Author Archives: Chris Dearden

Presidents Report – October 2019

Welcome to our new readers who have migrated across from the Geoff Hennig newsletter list. Now that Geoff has retired from all aviation activity he has offered the list to the Sport Aircraft Club to continue on with his good work. We We have incorporated the list into our regular monthly newsletter Plane Paper, so you will continue to receive this even if you are not a member of the SACSA.

You can Email the newsletter editor if you wish items or events to be included or edited, likewise you can unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive Plane Paper.

There have been several events involving club members recently. Last month had 4 aircraft head up to William Creek and Arkaroola to see the Outback in spring. They visited Lake Eyre, Maree Man, Wilpena Pound and the northern Flinders Ranges.

Several members attended Air Venture 2019 at Parkes Airport. I hope to have a report at the October club meeting.

We also had an impromtu fly in to the Paskeville Field Days event on the Yorke Peninsula. This involves flying into Kadina airport where a shuttle bus will drive you to the event. There are many displays, particularly involving farm machinery. An interesting day out if you enjoy all things farming.

Coming up this month is the Antique Aircraft Association AGM and Flyin at Clare Valley airport on October 11-13. Last time this event was run at Clare, 2 years ago, something like 40 antique and vintage aircraft attended, which was quite a sight. CASA are also running another pilots seminar at Clare on Sunday 13th October. See their respective websites to register.

On 20th October there is a planned formation flypast over the city of antique aircraft to commemorate the centenary of the Smith brothers epic flight from England to Australia. They plan to depart from Murray Bridge airport to be over Adelaide at 1130 am and then fly coastal to Aldinga airport. The general public will be able to view the aircraft on the ground at Aldinga.

This year 4 of our members have completed their aircraft build projects and successfully flown. They are Chris Moore- Lancair, Steve Biele- Arion Lightning, John Heather- Zenair 750 and Richard Young- Scratch built Sonex. To my knowledge this is the first time in our club history we have 4 aircraft completed in the same year. To give everyone a look at them we have organised for all aircraft to be at Murray Bridge airport at 10am on Saturday 2nd November. Come and have a look and tell the committee which is your favourite. This will assist the committee in choosing who will be the recipient of the best aircraft award.

This year the club Christmas dinner and awards night is on Friday 22nd November at 7pm. This will be lieu of our normal November meeting. Based on positive feedback of the Feathers Hotel dining facilities we have booked the large dining room there for this event. This room has a capacity for 65 guests and it would be great to see it filled. There will be lots of raffle prizes and activities. The 3 course dinner will cost $60 per head and the menu can be seen below. You will be able to pay online to the club’s bank account or in cash at the October meeting. So please book it in for you and your partner.

For October’s meeting I will give a report on my recent trip to Africa which involved quite a number of sectors in bush aircraft. It is called “Out of Africa-an aviation perspective”.

Also there will be a report on the recent 50th anniversary Oshkosh airshow from club members who attended. Please join us.

Blue skies,

Steve

The most beautiful dream that has haunted the heart of man since Icarus is today a reality- Louis Bleriot

Presidents Report August 2019

I have just returned from a 5 week trip to Africa which I will tell you more about some of the aviation aspects of the trip at a future meeting. I would like to thank secretary, Chris Moore, who looked after the club activities in my absence.

On Tuesday our Club Sonex was packed up with wings removed ready for shipping to it’s new owner in New Zealand. I’m sure like me a number of members have mixed feelings about it’s departure. Whilst it was a great club building project where numerous people learned valuable skills, it was just not financially sustainable as a flying project. Looking over the high quality of construction as the aircraft was disassembled I am sure the new owner will be pleased.

Looking ahead on the calendar I see a number of events coming up, especially after the arrival of spring and the better flying weather.

First up we have planned a club flight to the Loxton Aero Club BBQ on Sunday 18th August. A number of members have indicated their interest and I will send around a board at our club meeting so final numbers can be confirmed. Tea, Coffee and scones will be served on arrival followed by a BBQ lunch. Cost is $15 per head.

Closer to home on Sunday 8th September, club member Dave Limmer will host a workshop visit at his factory unit at 14-18 Rosslyn St. Mile End, at 2pm. Come and see his Lightning Bug Jet project and his Arion Lightning kitplane which will serve as a gas turbine engine test bed.

