Some might remember my story in the March 2018 issue of Sport Pilot, after I picked up my new ‘toy’ in Jamestown, South Australia. As my second Savannah, it was a real joy to fly with VGs on the wings and it was welltuned with electric trim.

On the Queen’s Birthday weekend this year, I handed the Red Devil over to a new owner and it will eventually live on a sheep and wheat farm at Colleambally, New South Wales.

What is it about Savannahs? Both of mine have now gone to broad acre farmers. Could it be that Savannahs are good for short take off and landings? Could it be that they are very safe for paddock landings? Could it be that they have been used for mustering wild goats and camels? Maybe it has something to do with very reliable Rotax engines they both have.

It took three days to get the Sav as far as Griffith. Because of fog in the Latrobe Valley, the pilot had to turn back to LTV. A second attempt got him through to Shepparton for a cup of coffee and a fuel top-up. Back in the air, the little Red Devil made it to Jerilderie with more patchy weather and an overnight stay. Finally, on Queen’s Birthday, 5566 arrived in Griffith.

You’re probably wondering why I love Savannahs so much and why I have just sold one with only 120 hours on the clock?

Well, it’s like this. I turn 77 this year, and some of my wheels are starting to fall off, so to speak. I reckon one of the smartest things I have ever done is my decision to retire from flying whilst I am ahead. I can close the book knowing I have never bingled an aircraft.

I have had fun after learning to fly late in life and kept my first plane on my own paddock – an ambition I had since I was a boy. I’ve navigated South Australia and Queensland too. I had an ambition to land on a beach, but unfortunately that was one goal that didn’t happen. But hey! As for the rest of it, it’s been fun.