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


Presidents Report June 2019

Winter is now upon us and with that comes cold wet weather that is not conducive to a nice day of sport flying. However, in between the cold fronts there is often a short window of calm, albeit cool weather where one can enjoy a brilliant days flying. Indeed, the calm cool air ensures a smooth turbulent free ride. In my book that is the best flying day possible, certainly for carrying out formation flying. Just watch out for the increased possibility of carburetor icing.

Last month I headed across to Benalla, Victoria again to fly my friend’s DH94 Moth Minor. I thought I should tell you a bit more about this rare aircraft. A21-42 was imported from UK into Australia in 1938 for private use but with the outbreak of WW2 was impressed into RAAF service. It served at various RAAF bases in New South Wales and Queensland to be used in training, liason and personal transport. Post war it returned to the civil register as VH-ACR. Like many war surplus aircraft, it was not long before it fell into disuse.

For many years it hung from the roof of Gilltrap’s Auto Museum on the Gold Coast. In the early 2000’s it was acquired by Mark Carr who remembered seeing the aircraft as a child. After an exhaustive 6 year restoration at Caboolture, QLD it took to the air again in 2008, registered VH-CZB. This was the first flight in nearly 60 years! It is now based in Benalla, VIC and is used for adventure flights as part of the Military Air Training Museum. It is one of the oldest airworthy ex-RAAF aircraft in Australia.

I liked it so much I decided to build a 1:7 scale flying model of the actual aircraft which I took over to Benalla to be photographed alongside the original.

It is indeed a privilege to be allowed to fly solo in an 81 year old aircraft. It has delightful handling and better than expected performance from just a 90 horsepower engine. It will cruise at nearly 90 knots for close to 4 hours on a tank of fuel. Somewhat better than the Tiger Moth that only manages 71 knots for 3 hours with 130 horsepower. The price you pay for a biplane with all that extra drag!

Which brings me to this months guest speaker. Steve Johnson, a retired civil engineer, has always had an interest in aviation courtesy of his father Cyril, a WW2 fighter and bomber pilot. Cyril learnt to fly in a Tiger so when Steve decided to buy an aircraft it was always going to be a Tiger Moth foremost. He has owned 2 Tigers and flown dozens of others, particularly in post restoration test flights which I believe makes him very well qualified to tell us how these aircraft should be operated and maintained. Do come along on June 12th and hear his story.

Another event of interest to RAAUS in June is the L1 practical maintenance course at Gawler on 15-16th June. This is the first of many future courses as eventually I believe it will become a requirement for all RAAUS aircraft owners to complete. It is run by member Mick Wright. See the RAAUS website for cost and details.

A significant South Australian aviation event that occurred in May was the swapping over of F111s at the SA Aviation Museum in Pt Adelaide. The museum’s original RF111C A8-134, is destined to be put on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra after it was discovered it had a secret operational history in the Timor conflict. So the museum was not left short changed the RAAF generously provided a newly refurbished replacement example F111C A8-132, that had been in storage at RAAF Edinburgh for several years. During the changeover both aircraft were seen side by side outside the museum. This was the last time anywhere in the world that two complete F111s were seen together.

You will be pleased to hear that after many months of trying, the Club Sonex has finally been sold to a new owner in New Zealand. We already have the deposit in the club bank account and it just remains to dismantle the aircraft ready for shipping to complete the sale. I have mixed feelings about this as it is sad to see the project depart after so many members contributed to it’s construction. However, costwise, the lack of use made it unsustainable for the club to continue to own.

Our monthly club meetings continue at the Edinburgh Hotel for June and July. There have been some misgivings about the long term suitability of the venue so we are actively seeking an alternative.

The need is as follows: seating for up to 50; quiet; able to have a value priced meal served at the same venue for 20-25 people; no or minimal hire charge; within 15 minutes of the CBD; free parking.

If you know of a suitable venue that is available long term for the second Wednesday of every month then please let me or a member of the committee know.

I look forward to seeing you on June 12th.

Blue skies,


Speed is life, altitude is life insurance.

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,


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