General Aviation and Covid-19

Podcast Series

“What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.”

Jeff Bezos

Inquisitive and informative, the ‘Grounded’ podcasts were designed to stimulate dialogue between industry professionals and participants, specifically with outcomes in mind.

Host Angela Stevenson asks key industry experts:

…‘how is the Coronavirus affecting participation in the GA industry, what do you think needs to be done to sustain the industry through this crisis, and what outcomes do you perceive or wish for?

Week 11 – Tony Shaw

Aviation Trader

Release date 26 June 2020


Tony is a business professional with senior leadership experience in the professional services, finance, sports marketing and publishing sectors. Since mid-2003 he had been the Business Manager at Aviation Trader, Australasia’s most recognised Aviation marketing brand, guiding it through a sustained period of growth and managing a program of transformation in response to changing market dynamics including the emergence of digital publication.

Whilst Tony’s principal focus remains on aviation and the business of aviation, he still finds time to compete in blue water yacht racing events where he has experienced success both at national and International levels. The natural synergies that exist between yachting principles and the principles of flight make work and recreation an easy transition.

Week 10 – Jordan Poretti

Istria Corp

Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance

Release date 19 June 2020

Episode 10 – ‘GROUNDED’ – Aircraft Engineering & Maintenance 

Interview with Jordan Poretti of Istria Corp Aircraft Engineering, about the effects of the pandemic on General Aviation industry in Australia. Angela and Jordan talk all things business in relation to aircraft engineering, how the pandemic has affected Istria, how Istria is adapting and planning to move forward, and what Jordan’s takeaways are from the Covid-19 experience so far.



In this Special Edition of Grounded, Angela Stevenson chats with Jackie Dujmovic of Hover UAV – a drone industry consultancy service – about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on industry. Jackie gives her thoughts on what the industry looked like before the pandemic, what it’s looking like now, sharing skies with General Aviation, and how drone usage might change as a result.


To play directly, click the orange arrow key top left of the image above.

Week 9 – Airshow CATCHUP

Week 4 – Paul Bennet


(new)… Mark Bright of Wings Over Illawarra Airshow

Release date 12 June 2020


This week Angela catches up with Paul Bennet of Paul Bennet Airshows about his LIVESTREAMED Airshow event scheduled for tomorrow at 10am AEST.

Have you got your tickets??

Angela also talks to Mark Bright of Wings Over Illawarra Air Show to find out what’s happening with the rescheduled airshow! Heads-up, there’s some exciting things happening for visitor aircraft and pilots, and discounted ticketing!

Week 8 – CATCHUP

Week 1 – Andrew Smith,

Week 2 – Michael Monck

Week 3 – Wendy Mann

Release date 29 May 2020

Episode 8 – ‘GROUNDED’ – CATCHUP! Andrew Smith (Central Coast Aero Club), Michael Monck (Recreational Aviation Australia) and Wendy Mann (Geraldton Air Charter).

This week, Angela does something different (which is why it’s a little overdue!)…it’s time to look to the past to inform the future! Angela catches up for a quick chat with Andrew, Michael and Wendy from Episodes 1-3 about where they are at now and what, if anything, has changed.

Find out whether Andrew’s flight school is kicking, if recreational flying is well and truly back on track, and whether Wendy’s plans for the future are any different these days!

Week 7 – Susan Woods

Business Manager – Jabiru Aircraft & Engines

Private Pilot

Release date 22 May 2020

Susan Woods is the Business Manager of Jabiru Aircraft and is also the eldest daughter of Rodney Stiff (Managing Director) and Rod’s succession plan for Jabiru Aircraft.

Sue joined the company in 2007 to learn the ropes of the business having just completed her Private Pilot’s Licence and Recreational Pilots Certificate. Sue embarked on learning everything there was to know about Jabiru by Jabiru immersion. Gradually, over the years she has learnt to speak the Jabiru language and has been able to relieve her father Rod, of the jobs he was more than happy to hand over which would then allow him to ‘practice’ his retirement to some extent while still contributing his engineering knowledge and vital manufacturing experience to the team at Jabiru.

Drawing on previous business experience and a Bachelor of Business, Sue has been able to work alongside a great team of staff at Jabiru and continue Rod’s mission to make aircraft ownership affordable for many who could not otherwise have enjoyed aircraft ownership. The business continues to produce aircraft, aircraft kits, engines, propellers and spare parts for the 2,000 aircraft and almost 7,000 engines distributed in all corners of the globe.

Week 6 – Michael Dalton

Head of Aviation – Agile Underwriting (Insurance)

Private Pilot and Commercial Pilot

Release date 15 May 2020

Michael has more than two decades of insurance experience, specialising in aviation underwriting. With extensive experience writing risks in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific he has written policies across the entire aviation industry including airline, manufacturing, airports and general aviation. Mike has held underwriting and management positions at key aviation insurance providers both in the corporate world and in more boutique aviation specialist underwriting agencies and has a strong customer focus. Mike is a licenced pilot holding a Commercial Pilots Licence and RAAus Pilot Certificate in Australia along with an Airline Transport Pilots Licence in the USA.

He has held management positions at one of Australia’s largest Aero Clubs as well as holding his own Air Operators Certificate for passenger carrying charter operations. He currently owns and operates a small collection of vintage aircraft, flies for the Australian Air Force Cadets and has flown in excess of 50 different general aviation aircraft types.

Week 5 – Adrianne Fleming OAM

Owner and Founder and Head of Operations

Tristar Aviation

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is paul-b-1.jpg

Release date 8 May 2020

Adrianne Fleming, along with her husband Geoff, own Tristar Aviation, founded in 1993.

