Fred Riley - The hardest instructor in the place

Running time
1 min 36 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We had to go to Narromine – you know New South Wales?

We were on the Tiger Moths – and I got the hardest instructor on the place – but when I look back, he was good – you know what I mean?

And what he put me through… When he said low, he meant low, because you know the grass it grows up like this up at Narromine – and you'd see a fence, a fence line, well naturally you'd ease yourself up, cause you got 50 or 60 feet – and he used to get the stick and jam it down and he said "I meant low flying!"

And even when I went for my first solo the Squadron Leader was amazed what sought of landing I did, because I'd been so used to seeing the deck, you know.

And I learnt a lot from my - in Canada for the same way.

Well he finished - got killed at Klintworth.

But like we're supposed to be doing this, doing this and doing that, do navigation, do this, and do that, then he'd say 'Oh come on, you've done enough." – Then he'd start, him and his mate would start we'd do dog fighting and all that sort of thing – and he'd show you all the tricks of how to make an aircraft slide – you know, all the tricks. I was lucky I had two good instructors.

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