UPDATE NOON: Punchers, I’m told the “Disallowed Key Characters” debacle is over! Thanks for sticking with us, and please email me on tory.maguire@news.com.au if you spot it again.

Talk about real life training experience. Did you see the student pilot yesterday who landed with a missing wheel?

Performance anxiety with life and death thrown in…

Have you ever been put on the spot quite like that? What else is on your mind?

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

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    • TChong says:

      05:22am | 08/01/13

      Once, while giving a lift to an amphetamene junkie, she, in one of her regularly speed induced psychosis, decided to apply the centrally located hand brake ( valiant ranger) .
      The loss of control sent us bouncing over curb and median strip, stopping about 10c m from a power poll..
      Never trust a junkie, specially when they pissed off when they fail to score.

    • M. Mouse says:

      05:45am | 08/01/13

      Yes I have had to land an airplane very similar to that one with less than the full complement of wheels. It’s not the huge drama they are making out here. The foam was unnecessary too! Nothing like a plane crash story to bring out the lazy journalists.

    • iansand says:

      03:14pm | 08/01/13

      Yeah.  Gliders land on one wheel all the time.  Two wheels is overkill if you ask me.

    • BrianB says:

      05:04pm | 08/01/13

      Sounds good Mickey Mouse - In fact why not do away with all the wheels.

      It would give guns like you a bigger challenge. Tally Ho!

    • Derrick says:

      05:54am | 08/01/13

      Flying with 1 wheel off. Sounds like Rabbott and the Libs. They are in for a mighty shock at the elction delivered by the workers of this country !

    • Levi says:

      08:44am | 08/01/13

      Yep, they will be shocked by the size of the margin that they win by, that’s for sure. Go back under your bridge Mr Troll.

    • Jay says:

      06:39am | 08/01/13

      After 10 years of neglect and empty promises the people of Sunshine in Victoria’s Western Suburbs are finally receiving some attention from the State Govt. Sunshine has always been a safe Labor seat and as a consequence it has been ignored. Finally there is some security at the Sunshine station which has been almost a ‘no go’ area for locals. A Liberal Govt doing what Labor neglected to do.

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      06:49am | 08/01/13

      Went to see the The Hives at the Metro in Sydney last night.  One of the best (if not THE best) live shows I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a few in my time. Great muisc and great entertainment.

      That’s pretty much all I have on my mond this morninga s my left ear is still ringing.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      07:07am | 08/01/13

      Yesterday in Punch Cobble,r on costs of boatpeople asked me to explain whats wrong with his quoted costs of the boatpeople and asked me to explain why I wrote that his the figures are wrong.

      On costs of boatpeople Cobbler wrote, “The total cost of the Government’s offshore asylum seeker management program will be $1.058 billion, an increase of 39% on 2010-11 and 247% increase on 2009-10.”  http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/r/bud/2011-12-Budget.pdf

      Of that $1B, $800M is to be spent on off-shore processing, while only $90B is spent on on-shore programs.  Considering that almost all of our current assylum seekers are on-shore, this seems to suggest that off-shore processing is hideously expensive.”.

      Firstly we should note that these are just the Govt BUDGET figures and show what bad things the Govt was expecting would happen. It is shocking to note how costs was blowing out. Fancy a 247% increase on 2009-10 and another expected blowout of 39% on 2010-11.

      But the people smugglers have made the Govt look looked very foolish on these budget figures. It would be interesting if some readers can give us the actual figures. Working backwards from arrival statistics I would not be surprised if the the actual costs in 2012-2011 would be more than 300% increase on 2010-2011 and not the budgeted figures of 39%.

      The frightening thing with these figures are another set of statistics which I have read somewhere which showed that some 80% of this group of boatpeople remain unemployed for a period of 5 years. Thus the true total long term costs are not shown in the budget figures of the Immigration Dept but are hidden somewhere in the Welfare budget..

      Hope it is clear why I complain that we should stop the boatpeople disaster and use the money to have more babies in Australia.

    • acotrel says:

      08:00am | 08/01/13

      The pilot of that plane was sent Australia by the Chinese government to be trained.  Should we be worried about him ferrying Chinese paratrooper asylum seekers to invade Australia when China reaches it’s full population capacity ?

