Introducing John Lindner, A Distinctly Unusual Life as an Air Force and Commercial Transport Pilot.
John joined the RAAF as a trainee pilot in 1961.
Following graduation, he was posted to 38 Squadron on DC-3 Dakotas.
In 1964, John participated in the first ferry of the new Caribou aircraft from Canada to Australia.
He then joined the second Caribou Ferry later in 1964 but this aircraft was delivered to Vung Tau via Greenland, Iceland, and Europe.
John then joined the RAAF Transport Flight Vietnam in Vung Tau mid-Oct 1964, among the pilots of the first group. His tour in Vietnam provided plenty of adventures and on the edge flying. He finished this tour in June 1965.
John then did a 3rd Caribou Ferry in August 1965. This time he flew across the Pacific.
John says “Between Honolulu and Canton Island, we had to shut down an engine due to loss of oil from the propellor and then proceeded for 7 hours on one engine to Canton Island”. Stressful!!
In Sept 1966, John began flying the C-130E Hercules at 37 Squadron, Richmond. Beginning October 1966, John then participated in two ferrying flights of C130s from Atlanta to Richmond. He then flew the C-130E until he left the RAAF in late July, 1969.
John then began a life of civilian flying: Twin Otters in the Arctic for Interior Airways of Fairbanks, Alaska. Qantas 707s but left after a big lay-off of pilots in late 1971. Beech Queen Airs for Masling out of Cootamundra and a Cessna Golden Eagle, based in Cardiff, Wales, for a wealthy Welshman.
In August 1973, Qantas began taking furloughed pilots back, and he moved on to DC 4s.
In May 1774, John moved to Auckland and joined Air New Zealand. He was with them nearly 20 years on the DC-8, then the DC-10, and then the 747. He gained a command in 1986 and flew then as a Captain on the 747 until leaving Air New Zealand in late 1993.
John spent the next 10 years flying the 747 for various small operators around the world, and retired from big aeroplanes in mid 2003.
A life full of variety and challenges.