Doug Field, the owner of Stick ‘n Rudder and Chief Flying Instructor (CFI), has been flying as soon as he legally could. He obtained his pilot license at 15 years old. Doug was fortunate to grow up on an airfield with his father. Becoming a pilot wasn’t just a boyhood dream it was a way of life for Doug.
A product of his passion for aviation was created with the first and only tailwheel aviation flight school in the area, Stick ‘n Rudder. Founded in 2018, Stick ‘n Rudder was established as an accredited and approved flight training school for both Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) certificates and licences. Doug has taught hundreds of students about the many facets of flying, from a beginner pilot to an advanced, experienced pilot.
Read on to find out what it takes for a young entrepreneur to fulfil those boyhood pilot passions.
GET TO KNOW DOUG...
I was really fortunate to grow up on an airfield with my father who is a passionate recreational pilot. Although born into aviation as such from the day I started flying it was hard to keep me out of the aircraft and it’s safe to say aviation is “in the blood”.
I have spent the majority of my flying career instructing in Australia and a little in New Zealand. Outside of this I have performed at Airshows across Australia, conducted Aerobatic joy-flights and a few charter/scenic operations.
It is true, you never forget your first solo. It was on runway 12 at Caboolture in a Jabiru. When the instructor jumped out my body was flooded with adrenaline. I was confident I could land the aircraft again and the potential risks never seemed to be a consideration at the ripe age of 15. It was just pure adrenaline and excitement to know I was going to fly for myself for the first time. Naturally I dropped a few ‘f’ bombs and taxied off for my first solo. I like to think my coping mechanisms for stress have improved somewhat since those days.
Flying has provided me with so many amazing experiences and what I would consider achievements. Being appointed to work as a consultant for the Red Bull Air Race and travelling the world with some of the best aerobatic and airshows pilots was a very rewarding achievement. However, nothing compares to the satisfaction from teaching students how to fly and instructors how to teach, particularly helping them overcome their challenges.
Running a small aviation business haha, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I’ve met some amazing pilots with vast amounts of knowledge and experience, however nothing would be possible without the support of friends and family. My friends and family are my true inspiration to pursue my aviation goals and dreams.
Honestly, I fell into instructing because it seemed like a good thing to do at the time. Early on in my instructing career I discovered a true passion for it though. I’m a social person and a perfectionist. These two attributes work really well for instructing. You’re dealing with people, all of which are unique and there’s no such thing as a perfect flight.
I love working with a great bunch of people that have a common goal.
Learn to fly in a Tailwheel. Couldn’t help myself with this answer!
The list is long, however nothing beats the challenge of meticulously scoping out an off-airport landing location and pioneering it for others to enjoy at a later date.
Scrappy by Mike Patey.
Most of the funny stories I have involving flying, happen after the flying with friends and they’re probably best kept to ourselves.