days. I hope that these two books in some way will address this shortfall. The staff members whom you will meet, speak not only for themselves but also for their colleagues in the industry. They are the U in Qantas."

Anderson family

Profile of the author, Bill Anderson and his family

Captain Bill Anderson was educated at Wesley College, Perth, Western Australia, finishing his Leaving Certificate there in 1964. During that time, he was a Cadet Under Officer in the Air Training Corp and a very keen sailor, in which role he represented W.A. in two Australian Championships. He completed his Private Pilotís Licence at the Royal Aero Club of W.A. and in 1967 was selected to join the Qantas Cadet Pilot Training Scheme.

Bill remained with Qantas for his entire career, retiring in 2007.  During that period he flew numerous aircraft in the Qantas fleet...the DC-3, HS-125, DC-4, B707, B767 and the B747.

Bill and his wife Sherrin live at Kurmond, near the Blue Mountains in N.S.W. They have two children, Honi and Bill, daughter-in-law Jackie and grandson Will.

Copyright Bill Anderson 2013.
Pictures on this site contributed by Troy Cameron, Bernard Proctor and Jodie Thompson

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