The holidays are over and I do hope everyone had an enjoyable break. Not being able to do any overseas travel for some time, nor for the foreseeable future, I decided to splash out on another aircraft instead.
I am now the proud owner of a 1952 model ex RAF, DHC-1 Chipmunk. I spent considerable time researching antique aircraft and the pros and cons of ownership. Being old, they do need extra TLC and the maintenance costs tend to be more. Most of them are not fast nor do they have great range. But one thing I did notice is wherever one goes an antique aeroplane always attracts attention. People love the nostalgia they bring. In addition, the “Chippie” is a delightful handing, well-mannered tail dragger. They can also be flown with the canopy open if desired, so I have the best of both worlds, unlike an open cockpit aircraft. I also enjoy the tandem seats where pilot and passenger are sitting on the centreline, able to see equally well out both sides of the aircraft.
The Gypsy Major engine powering the Chipmunk is essentially the same as the Tiger Moth albeit with electric start and the primer located inside the cockpit. They will plod along all day at a leisurely 2000 rpm and the sound of one flying over is unmistakable. Then there are the quirky things like fuel quantity gauges located out on the wings, quite short endurance and hand operated wheel brakes. So expect to see me spending more time puttering around the south coast in the “Chippie” just enjoying aviation for aviation’s sake.
Our Christmas BBQ at YMBD was a great success and we raised $208 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
As far as club activities go our first for the new year was Terry Wilson’s fly in BBQ at his Morgan property on January 9th. Several aircraft flew in and several visitors arrived by car as well. Terry and his wife Jill treated everyone to a very nice hamburger lunch.
Next up was to be Ian Pearce’s workshop visit at Goolwa airport on Saturday, January 31st. Unfortunately, due to family circumstances Ian has had to defer this until March 14th. Further details later.
For our February 10th club meeting at the Public Schools Club our speaker will be Nick Mebberson from Bespoke Engineering in Lonsdale. He will be speaking about the development of a new 3 cylinder radial engine suitable for Light Sport Aircraft. Also, 10 days later, on Saturday 20th February, he will open up his workshop at Lonsdale so members can inspect the facilities first hand.
Late summer and autumn tend to be the peak season for aviation events due to favourable weather, so keep an eye on the club website calendar for those. I will also be announcing them at the club meeting.
I am always on the lookout for speakers for our monthly meetings. We need at least 9 speakers every year and I am starting to run out of my resources. If you know anyone who has an interesting story to tell or has some aviation related skills to share, then please put them in touch with me. Otherwise, we will be looking at video reruns of Oshkosh airshows!
Please be reminded that membership subscriptions are now due. The full membership fee is unchanged from last year at $80. If you only want a social membership and meet the criteria outlined on our website, then the fee is just $40. Junior membership under 18 is free.
If you sign up a new member to the club then you will receive a $25 discount on your own membership.
Although our April AGM meeting is still more than 10 weeks away it does tend to creep up on us. April is when the club committee gets elected. Most of your committee members have served for many years and would like a rest. Serving on the committee is a rewarding experience and provides a good sense of camaraderie. It requires an extra night per month for committee meetings and regular attendance at club events. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm for aircraft! If you feel you could contribute to the club then consider nominating for the committee.
I am looking forward to catching up with you soon.
Money doesn’t buy happiness? Well it pays for flying, which is basically the same.