Presidents Report – December 2019

Fifty seven Club members and their guests enjoyed a fun filled evening at the Feathers Hotel, Burnside for our annual Christmas dinner and awards night on 22nd November.

I was encouraged by the turnout in the end. Ten days earlier we had only 33 registered but a quick ring around by council members bolstered the numbers.

The were plenty of prizes (too many?) and give aways with one in two people present winning something.

The best aircraft award was a tough three way tussle between Chris Moore’s Lancair, Richard Young’s Sonex and John Heather’s Cruzer. The results could not have been closer with the winning aircraft scoring 12 points out of a possible 30 and the other two scoring 9 points each.

The winning aircraft was Richard Young’s scratch built Sonex, a six and a half year project.

All builders this year received a club plaque to acknowledge their efforts.

A special award of Life Membership was awarded to Chris Moore to formally recognise the fantastic support he has provided to the club as President and Secretary for many years. Thank you Chris.

It was also announced that starting in 2020, to try to bolster our membership, up to two scholarships of $1000 each, will be made available to full club members to assist in the cost of their flight training. Details will be published on the club website along with photos of the Christmas dinner.

Please be reminded there is NO formal club meeting at the Feathers Hotel in December or January. The next regular club meeting at the Feathers Hotel will be on February 12th.

Our final club event for the year will be our Christmas BBQ at Murray Bridge Airfield on December 15th. Fly in or drive in, your choice. Morning tea will served in the Windsock Lounge from 10am. For those interested, Paul Baishont will present a workshop on how to tackle NAIPS, in the club hangar from 11am. Lunch will follow back in the Windsock lounge from 12 noon. Cost is $10 per person. 37 people have registered with me so far. If you haven’t yet done so and would like to come along please email me as it will help with getting the catering right.

On January 11th 2020 member Terry Wilson has agreed to host an informal flyin at his private airstrip 2nm south east of Morgan in the Riverland. Please be aware this is a basic facility with no house on the property, just the strip and a hangar with power and water. So come for lunch or camp overnight but it will be a BYO everything. Food, drink, folding chairs would be the minimum. I would suggest not planning on a BBQ as a total fire ban on the day may prevent that.

His strip details are as follows:

  • Position is 2nm SE of Morgan on the east side of the Murray River.
  • Lat/Long: 34 03.2S / 139 42.1E
  • Track is 013 degrees, 65 nm from Murray Bridge.
  • Strip is 09/27, 950m long, unsealed, elevation 100’.
  • Parking is at the western end. No fuel available.

As a courtesy could you let me know if you plan to come along.

Please be reminded that 2020 annual membership fees fall due on January 1st. They have been set at $80, a small increase from the $75 we have had for several years now. They can be paid into the club bank account shown below. You may need to update the EFT bank details on your computer as the club changed it’s account from the NAB to the Bendigo Bank a few months ago. The old account is now closed and will not accept any payments. Additionally, Greg Tabe will be able to accept cash payment at the Club BBQ. Correct change would be appreciated.

It just remains for me to wish you and your families the very best for the festive season and safe flying.


“That’s not flying, that’s just falling with style”- Woody from Toy Story, with regard to Buzz Lightyear, 1996

SACSA Scholarship Scheme

Commencing January 2020

  • All applicants must commit to 2 years full membership of the club.
  • Applicants must apply to the Club council in writing outlining reasons for the application.
  • Up to $2000 annually available to be used for up to 2 successful applicants. $1000 each.
  • Successful applicants must remain an SACSA member while the scholarship is used.
  • Intended to help cover costs in renewing or obtaining a GA RPL or RAAUS RPC.
  • Available for flying training costs only.
  • Scholarship will be paid out upon presentation of invoices for training until funds are exhausted.
  • One scholarship only per member.
  • Council decision as to who is successful remains final but does not preclude a reapplication.

For more details or to submit your application – Click here to email Chris Moore

Presidents Report – November 2019

On October 20th we celebrated a significant aviation centenary in South Australia. One hundred years ago Adelaide born brothers Sir Ross and Keith Smith successfully flew the first flight from England to Australia in under 30 days.

To recognise that amazing achievement a formation of 5 vintage aircraft departed Aldinga airfield, tracked up the coast and overflew all the significant places in Adelaide that related to the Smith brothers, as a tribute.

The role of substitute Vimy was played by Harvey McBain’s newly restored DH84 Dragon which led the formation. In left and right echelon position were 2 DH82 Tiger Moths flown by Tim Brownbridge and Steve Johnson. In line astern were 2 DHC-1 Chipmunks flown by Marc Michel and Jim Whalley.

