Click here to see the video on the first flights page.
Click here to see the photos on the First Flights Page
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.
In life you are either a passenger or a pilot, it’s your choice-Unknown
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.
Ian Shaughnessy has saved a collection of hardware (nuts, bolts, rivets, clamps etc.) from being thrown out and would like to give them away to builders who need them.
Give away. Plus postage.
Still unpacking boxes, so he may have what you want.
Click here to Email Ian to see if he has the ones you are after before you buy the ones with the gold thread and silly postage from the usual overseas suspects.
Items found and listed so far include
Nuts, and Bolts
- NAS 1801-3-2
- MS21919WCJ10 Blue
- MS21919WDGE Black
- MS21919BG11 Black
- MS219118WOG12 Black
- MS21919WDG22 Black
- MS21919WDG5 Black
Becker AR 3201(2 off) and Dittel FSG 40 S (1 off)
Steve Nelson (Australian Team Manager) Reporting on the F1D World Championships from West Baden Springs Hotel, Indiana.
Eventual winner was Brett Sanborn (US). He had a 27min flight on Wednesday and was the one to beat. But just when a few others were getting close, he pulled out another 27min flight in the last round of the final day.
Aussies all had a good final round (at last) with Tim getting 14:28. Max with 13:56 and Alex with a really good 17:14. A nice way to end.
Tim even used up his 15 minutes of Fame on the local media!
The minutes for the 2018 AGM are now available on the website under About>AGM Minutes or click here.
Presidents report is included.
While the weather in the last month hasn’t been conducive to recreational flying there were a few opportunities between the storms. The club Sonex took myself and daughter to Goolwa where we were given an added bonus of a couple of whale sightings near Port Elliot.
This month (October) the weather is warming up and your club has organised an easy fly in to Bendelby Ranges Station for the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of October. Get your name down and join in for a most enjoyable weekend.
At our last dinner meeting we were privileged to get two presentations one from Rowan Wilson on the developments and operation of the Oz Runways software and another from Mark Wilksch on diesel engines for light sport and general aviation. Both presentations were extremely interesting to our members and well accepted.
As we ran overtime the meal booking sheet for the October meeting didn’t get passed around so please let Steve Biele know you are coming and require a meal for the meeting next Wednesday. Also Christmas dinner meeting is coming up in November so be ready to purchase your tickets at next Wednesdays meeting.
If you are interested in flying the club Sonex contact myself or another club councilor to get into the flying group and access to booking and operating procedures.
“To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything.” — Otto Lilienthal
Chris Moore President
Half hangar available for indefinite period – probably a few weeks.
If interested, contact
David Harris – Phone 0410 597 769 or click here to email