Tristar Aviation is a pilot training facility that offers everything from trial instruction flights through to recreational pilot’s license, commercial pilot’s license, a number of endorsement courses, and the Diploma of Aviation (Partial) through VET. Tristar Aviation Pty Ltd is a registered training organisation operating from Moorabin in Melbourne, Victoria.

A member of CASA’s Aviation Safety Advisory Panel, Adrianne has been part of a number of government aviation-related committees.

Adrianne has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to Australian aviation, received the Australian Women Pilots’ Association’s prestigious Nancy Bird Award for Most Noteworthy Contribution to Aviation by a Woman in Australasia, and is the Executive Commissioner, Victorian Group of the Australian Air League.



In this Special Edition of Grounded, Angela Stevenson talks to Ben Morgan, CEO of Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association Australia – about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on General Aviation. Ben gives his thoughts on how GA is generally underestimated when it comes to its contribution to the aviation industry, the greater challenges of dealing with CASA and its regulations, how and what AOPA is lobbying for, the unique nature of the industry, privatisation of airfields, and much much more.


Week 4 – Paul Bennet

Owner & Founder

Paul Bennet Airshows, AeroHunter Adventure Flights

& AeroHunter Flight Training

Release date 1 May 2020

Paul may not need much of an introduction.

As a National Advanced Aerobatic Champion, National Unlimited Champion, Australian Freestyle Aerobatic Champion and as the owner of one of Australia’s premier Airshow outfits, he has over 5000 display-related hours in the cockpit.

However, Paul also heads up AeroHunter Flight Training, based in the Hunter Valley/ New South Wales, and, as a delegate of CASA, is one of only a handful of pilots able to issue aerobatic endorsements to ground level.

And, in all that spare time of his, Paul runs AeroHunter Adventure Flights in his warbirds; the Yak 52, Wirraway, and Grumman Avenger.

One lesser known fact about Paul is that he is also into sailing.



Are you ‘grounded’? Feeling at a loss as to what to do?

This episode is for all the ATPL, RPT and associated industry workers affected by the grounding of most of the regular passenger air transport services.

Are you skilled up with Human Factors knowledge? How about non-technical skills? How can these help you right now?

In this special edition of ‘Grounded’, Angela Stevenson interviews First Officer Sally Tindall. With over 8000 hours in her logbook, 3300 of those in an A330, and sixteen years studying and training in HF and NTS, hear how the crisis has affected Sally as a pilot, her hopes for her crew, where she sees opportunities, how airline crew and staff can re-imagine themselves, and how they can utilise their existing skills and training in human factors to get through this.

Week 3 – Wendy Mann

Managing Director & Chief Pilot

Geraldton Air Charter

Release date 24 April 2020

Based in Geraldton, Western Australia, Wendy is the Chief Pilot and Managing Director of Geraldton Air Charter.

Wendy has been flying for over 44 years and has amassed more than 10,000 hours of flight time in Western Australia. At the 2018 Australian Women Pilots Association Awards, Wendy received the prestigious Nancy Bird Walton Memorial Award for the most noteworthy contribution to aviation by a woman of Australasia.

Geraldton Air Charter first commenced commercial operations in March 1997 with one pilot and one cross-hired aircraft, and in the following twenty years to 2017 has steadily grown to operating eleven aircraft, employing seven pilots and  two Administration and Marketing Officers and one part time book keeper.

Specialising in charters to any required destination, airwork or aerial survey, and aerial tours, Geraldton Air Charter conducts tours in Mid West and Coral Coast Region in Western Australia as well as Monkey Mia.

Week 2 – Michael Monck

Chairman of the Board – RAAus

Release date 17 April 2020

Michael, proud owner of a CTLS, has been flying since the early 90’s and holds a range of aviation authorities. His career has involved working for airlines, airports and other aviation-related businesses in a number of capacities and has seen him provide advice to management and boards in the aviation sector on a regular basis. He also represents general aviation on the Aviation Safety Advisory Panel which provides advice directly to the CEO/DAS of CASA and the General Aviation Advisory Network which informs the Minister on aviation related matters.

Michael is the owner and founder of, a software company which simplifies aviation logbook keeping for pilots and aircraft owners.

In addition to his aviation qualifications, Michael holds a First Class Honours Degree in Economics and a Masters of Business Administration.

Michael has had the privilege of flying a range of fabulous aircraft from popular general aviation types through to MiG-15 jets and has even had exposure to the 787 Dreamliner.

Week 1Andrew Smith

Director, Warnervale Air

President of the Central Coast Aero Club

A professional pilot of 18 years, Andrew served as President of the Australian Association of Flight Instructors for two years and has 10,200 hours of flight experience.

A Grade 1 Flight Instructor, CASA-approved backup HFO and CFI, Andrew manages Warnervale Air, a flight school and aircraft maintenance facility. Andrew has also racked up seven years’ experience as a teacher of aviation at TAFE.

Andrew is proudly involved in a recent initiative by the Regional Industry Education Partnerships (RIEP), creating aviation-related STEM tours of the airport, flying school and maintenance facility for Central Coast high schools.

Andrew is also experienced in Aerial Photography and Surveying, owning his own photography business supplying high resolution aerial images for use by the Aero Club, Council and the local media.

Andrew has been a resident of the Central Coast, NSW his entire life and lives there with his wife and three children.

Introducing the Podcast Host

Angela Stevenson

Or find out more about write speak fly below…