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      08:24am | 08/01/13

      @ acotrel. Good morning. Your comments show that you have absolutely no clues on what is happening in Asia. That is why I suggested to you previously that you that you take up a temp job teaching spoken English in Asia. Lots of Australians do that.

      My good friend from Brisbane is doing something innovative in this area. He arranges for young Australians who have just finished high school education to spend one year as teaching assistants teaching spoken English. The demand is incredible. He can take in unlimited number of Australian students who want a break and learn what Asia is like on the ground.

      If you want to take up my suggestion my good friend from Brisbane can send you to Asia for a minimum time of 6 months. Only conditions are a) must be healthy and b) preferably below 65 yrs old.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      08:58am | 08/01/13

      @Dr Goh, oh wow you really didn’t read that piece of paper did you.

      ‘The total cost of the Government’s offshore asylum seeker management program will be $1.058 billion, an increase of 39% on 2010-11 and 247% increase on 2009-10.’ The key word being OFFSHORE.

      In fact the table on Page 3 shows a decrease in onshore processing expenditure of 10.4% while offshore processing expenditure has increased by 247%.

      Interesting though that the document is for the 2011-2012 budget, which means the expenditures (especially offshore processing) are moot as it would have originally included expenditure for the failed Malaysian solution, etc.

      Now the 2012-2013 budget projects expenditure of $86.1m for onshore processing and $1.003b for offshore processing.

      So I’m sorry but based on those figures and the figures for 2009-10 and 2011-12, onshore processing appears to be the cheapest option available.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      09:24am | 08/01/13

      @ PsychoHyena. Have you done any real business in your life?.

      Did I not emphasize that Cobber quoted BUDGET (!!)  figures and the people smugglers have made them into a piece of toilet paper.

      Hope some readers can educate all of us and let us know what the real figures on the costs of what is actually happening.

    • Stephen T says:

      11:48am | 08/01/13

      @Dr BS Goh: I have some figures that may help although I’m not sure how useful they will be to you, the figures are from treasury estimates and the 2012-2013 Budget.
      In summary key components listed as dealing with offshore asylum seeker management, administration and service delivery amounts to an annual figure of just over $1.044 billion.

      Please note: This budget figures were based on an approximation of 450 people arriving each month, now based on published DIAC figures these estimates are grossly inaccurate and the budget spend will be considerably more.

      DIAC figures. **Figures compiled from ministerial and departmental press releases.
      2011- 4565 people not including crew
      2011–12 – 7983 people not including crew
      2012 (to 9.7.12) – 5459 people not including crew

      Treasury Estimates indicate:
      Offshore Asylum Seeker Management-$689,018,000
      Offshore Asylum Seeker Managemet - Service Delivery-$308,202,000
      Offshore Asylum Seeker Management - Policy Advice and Program Design-$6,022,000
      Refugee Status Determinations for Offshore Entry Persons-$13,617,000
      Refugee Status Determinations for Offshore Entry Persons - Service Delivery-$27,308,000
      Total = $1,044,167,000

      Additionally Australians incur the following expenses:

      Customs will spend at least $300 million directly in 2012-2013 for civil maritime surveillance and response. However the recent increase in illegal boat arrivals suggests that this figure will be much larger.

      Naval Patrol Boats and a third larger vessel, either a Frigate or Survey Ship, will be on permanent duty in the Christmas Island area. A potential daily spend of $650,000.

      Please Note: This is not inclusive of any additional costs for AP-C3 Orion aerial surveillance or depreciation (wear and tear) of the respective vessels.

      Note: Since 2009-2010, till late September last year, the Labor government had exceeded its allocated budget for asylum seekers by $3.9 billion.

    • Cobbler says:

      03:59pm | 08/01/13

      @ Dr B S Goh - I still can’t help but notice that you haven’t bought any numbers to the table.  The best you’ve done is state that the government can’t budget so therefore the budget is meaningless.

      So let’s assume that you’re right and infact it cost double the budget figures.  You still need to pick between most assylum seekers being managed onshore for $180M while a small amount are managed offshore atm for $1.6B.  Surely that says something fairly powerful?  Surely you have to draw the conclusion that onshore is the cheap alternative.

