I have actually been writing for most of my life. At the age of seven, a school teacher thought my short stories were so good that she took them home for Christmas to show the family – unfortunately she then lost them! Five years later, when I was 12, I had my first article published in a national newspaper – and after that I never looked back.
However, I have always done many other things besides writing. I have travelled the world, visiting around 70 countries. I have a degree in psychology and I have worked as an occupational psychologist. I have also been a meditation teacher, and I worked in marketing and market research for some years. I practise yoga, have a longstanding interest in complimentary medicine, and have been a cat owner for more than 30 years. Until recently I also flew both small aeroplanes and helicopters, and I held a Commercial Helicopter Licence and Instructor’s Rating. I used to instruct part time for Staffordshire Helicopters at Tatenhill Airfield, near Burton-on-Trent, in the English East Midlands, and also Alpha Helicopters at Sheffield City Airport.
I combine all these interests and many others in my writing. I wrote on aviation for a number of magazines for some years, and in 2004 one of my aviation articles was short-listed for an ‘Aerospace Journalist of the Year’ award. I still have a regular monthly slots in ‘Flight Training News’, and write occasionally for other aviation magazines too. My work has included flight test articles, instructional features, and profiles of famous pilots. I am also the former newsletter editor for the British Women Pilots Association. I have had articles on non-aviation subjects published in ‘Your Cat’, ‘Visa’, ‘Animal Wellness’, and various other publications, and I used to write regularly for the website ‘pets4homes’.
My books include ‘The Helicopter Pilot’s Companion‘, which was published by Crowood Press in October 2008, and followed by a second book, ‘Flying Helicopters – a Companion to the PPL(H)‘ in August 2011. These were not my first published books; that honour goes to ‘Midges, Maps and Muesli‘, an account of a 5,000 mile walk around the coast of Britain which I completed in 1987; this is also available as an ebook. I have also written a number of ebooks on aviation and some other subjects; details are available on this site.
I continue to write on anything which interests me and I hope to do so for many more years…
4 thoughts on “About Me”
In about 2010 or 2011 you wrote a review about my book The Art of Flying Crooked about a trip round Oz in a Piper Cherokee. You don’t by any chance have a copy of this article, and if so, could you possibly e-mail it to me? Many thanks Robin Liston firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Robin. I’ve just emailed you a copy of the review. Regards, Helen
Hello Helen, Really enjoyed reading your web page at Aviator Insider about Cessna planes. We had a C172N 1974 for about 10 years and racked up over a thousand hours in it. Picked it up with 1800 hours as a second owner, previous owner was a rancher. The owner had rented it out for medical transport so it had a full King IFR panel, EGT, and gap seals. I bought it THEN learned to fly!
At the time my wife ran a business that was 160 mountain road miles away (3.5 hrs driving time) so I had a long weekly high-altitude commute that crossed the north end of the Sierras just behind Mt Shasta (14,000 ft. Read: air turlence). Regularly flew to Las Vegas for the trade shows, LA, San Francisco, and Puget Sound.
Made trips up the British Columbia coast and one to Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, etc. One trip that was never made was to Europe via Greenland and Iceland but would have required extra fuel. Re-engined it at 2,200 hrs with a new 160hp Lycoming and the extra 10hp made a HUGE climb difference that was very helpful in my mountain flying and the 4,400 ft airport elevation.
Had my share of white-knuckle experiences. After moving to Puget Sound we got a sailboat and with the new toy we eventually spun-off the plane as the two competed with each other for good weather. Still have fond memories of the Alaska trip, the loop around in Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Juneau, and the departure form Sitka with two cruise ships anchored out (after taking off I climbed, did a U-turn, then buzzed the cruise ships). Landed at Prince Rupert a couple hours later for fuel. While on short final met a jet fighter plane headed toward me while doing a high speed pass at the airport for an altimeter test with the A&P. (this was just one white-knuckle report!)
A decade later we cruised Alaska on our sailboat. 77 days (not as fast as the plane)
I still miss the plane. But there’s not enough time for everything.
Really enjoyed reading your web pages.
-= John =-
P.S. in 1984, came close to getting a Piper turbo Arrow standard tail, 3-blade, oxygen, 3-axis AP that worked good, 600TT, $28,000 but wife said I had to sell the 172 first. Kinda glad I didn’t.
P.S. #2: Alaska had a LOT of petit women float plane pilots!
I enjoyed reading your account, and I’m glad you’ve found some of my other writing.