You will no doubt be aware that we are changing the club meeting venue again from the August meeting. At the Edinburgh Hotel we struggled with noise and space issues. Hopefully at our new venue, The Feathers Hotel, Burnside, we will avoid that. We will be meeting in the front bar at 6:30pm and then move to a dedicated section of the dining room, the Greenwall restaurant, around 7pm.

Meals are booked through the club website in the same way but with extra choices and a slightly higher price of $25. Meals are plated up individually so there will no shortage of chips and salad! Having eaten there I can recommend the food quality.

The actual meeting will be in a separate room away from other hotel guests, starting at 8pm.    This venue has been booked for the next 3 months and I would value your feedback.

In September there is a club flyaway planned to Lake Eyre starting 21st September. A unique chance to see the Lake close to full. Contact Chris Moore for more details if interested.

You will be aware there is a large RAAF airshow planned at RAAF Base Edinburgh on the 9th and 10th November. There will be an opportunity to fly your own aircraft into the show and avoid the large number of cars expected. You will still need to buy an airshow entry ticket.  Watch out for details of how to book a landing slot on the airshow website in September.

The RAAUS board elections are on again with 6 candidates for the 3 vacating board positions. Two of the candidates are South Australian and club members, so I would encourage you to support them to improve our local representation.

Barry Windle is standing again and newcomer Tapan Dave hopes to bring his 20 years of IT expertise to the board. The ballot papers are provided in the August copy of Sport Pilot and voting closes on September 27th.

Also in September is Airventure at Parkes, NSW on the 20th to 22nd. There will be numerous pilot seminars on all subjects aviation and a build project of a Bushcat kitplane will be undertaken by 25 supervised secondary school students during the event. Underwing camping will be available.

A significant event coming up that we can all help with is the Vimy Centenary Flypast over Adelaide on October 20th. So far there are 9 antique aircraft involved and the plan is to formation fly over all the significant sites in Adelaide that involved the Smith brothers. Afterwards the aircraft will be able to be seen on static display at Aldinga airfield. The cost of putting this event on is significant, especially as some of the aircraft are coming from interstate. Therefore, the Centenary committee are seeking donations to help with costs. If you are able to help then please contact me.

On that note, our August guest speaker is aviation historian Mike Miln. He will be showing a short film on the 1919 England-Australia air race won by the Smith brothers in under 30 days. After that he will give a presentation on the saga following the race in getting the Vimy from Darwin to Adelaide which took 102 days! Please come along.

Blue Skies

Steve

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.  –Leonardo da Vinci

Presidents Report May 2019

Last month we had the club fly away weekend to Swan Hill. I flew there with my wife, Dominie, and in addition we had six other aircraft and a total of fourteen participants. I was very encouraged to see such a good turnout. Aircraft arrived individually from three different airports on the Saturday afternoon. Apart from a hiccup with the Swan Hill Aero Club refuelling carnet card it all went smoothly and all seven aircraft were secured for the night in front of the clubhouse. A lesson learnt for those who rely only on credit/carnet cards. There will always be a time when they will fail so carrying enough cash to pay for a tank of fuel will save the day.

We checked into our motels and the convened for an early dinner at the local Italian restaurant in the main street. We then walked to the Pioneer village to see their nightly spectacular laser light show. A good feature of Swan Hill is that it is quite compact and everything is easily accessible on foot. An important consideration when you arrive by air.

Following breakfast the next morning we were bused out to Lake Boga museum about 10kms south of Swan Hill. This is a very pretty spot with an almost circular permanent lake about 3kms in diameter. During WW2 it became a secret maintenance depot for the RAAF’s fleet of flying boats, mainly PBY Catalinas. It certainly is an unusual place for flying boat activity, being so far inland.

Local enthusiasts have done a wonderful job in restoring a Catalina to static display along with many other relics from the wartime era. There is even a bunker containing a communications station with all the equipment therein maintained in serviceable condition. Since my last visit to the museum a very nice cafe has been added where one can enjoy a lovely lakeside lunch.