      The Government spent $18B on family tax benefit last year…....... $18B!!!!!!  That’s basically taxation spent specifically on raising inflation, yay!  It’s as useless as 1st home buyer grants.  If I was going to look at something to cut to assist single mother payments, it would be that…..... and with what would be left over you could easily up newstart payments by $50 a week ...........................and house an extra 50,000 asylum seekers a year onshore.

    • Tim says:

      05:08pm | 08/01/13

      And I see you’ve ignored my comment from yesterday.

      If we assume what you say is correct surely Australia accepting zero boat arrivals as refugees would be far cheaper again.

      Then we could accept more pre processed refugees from overseas camps and save the Australian taxpayer money. Win win.

      I agree with you that we could limit the amount paid in family tax benefit, although I would use the amount saved to pay down debt instead of increasing welfare in other locations.

    • Tim says:

      07:55am | 08/01/13

      Some countries have a higher tolerance for animal cruelty than others, what’s your point?

      800 million humans don’t have access to clean water
      2.5 billion humans don’t have access to a clean toilet
      3.5 million humans die from a water related disease every year.

      Who cares about a bit of mistreatment (according to you) of a few cattle?

    • Levi says:

      08:54am | 08/01/13

      We’re all just mammals in the end. Point is we have it within our power to prevent defenceless and unintelligent animals like cattle from being mistreated.

      We don’t have it in our power to provide 7 Billion humans on the planet with a first world, or even second world standard of living.

    • TRBNGR says:

      07:57am | 08/01/13

      I’ve crashed my helicopter more than once and survived, luckily it’s one of those 10 dollar remote control jobbies from the mall kiosk. Phew.

    • TChong says:

      08:26am | 08/01/13

      $ 10 ! ? !
      Wish I’d bought our kid a rc heli for only 10 bucks.
      The one we bought cost 3 times as much, destroyed in seconds after he flew it into a brick wall.

    • TheRealDave says:

      10:31am | 08/01/13

      Hang on… you got away with more than 1 crash??

      On Christmas Day my sons lasted exactly 4 seconds and broke a rotor blade on its first impact into the ground. My one wouldn’t get off the ground at all.

      And suprisingly the kiosk was no longer in the shopping centre on Boxing day…..There was $150 well spent wink

    • Michael says:

      10:52am | 08/01/13

      For about $600Au you can get a really cool 3D helo that can be rebuilt after each “hard landing” not for the little kids though as the rotor will take your fingers off.

    • Colin says:

      11:30am | 08/01/13

      Or you could stop playing with toys and get yourself a nice little secondhand Rotorway 162F Executive for about $80k…It’s no Jet Ranger, but it’s one hell of a lot of fun..! (And cheap to run to boot!)

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      08:31am | 08/01/13

      Why doesn’t Telstra allocate Permanent Bushfire & Emergency 1800 numbers so that they are all easy to remember?
      Tassie currently has one of the best in 1800 567 567.
      Why not use the first number in each State & Territory’s Post Code?
      For example NSW could be 1800 222 222, Vic 1800 333 333 etc.
      Despite being, like the NT, a Territory the ACT for some reason instead of having it’s own Post Code, 1000, shares that of NSW.
      Telstra could allocate 1800 111 111 to the ACT.
      Like triple zero those numbers would be easy to find on keypads if the power was out.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      09:06am | 08/01/13

      Robert. Share with you an interesting experience in Sydney. Once an old lady fell down and she had a bleeding head. I phoned the emergency no and I told the operator the incident was in George St Sydney and I was shocked she did not know where it was. I wonder if our emergency nos operators are now outsourced to India. In this incident I stopped talking and focused on stopping the bleeding of the lady head.  Others then called the ambulance.

    • Wayne says:

      11:22am | 08/01/13

      I got my warnings last night (2 SMS and one recorded message to the landline) from +61 444444444…shows it is possible.

    • AFR says:

      02:51pm | 08/01/13

      If you weren’t living in or from Sydney, why the obligation to know where George Street is?

