TEAM MEMBERS

EDITOR and JOURNALIST  –  PHIL BUCKLEY

Phil Buckley has being interested in aviation since 1984, when he went along to a Qantas Jet Base Open Day in Sydney. From this trip, his interest expanded to airshows and reading many magazines, books and learning about the history of aviation in Australia and around the world.Expanding his interests further, he started to connect with assorted aviation personalities over the years, slowly built up connections which eventually opened up doors to media work.

In 2009 Phil was offered his first freelance media role, which was to compile the AWAL / warbird news column in the Australian Pilot / AOPA magazine. From this point on, he also expanded into other areas for the magazine covering general aviation, military and warbird stories with pilot interviews and articles focusing on operations, events and airshows. Noticeable AOPA features include – AeroHunter operations, Amelia Earhart interview, F-111 and Sea King retirement in 2010/2011, interview with Garry Cooper, Mossie over New Zealand and Narromine Ausfly 2012/2013 reviews.

Coming from a perspective as seeking to inform and give the readers the detail and insights as to why things have happened and who was involved, Phil has been able to combine his passion of photography which he started in 1996 to illustrate his articles.

With a global reach of his aviation work taking place each year, by late 2013 US based Warbirdnews.com approached Phil with an offer to have him also supply Australian warbird news content and photos for their website news. Since writing for Warbirdnews.com, Phil has broken many interesting exclusive news stories such as Rathmines Catalina project, Reevers collection – B-26 Invader and B-25 Mitchell projects, Adrian Deeth’s MiG-21U project and Chris Godfrey’s T-28D return to flight, as some examples of stories that interest people the world over.

In mid to late 2015, Phil’s work started to appear in UK based aviation magazines – Aeroplane Monthly and Flypast on an ad hoc basis, with a new base of global readers learning about Australian warbird aviation projects.

Book reviews commencing in early 2016 in conjunction with US based Schifferbooks, enables Phil to help share insights with enthusiasts regarding superbly written books covering WW1 to modern day aviation. Book reviews are uploaded every 1-2months and are aimed to give an aviation focused review and indepth thoughts on what the book is discussing.

Looking ahead Phil aims to continue educating aviation enthusiasts with insights to Australian aviation operations and the people who make it happen be it in the air or on the ground.

JOURNALIST – MIKE ONEILL – DARWIN, NT

I’ve always loved aircraft and the cliche is apt given what I shoot now. My early childhood revolved around living near the RAAF Edinburgh base in South Australia. I would scramble up the drain pipe and sit on the roof to watch Mirage, F-111’s and Canberras make their finals over the house!.

From those early days I never photographed anything. It was not until 2001 that I actually bought my first camera!. I originally started out with a Canon 350D – a starting point. Moved up to a 1DsMk11 but fell in love with Nikons. My current DSLR cameras are the D3S and a D2X for back up. My lenses include 1.4 50mm, 24-70 2.8, 70-200, 28-300 amongst other varying lenses.

Since then my photography revolves around weather and motorsport, but now living in Darwin the opportunity to view a vast range of aircraft gives me something I always loved watching, but can now shoot. My favorite aircraft will always be the Mirage, but I have a fondness for the old BAC Lightning as well.

As far as modern military aircraft go I’m happy to shoot all of them – the faster they go the better. The challenge to shoot objects at speed has always been a great pleasure.

JOURNALIST  – CHRISTIAN SMITH – TOWNSVILLE / FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND

cdsI’ve had a lifelong fascination with aviation, raised on a diet of Biggles books and WWII classics such as “Dam Busters” and “Reach for the Sky”. My parents own an airpark and we ran airshows there for 15 consecutive years (1979 – 1993), with me organising the last 8 events.

After a lengthy break I staged the Ingham Wings and Wheels Airshow in 2011. Whilst that was not a financial success it was critically acclaimed and I am still (against my better judgement!) keen to run other airshows if I can find a way that they will not send me broke!

I only ever got 3 hours in my log-book but hope to at least go solo before I die – in the interim I have had the pleasure of flying in a wide variety of Warbirds, vintage, GA, RA-Aus and ultralight aircraft over the years.My camera is just a Canon Powershot SX-10 IS so I am just a “happy-snapper” really.

JOURNALIST – DION MAKOWSKI – MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

A keen photographer from an early age, a chance meeting with Biggles developed into a genuine enquiry of all things aviation. After cutting his teeth on historic aircraft restoration and dabbling in model plane building, Dion took things further with a passion for collecting 1:1 scale and helped establish an aviation metal fabrication shop.

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With a former museum colleague, together they formed the Clyde North Aeronautical Preservation Group in 1989. Many years later, Dion published the Aviation Historical Society’s Journal Aviation Heritage and News and still is active on the Society’s committee.

Today, he concentrates on aviation photo-journalism, specialising in current ADF activities and as always, fast jets, warbirds and antique aircraft historical research, remain his core passions.

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