Mooney’s first plane in 5 years – but you have to bid for it

Billed as an “industry first”, the first aircraft to roll off Mooney’s production line in five years will be sold via auction. Read more.

Brad Pitt buys a Spitfire

American actor Brad Pitt has bought a World War II Spitfire fighter aircraft for 2 million pounds Sterling and reportedly intends to learn to fly it himself. Read more.

Paul Jansen and Sam Whatmough buzz Goodwood Aerodrome in a Harvard combat trainer aircraft. The airfield is home to the world's only school for Spitfire pilots today.


It is a dream which began decades ago when I first laid hands on books about the summer of 1940 when young men flew Spitfire fighter aircraft against the rampaging Germans. It remained a longing that went on the backburner as I worked with a pen instead of a joystick. Yet, always, I wondered: “What will it be like to fly a World War II Spitfire?”

Visit Destinations, to read about Paul Jansen’s adventure at the Boultbee Flight Academy, a school which trains pilots to fly the Spitfire.

15 Responses to Home

  1. Jeffrey Cheong says:

    Good morning Capt! Finally got some time to log into Merawan, although not enough to go through the entire site, i must say you have done a tremendous job! Congrats, and may the site continue to grow – even linked to hallowed sites like Oshkosh etc.


    • The Editor says:

      Thanks for taking the time to log in, Jeff. We welcome contributions from readers like yourself in the form of suggestions for articles, offers of pictures for display, and so on. Cheers. – Paul

  2. David Tan says:

    Nice tribute, Paul.

    Last work week my SIC and I flew most of our trips using our iPads, even though paper was aboard and required: he had ForeFlight and I had JeppFD. The company has started training JeppFD during simulator recurrent and we will go paperless sometime next year. I still remember my dad’s first generation Macintosh in the mid ’80s. We’ve come a long way.

  3. Anthony Cheong says:

    Capt, I had a bad experience with Jetstar. I booked 2 tickets to Kuala Lumpur on 18 Aug 2011. I paid S$30 extra for priority boarding. In Changi Airport, it was fine, ie we did get to enjoy priority boarding. However, it was a sad story when we were in KLIA. The ground staff there simply do not honour the priority boarding. This was even though our entitlement to this was stated clearly on our boarding passes. I tried to lodge a complaint with Jetstar but its website was not customer-friendly.

    • The Editor says:

      Odd that Jetstar’s online system did not appear to have an alert to inform you that you were not eligible while accepting your payment. Also, in general, companies, including airlines, which take online bookings should ensure that customers can similarly register a concern online with the same ease.

  4. The Editor says:

    From Vincent Rodrigues

    Hi Paul,
    I have been reading most, if not all, of the interesting stuff on Merawan. It’s now on my Favorites list. I liked especially the Nano craft. If only I could fly and swim just as well.

  5. The Editor says:

    From davmtong

    Hi Paul
    Thanks for including me in your email list of flying-lovers. I enjoyed reading your super stories and your fresh website. Should have emailed earlier but I am out of town.
    Blue skies white clouds golden sunsets and happy landings.

  6. Yong Hee says:

    Here’s my minor contribution:
    Book by Barbara Rowell, Flying South : A Pilot’s Inner Journey
    -this is a touching book celebrating aviation and human spirit.

    Warning – tragic epilogue.

    • The Editor says:

      Thanks, Yong Hee. I haven’t read that one yet. – Paul

    • David Tan says:

      Yong Hee, here is the NTSB accident narrative for the Rockwell Commander 690A, N690TB:

      “The pilot entered the left-hand traffic pattern at an uncontrolled airport on a dark moonless night. Witnesses reported observing the airplane in a left descending turn. As the airplane turned onto the base leg, its left bank angle suddenly became steep. The airplane rapidly descended until colliding with level desert terrain 1.63 nm from runway 30′s threshold. There were no ground reference lights in the accident site area.

      An examination of the airplane structure, control systems, engines, and propellers did not reveal any evidence of preimpact malfunctions or failures. Signatures consistent with engine power were found in both the engines and the propellers. The wreckage examination revealed that the airplane descended into the terrain in a left wing and nose low attitude. Fragmentation evidence, consisting of the left navigation light lens and left propeller spinner, was found near the initial point of impact. The wreckage was
      found principally distributed along a 307- to 310-degree bearing, over a 617-foot-long path. The bearing between the initial point of impact and the runway threshold was 319 degrees.

      The pilot’s total logged experience in the accident airplane was 52 hours, of which only 1.6 hours were at night. The pilot was familiar with the area, but he had made only two nighttime landings within the preceding 90 days. Review of the recorded ATC communications tapes did not reveal any evidence of pilot impairment during voice communications with the pilot.”

      Looks like disorientation on a clear night, and totally avoidable, making it the more tragic. The carriage of passengers is really a sacred responsibility.

      Hope your flying is going well!


      • Yong Hee says:

        Just revisited merawan as I realized all the updates were going into my junk mail..

        David, thanks for doing the research. It shed some light on what happen to the couple. From what I heard, it wasn’t even a charter flight the truest sense but the pilot was paid in kind – a signed photograph from his collection, I think(Galen Rowell was well-known in landscape photography community – http://www.mountainlight.com)

        All: Let me know if you want to read this book.

  7. Angela Lee says:

    Reporting Sir…!!

    A good start, will stay tuned to see more updates soon……….. =)

  8. Matt Tan says:

    Cool! hope to see more images …

    • Editor says:

      Thanks, Matt. Aerial shots and aircraft make for quite dramatic pictures. We are working on producing a gallery of images from our crew and contributors.

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