    • sunny says:

      08:51am | 08/01/13

      Tower: “Please repeat - did you say a WING fell off! Over”
      Pilot: “NO A WHEEL, A WHEEEEEL!! Over.”
      Tower: “Roger that. For a moment you had us worried. Over”.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      11:47am | 08/01/13

      Dr B S Goh,
      I had reason to call 000 as a tree fell down over our street, a main road with heavy traffic even in the wee small hours! Power lines were lying on the road. It was wet & cold. When I, eventually, got someone on 000 to actually take my call the person did not seem to know where I was, where my suburb was or, indeed, what State I was calling from. I had to explain Three times to this person that we needed the Police, Fire Brigade & the Electricity people to come and manage the situation including re-directing traffic via another street. This all took about 15 minutes. Eventually, when I got somewhat terse with the operator they agreed that Yes, you need all those services & they would pass the request on to the appropriate areas. All three services plus the SES turned up within 10 minutes & did a magnificent job. No thanks to 000 & it’s lousy operators.

    • Cobbler says:

      09:10am | 08/01/13

      Anyone else keep getting this error:

      “Disallowed Key Characters”

      Some articles just can’t be accessed by me for hours at a time…............

    • subotic says:

      09:36am | 08/01/13

      Disallowed Key Characters?


      And several people called John….

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      09:41am | 08/01/13

      Has been discussed at length previously. Some IT issue, makes The Punch pretty pointless most of the time.

    • ZSRenn says:

      11:18am | 08/01/13

      I’m still getting “Disallowed Key Characters”

      I think the claim above is still a little premature.

      It mostly manifests itself after I post acomment

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      11:52am | 08/01/13

      Cobbler says,
      I had the same problem & rang my IT genius who told me that recently it had become a problem particularly with those using Internet Explorer. He switched me to Mozilla FireFox & it all works well now.
      PS.  Mozilla is far faster!!!

    • marley says:

      11:54am | 08/01/13

      It seems to be working now for me..

    • Wayne Kerr says:

      01:36pm | 08/01/13

      Not just an IE issue, also happens on Chrome

    • steiner says:

      09:19am | 08/01/13

      Apparently 1 night spent with Qantas valet at Adelaide Airport is enough for the garage rats to go to town chewing through wires and casings.

      They sound like very discriminating rats - only an Aston Martin will do.
      There are of course no rats anywhere else in Adelaide - not the owners garage nor his office or any of the fancy places Aston Martin’s are seen around town. 

      I wonder how this fellow intends to prove it was the rats wot dun it?  The most hilarious part of all are his protestations that he’s an ‘office of the court’ as a registered liquidator.  And here’s the kicker - as a platinum frequent flyer, he just expected Qantas to pony up the cash. 

      I can’t imagine a more defendable case for Qantas - their counsel must be relishing the chance to cross examine this officer of the court. Here’s a hypothetical defence position:  “An entitled frequent flyer who threatened Qantas with loss of his valuable business should they deny his unproven allegations of a sudden and one-night-only rat infestation.” 

      The backfiring Aston Martin might not make it out of the courthouse gates.

    • Fed Up says:

      09:32am | 08/01/13

      Although the wheel of my shopping trolley flew off in a menacing way as i came out of the shops and entered the car park.
      The rush!!

    • che says:

      11:45am | 08/01/13

      Woah what a story! That must have been a scary moment.

    • TheRealDave says:

      10:35am | 08/01/13

      I bounced a 747 down the runway at La Guardia and hit a building at the end of the runway…but that was on Flight Sim X….I’ve gotten better since….honest!

    • NTSB says:

      12:37pm | 08/01/13

      In the real world Laguardia can’t handle 747’s.
      It’s runways are only 7,000 feet long.
      The runways at JFK on the other hand are 14,000 feet long

      The only time a 747 would take off or land at La Guardia is if it was an empty one and it was for publicity.
      I’m surprised Sim X even let you attempt that take-off.
      I report them to the NTSB.

    • Economist says:

      11:21am | 08/01/13

      I’m curious about the DKC. Do you know what the cause was? A stray cookie, an adserver etc. I know nothing about these things just curious.

    • subotic says:

      12:16pm | 08/01/13

      Most DKC’s have been banned from posting on here, altho they still keep me here.


