SACSA PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
Let’s have a look at the club activities for the last 12 months.
The Sport Aircraft Club has now been around for some 40 years now, with current members Don Fraser, Henry Schultz, Ted and Judith King having been members since the early days. We appreciate the legacy you have given us.
This last year the builders in our club have been very active with 4 successful completions in 2019.
Other activities included club organised fly aways to Swan Hill in April 2019 and Lake Eyre in September. We also had members attending other aviation events during year including the Antique Aircraft Association flyins at Echuca and Clare, Airventure at Parkes, Ausfly at Narromine and EAA Airventure at Oshkosh to name a few. There was also a visit to member Dave Limmer’s workshop at Mile End in September where we saw his Arion Lightning Kitplane, intended as a test bed for his new 200hp gas turbine engine development. We wish him success with his exciting new venture.
One of our club strengths is to introduce interesting speakers to our regular monthly meetings. The past year we had talks from vintage aircraft experts Steve Johnson and Dr Tim Brownridge. Mike Holtby described his Military flying years. Dr Ziggy Kusiak reminded us how to stay healthy for flying. Lea Vesic gave us an update in RAAUS affairs. Historian Mike Miln gave us the history of the Vimy flight after the arrival in Darwin. Steve Adcock showed us the incredible camera footage that is possible with modern drones and Steve Burnard told us all about the difficulties of flying in China. The committee will continue to try to source quality speakers for future meetings.
A Bunnings sausage sizzle fund raising initiative by our Treasurer Greg Tabe raised close to $2000 net profit over 5 stints at Bunnings Kent Town in the last 12 months. My thanks to those who helped out. For those who would like to help there will be plenty of opportunities in the future as we continue with this method of fund raising.
Our regular monthly Wednesday meetings were disrupted in April 2019 when we were required to vacate the Public Schools Club on short notice after more than 3 years meeting there. It was then the club council realised how difficult it is to find suitable replacement venues that meet all of our criteria. We were looking for a place that provides sit down hot meals without excessive cost, close to the CBD, free car parking and space to seat everyone who attends. We tried the Edinburgh Hotel for 3 months but it became a struggle with noise issues and lack of space. In August we started at our current venue the Feathers Hotel which I believe is more suitable. We will need to monitor the space requirements as some of our guest speakers have drawn numbers that filled nearly every available seat. Not a bad problem to have but it could stifle future growth.
We enjoyed a good turnout for the club Xmas dinner in November held at the Greenhouse restaurant at Feathers Hotel. Winner of the best club aircraft of 2019 was Richard Young with his scratch built Sonex. Life membership was also awarded to Chris Moore in recognition of his many years of service on the club council as President and Secretary.
A new initiative that your council has been working on to attract new membership is an annual flying scholarship. This would be available to any paid up full member to help cover the costs of gaining or renewing an RPL or RAAUS RPC. We have budgeted up $2000 per year for up to 2 scholarships annually to help get more people flying. This commenced in January 2020.
After the club building, owning and flying a Sonex aircraft for over the last 5 years we bade farewell to the aircraft in August as it was sold to a new owner in New Zealand. Whilst I believe it served a useful purpose in developing building skills in our members, the flying utilisation once completed was not sufficient to justify continued club ownership. The aircraft was sold with only a small loss which leaves the club in a healthy financial position.
Can I introduce our hard working council. Gentlemen, please stand as I call your name. Chris Moore-Secretary; Greg Tabe- Treasurer & Membership; Chris Dearden- Website & Newsletter; Rob Wintulich- Meeting host and AV; Bob Scrymgour- Meals & Barry Windle. Please join me in a vote of thanks.
So as we move forward in 2020, my hope is that the club will continue to flourish and see new fliers and builders joining the club in the future.