On the trip back to Adelaide we called into Nhill, another former wartime RAAF training base which now has it’s own museum. They have a Wirraway and Tiger Moth in flying condition on display along with an Avro Anson undergoing static restoration. Another enthusiastic group of volunteers run this museum which is worth a visit. It is also a handy spot to drop to refuel or grab a coffee when flying home from the eastern states.

Be reminded that club meetings for the next 3 months will be at The Edinburgh Hotel, High Street Bar, 7 High St. Mitcham. Meals will continue to be ordered online with a choice of 5 mains. See below for details.

The speaker for May is member Mike Holtby, who will give us some reminiscings of his RAF career in the 1950s. He flew some very interesting early jet fighters including the Meteor, Vampire and Sabre. I look forward to hearing his assessment of them.

 In June we have Steve Johnson, local DH82 pilot, who will speak about ownership and operation of the ubiquitous Tiger Moth.

In July we will have RAAus Operation Staff giving a briefing  and Q and A session.

2019 celebrates the centenary of the Smith brothers epic England to Australia flight in under 30 days. In August aviation historian Mike Miln will speak to us about that flight.

On Sunday April 14th the club had another Bunnings BBQ fundraiser at Kent Town. We managed to raise another $630 for the club bringing the total raised in three BBQs to nearly $1500. I thank the volunteers, especially Greg, and those who gave up half a day to help out. I commend it to other members to volunteer for future events. It is good fun, you meet interesting people and it helps raise the club profile to the general public as well as raising funds to keep our club financial.

Blue skies,

Steve

In life you are either a passenger or a pilot, it’s your choice-Unknown

Presidents Report April 2019

Last month we had our Club AGM at the Public Schools Club.  The encumbent Council members agreed to stand again and were duly elected. In addition we had Barry Windle nominated and he too has joined the club council making a total of seven members. At the council meeting following the AGM the council agreed that all the council positions would remain unchanged.

They are: President- Steve Nelson; Secretary, Sonex & Hangar Manager- Chris Moore; Treasurer, Membership and Public Officer- Greg Tabe; Website and Newsletter-Chris Dearden;  Audio Visual and Council Meeting Host- Rob Wintulich; Meals- Bob Scrymgour and Barry Windle. Barry also holds a position on the RAAUS National Board which is significant for our club interests.

Last week my wife, Dominie and I, flew to Echuca for the annual Antique Aircraft Association of Australia Flyin. This year the special theme was the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Auster for which 22 of the type turned up. A total of 135 aircraft visited over the weekend with at least 8 Tiger Moths and 5 Chipmunks in the mix.

The highlights for me were two genuine antiques in the 1929 Curtis Robin and a 1927 Westland Wigeon owned by entepreneur Dick Smith. The Wigeon took out Grand Champion Antique and the Robin won the President’s Choice.

The AAAA always put on great event and later this year, on October 11-13th they will host another flyin close to home at Clare Valley Airport. Whether you fly or drive to it, it will be a great opportunity to see some superbly restored and maintained old aircraft.

Those of you who were at last months club meeting will know that Michael Crossley, our club chef resigned and has left the Public Schools Club along with his staff who manned the bar and served meals. I know you will all agree with me that he provided excellent meals and service.

The Public Schools Club committee have struggled to find a replacement chef and staff so they have taken the decision to close for 3 months or more to carry out significant renovations to the building.

We hope to be able to return there once renovations are complete and new staff have been found.

In the meantime meetings for the next 4 months will be at The Edinburgh Hotel, High Street Bar, 7 High St. Mitcham. Meals will continue to be ordered online with a choice of 5 mains. See below for details, including amended pricing.

After July the council will review the situation at the Public Schools Club.

The speaker for April is Ziggy Kusiak, an RAAF Aviation Medical doctor and husband of Marta Najfeld who was our guest speaker last October. Ziggy will be speaking about “Aviation medicine and the GA pilot”. It will also include discussion about health issues we need to be aware of as we age. It should be very interesting.

The council have managed to line up some interesting speakers for the next few months. In May, member Mike Holtby will speak about his RAF service in the 1950s. In June we have Steve Johnson, local DH82 pilot, who will speak about ownership and operation of the ubiquitous Tiger Moth. 2019 celebrates the centenary of the Smith brothers epic England to Australia flight in under 30 days. In July aviation historian Mike Miln will speak to us about that flight.