    • Ben C says:

      11:35am | 08/01/13

      OK, date’s been fixed, Disallowed Key Characters has been fixed. Now where can I find the Open Thread on the homepage?

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      11:37am | 08/01/13

      In Australia we are told that we live in a society which looks after those less fortunate than others don’t we? Technically we are all supposed to be treated equally by the Government
      So explain this:
      A person needs a specific medication, they are Elderly, Low Income with their self-funded retirement being assisted with a tiny part-pension. The medication they require costs $19.80 for a 1.3gms tube (a patently ridiculous retail price of $15,230.77 per kilo) This person has to pay the Full $19.80 cost for it is not covered by the PBS (Prescription Benefit Scheme). fair enough we all might say for not everything is is subsidised under the PBS.
      If you are an Aborigine or Torres Strait Islander, be you retired or working, that same prescription is covered by the PBS & you get it for $5.80.

    • Offence Taker says:

      01:33pm | 08/01/13

      Because you’re racist, that’s why !

    • subotic says:

      12:04pm | 08/01/13

      Stephen Hawking magically appeared on planet earth through no help by any “creative” forces on this day in 1942.

      I’m gunna go down to Level 2 and punch a scientist in the arm to celebrate!

      Mite even knock a Bunsen Burner or two over as well….

    • Colin says:

      12:53pm | 08/01/13

      “Level 2”

      LEVEL TWO??!??

      I am on Level 2..!

      Oh, dear god, please, please don’t tell me that I am in the same building as Subotic..!


    • subotic's on the level says:

      01:16pm | 08/01/13

      6 foot 2 inches. Skinhead. Goatee. Skull ring right hand.

      Scientist blood on knuckles.

      That’s me…

    • Colin says:

      02:41pm | 08/01/13

      @ subotic’s on the level

      “6 foot 2 inches. Skinhead. Goatee. Skull ring right hand.”

      Wow. ‘Scary’.

      Haven’t seen you yet…Though I did see what may have been a weasel or a stoat scuttle past about ten minutes ago…was that you?

    • Kerryn says:

      12:45pm | 08/01/13

      All I want is a job in Brisbane.  I hate it out here.  The company I am currently with made promises in exchange for extra work - three guesses what happened there.  God it’s hard not to be bitter, especially when life just dangled an opportunity right in my face and when I grabbed it came back with a “You have been unsuccessful” email.

    • vox says:

      01:16pm | 08/01/13

      I posted a solution to the DKC problem, but the bugs must have got to it. Simply go to Accessories, All systems, systems Restore, and wind back to a previous date. I used Nov 1. It worked for me.
      Slipper has been summonsed for his false claims whilst a highly regarded member of the Liberal Party and no doubt Abbott will stand by his “special mate” in his time of need. Well, that’s what mates are for, isn’t it?
      Abbott by the way has come under criticism for pretending to be lifesaving whilst wearing those ridiculous briefs that no lifesaver is permitted to wear on duty. So I guess, like the firefighting and the truck-driving, it too was always just a stunt. Some people!

    • marley says:

      03:25pm | 08/01/13

      No lifesaver is permitted to wear speedos on duty?  Hmm.  Maybe you should tell these guys.


    • BrianB says:

      05:15pm | 08/01/13

      Rubbish Vox - All lifesavers wear speedo type togs under their red shorts whilst on Patrol.

    • Trevor says:

      04:26pm | 08/01/13

      The comments about Slipper are for 2010 when he was lavished with love and affection by Abbott ,who actually went to his wedding.

      So who is the boof head saying it was the Governments fault for appointing Abbott’s mate, who had been sprung but not reported, at that stage.

      That idiot from Abbotts office should get back to doing his email instead ot sending comments to here

    • marley says:

      06:19pm | 08/01/13

      @Trevor - umm, well, Slipper had been having issues with travel claims since about 2003.  It had most certainly been reported.

      So yes, he had been “sprung,” but the government chose to appoint him anyway.  Where I come from, that’s called a failure of “due diligence.”  By the Government.  If you’re going to headhunt someone, you make sure you know what you’re getting.

    • Split personalities says:

      06:37pm | 08/01/13

      No TimB today
      NO PJ today
      I think not.


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