I flew in Steve Johnson’s Tiger Moth as back up lead and navigator. The weather on the day was perfect and Adelaide ATC were most accommodating. The highlight was descending to 500 feet over Adelaide Airport and the Vimy memorial. A lot of video and photos were taken, some of which is already on our website. More will emerge in the coming weeks.

A lot of work goes into these events and thanks must go to Daryl Hill who organised all the clearances with CASA, and did the radio work from the lead aircraft. On the ground we had volunteers from our own club, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, the Royal Aeronautical Society, The South Australian Aviation Museum and the Aldinga Aero Club.  These folk assisted in car parking and crowd management at Aldinga and cooked up a delicious sausage sizzle for our return. At Adelaide Airport other volunteers assisted in managing the crowds who witnessed the flyover and got to go behind the glass walls for a rare up close viewing of the original Vimy Aircraft.

One of the legacies of this centenary year is raising public awareness of the historical significance of this flight. As astronaut Andy Thomas said, “it was the 1919 equivalent of man landing on the moon.”

As a result we will now see the Vimy moved from it’s current remote display hangar into a much more visible display area inside the new Adelaide Airport terminal extensions by 2021.

As most of you are aware we are having our Christmas dinner and awards night on Friday November 22nd and the Feathers Hotel. This means there is no regular November meeting. It will be a great night, with lots of prizes and fun. Tickets are available at $60 per person for a 3 course meal. Special dietary needs can be catered for. Greg Tabe is looking after ticket sales and payment may be made online to the club bank account. See below. Be sure to include your name on the transaction, and email Greg for any special dietary needs. Tickets must be ordered and paid for by midday on November 18th. Tickets may be collected on the night from Greg. Make sure you hang on to your tickets as they are numbered for the raffle draw. We expect to have enough prizes for one person in three to win.

There will be the award for the best club aircraft to have been completed and flown for the first time in the last 12 months. This year there are 4 contenders, the first time in club history I believe this has happened. Three of the 4 aircraft gathered at Murray Bridge airfield on Saturday where they were scrutinised by the dozen or so members present. They were Chris Moore’s Lancair 200, Richard Young’s scratch built Sonex, and John Heather’s Zenith Cruzer. Missing was Steve Biele’s Arion Lightning. They are each fantastic achievements in their own right and each is very different from the others, so the council will have a difficult task in choosing the outright winner.

I will also be announcing some new initiatives your club council has been working on for 2020.

So please, I encourage you to bring your partner along and support this event.

Blue Skies,


It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realise that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract. – Astronaut Alan Shepard Jr.

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,


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


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 July 2019

Your president Steve Nelson has headed to Africa for a break, so you are getting an update from the secretary this month. Despite winter there has been a good number of calm warm days – ideal for taking to the air.

There have been two first flights for new aircraft built by club members this month. Richard Youngs Sonex and my Lancair 200 have now taken to the air. All the details at the club meeting next week including video’s and photos. We will be ready to answer any questions and are still displaying those incredible smiles that are generated by the first flight of an aircraft you build yourself.

For those of you who are not aware we offered the club Sonex for sale as it was clearly not getting enough hours to warrant the overhead costs of insurance, hangarage and maintenance. The aircraft is now sold. It is being containerised and shipped to New Zealand for a pilot who recognised the value of the aircraft as a low hours, ready to go flying machine way under the cost of the component parts used in the manufacture this sporty little aircraft.

Despite the club putting in a substantial report concerning the effect on Murray Bridge airport from the proposed solar farm located close to the end of runway 19 we have had no further information from the minister Stephen Knoll. We have not been informed if the proposed farm has been given ministerial go ahead. The club has asked that the farm be moved further away from the airport or that the airport runway be shifted in the opposite direction. Our main concern being the risk of forced landing in the direction of the solar farm which is in size about 1/3 the size of Murray Bridge town ship.

Don’t forget 25th of this month : CASA Aviation Safety Advisors will be delivering a new AvSafety seminar in 2019 titled “Enhancing pilot skills – Expect the unexpected” It is important to be always updating your flying skills and knowledge by attending these events and listening to the experts in the field.

A small group of seven from the Sport Aircraft Club including a couple of ring ins have booked their tickets to Oshkosh 2019 later this month and we looked forward to hearing all about the largest air show on earth at the next club meeting.

At the club meeting next week, we will be circulating a couple of boards to determine the interest in two fly-aways. The first is for a lunch time barbeque at Loxton on Sunday August 18th. Nice easy to reach destination warm clubrooms great facilities and not a hill between the Loxton and Murray Bridge airfields. The second is a fly away to Lake Eyre Saturday 14th September and stopping at 3 venues being William Creek, Innamincka, and Arkaroola. It may be a long time before you can view a full Lake Eyre so get your name down if you are contemplating visiting Lake Eyre this year.

Blue Skies,

Chris Moore