For those of you who have not yet paid your annual membership fees they are now due. Please arrange payment of $75 online (details on the club website), or by cash to treasurer Greg Tabe at the next meeting.

On Sunday April 14th the club will be doing another Bunnings BBQ fundraiser at Kent Town. We are still looking for one more volunteer. If you can help then please contact Greg Tabe.

In closing it is my sad duty to inform you that Stephen Dines, CASA inspector of experimental aircraft passed away on March 22nd. Many of you will have had dealings with him during the construction of your aircraft projects. He had a huge amount of expertise and will be sadly missed.

Blue skies,

Steve

A mile of road will take you a mile, a mile of runway will take you anywhere.

Presidents Report March 2019

Greetings from New Zealand.

Dominie and I are currently touring New Zealand visiting friends and tapping into the Kiwi aviation scene wherever possible.

We arrived in Wellington 2 weeks ago just in time to attend the Wings over Wairarappa (WOW) Airshow at Hood aerodrome, Masterson, about 90 minutes drive northeast of Wellington.

The weekend weather forecast was not shaping up well with heavy rain predicted, especially for the Sunday. People with Sunday tickets were offered the chance to swap them for Saturday so there was quite a large turnout.

As it transpired the wind and rain mostly held off on Saturday so the show went ahead. There were some disappointments with the B52 Stratofortress fly past failing to materialize due to unserviceability in Australia.

The RNZAF came to the rescue at the last minute putting on a creditable P3K Orion display.

The air force also displayed their C130 Hercules, T6C Texan 2 trainer and various helicopters.

The highlight for me were the multiple WW1 reproduction aircraft taking to the air in large numbers, more than a dozen at a time , engaging in mock dog fights. Nowhere else in the world can you see this.

There were Sopwith Pups, Camels, Triplanes and Snipes, Albatross D2s and D5s, Fokker Triplanes and D7, DH4, SE5As and BE2Cs.

Many of these are fitted with their original engines so they are completely authentic. The rotary engined Sopwiths and the Mercedes engined Albatross sound amazing. Most of these aircraft are flown without the benefit of wheel brakes or tailwheels, as per the original, necessitating wing walkers whilst on the ground.

All of these aircraft come from the The Vintage Aviator Limited (TVAL), a company set up by film director Sir Peter Jackson at Hood aerodrome.

The Red Stars, a 9 ship Yak 52 civilian formation display team, did a very creditable display including a 9 aircraft loop, the only civilian team anywhere in the world currently doing this.

The night Airshow highlight were 2 Grob 109b motor gliders fitted with LED lights and pyrotechnics which are discharged during a synchronized display set to music. This team came all the way from UK again, having had their 2017 WOW display cancelled due weather.

As it turned out that was the last display we saw as Sunday was a complete washout.

We moved onto Christchurch in the South Island, visiting aviation friends. By now the weather was much improved and were invited to fly in their Bell 206 Jetranger Helicopter for lunch in Hokitika on the West coast. To the unfamiliar this involves a 1 hour through the valleys of the Southern Alps surrounded by mountains up to 10000 feet! Truly spectacular!

I even had a go at flying the helicopter on the way back to Christchurch.

They are extremely sensitive with minute control inputs needed. Also, they cannot be trimmed out so they must be flown 100% of the time.

Yesterday I jumped into something more familiar being my friend’s RV6.

We tracked south across the Canterbury plain to Timaru and Ashburton.

The folk at the Timaru Aero Club were very friendly and chatty.

At Ashbuton, a former RNZAF wartime training base, we visited the Aviation museum. A very nice smaller museum of about 25 aircraft well restored and presented.

This week I also hope to get to the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre near Gore in the deep south of the island. Here they specialize in all types of De Havilland restorations.

I will arrive home just in time for the club’s AGM next week.

Please come along to vote on the changes to the constitution. If you can’t make it then the committee can accept proxies right up until the meeting starts.

Don’t forget that 2019 membership fees of $75 are due if you have not yet paid. They can be paid online or by cash or cheque at the next meeting.

Our guest speaker for March is our own Rob Wintulich. He will give us a report on the Scout Jamboree  air activities at Tailem Bend in January.

Blue skies,

Steve