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

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,


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,


Assorted Hardware – Free, Yes Free! (+postage)

Photo for illustration purposes – even Ian doesn’t know whats in the boxes yet…

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

  • MS35207-226
  • MS24693526
  • MS24693527
  • NAS 1801-3-2
  • MS35207-264
  • NAS263-3-12
  • NAS623-3-4
  • MS21059-L3
  • MS21042-L3
  • NAS1153-5
  • NAS623-3-5
  • NAS623-3-8


  • MS20426AD4-6
  • MS20426AD4-7
  • MS20470AD3-6
  • MS20425AD6-15
  • MS20426AD3-7


  • MS21919WCJ10   Blue
  • MS21919WDGE   Black
  • MS21919BG11     Black
  • MS219118WOG12 Black
  • MS21919WDG22   Black
  • MS21919WDG5   Black

Presidents Report February 2019

I hope you have all had relaxing holidays and an enjoyable start to the new year.
Our last club event for 2018 was the Flyin BBQ at Murray Bridge on December 16th.
We had 30+ persons roll up along with several aircraft including Greg Tabe’s brand new Bristel, looking very sharp in it’s yellow, black and white livery and leather seats.

There was also a decent turnout in beautiful weather conditions for the annual American River flyin on Kangaroo Island last week. I saw about 20 aircraft there including the aircraft of club members Chris Moore, Greg Robertson, Ted King, Chris Dearden, Steve Nelson and Geoff Constantine.
Your club council has already had their first meeting for 2019 last week and have started event planning for 2019.

To get things started let’s have a look at what is coming up in the near future.

On February 9 the Southern Districts Flying Club are hosting a CASA Safety seminar at Strathalbyn.

On February 15-17 Oz runways are hosting another seminar at the Mt Gambier Aero Club Flyin following their successful event in Clare last year. Details can be found here or the club calendar.

The biennial Avalon Airshow is on again this year, less than four weeks away on 1-3rd March. If you have not yet seen this show you need to get it on your bucket list as it is the largest airshow in the southern hemisphere. A combined civil, military and industry trade show, there is something for everyone. The Friday night airshow is very special if you have never seen a night airshow. Details here.

Following positive feedback from last years event the council decided that we would revisit Swan Hill for a simple fly away weekend on 6-7 April. The distance is not far and there are plenty of good accommodation options. We would arrive early Saturday afternoon, enjoy an early dinner together before going to the Pioneer Settlement for the evening “Heartbeat of the Murray” laser light show.

Following breakfast on Sunday (and a sleep in due to daylight saving ending) we would head out to visit the very attractive Lake Boga and the Flying Boat Museum. After that we would be dropped at the airport to fly home or via Nhill to check out the aircraft museum there. You just need to let me know if you are coming and book your own hotel accommodation.

Guest speakers lined up for the next three months are:
February 13th : Paul Baishont “Navigating the ATC system”.
March 13th AGM : Rob Wintulich “Scout Jamboree air activities at Tailem Bend”.
April 10th : Ziggy Kusiak “Aviation and your health”.

Please be reminded that the 2019 membership fees are now due. The cost is $75 each which can be paid at the February club meeting or directly into the club’s bank account. If you choose the latter option please remember to add your surname in the comments box. Don’t forget also if you introduce a new member who subsequently joins, you will receive a $25 refund on your membership fee.

The club AGM is held in March and nominations are now open for members to join the council. Some council members have held positions for a long time so we would welcome new blood and a fresh perspective. Also, if you have any agenda items for the AGM please send them to the secretary, Chris Moore.

Blue skies,


To invent an aeroplane is nothing, to build one is something, to fly one is everything.
-Otto Lilienthal, Pioneer aircraft builder

Presidents Report December 2018

Forty five members and their guests enjoyed a fun filled Christmas dinner at the Public Schools club on November 23rd.

The venue was very nicely decorated in the Christmas spirit with a superb 3 course dinner prepared by our chef Michael Crossley.

There were raffle prizes galore with an almost 1 in 3 chance of winning. Thanks to all those who donated prizes. Chris Moore conducted an aviation quiz that had even the experts thinking hard!

The winner of the Best Aircraft award this year went to Ted and Milton King for their truly unique Lightning Bug. A diminutive aircraft in size but capable of better than 180 knots in the cruise. Once flight testing is complete we will have a better idea of it’s true capability.

On November 24th I flew to Clare Valley airport for an Angel Flight fund raising seminar hosted by Oz Runways. I flew there in my Onex on it’s first long distance flight. I received numerous favourable comments from those who had not seen it before. In all about 30 aircraft and almost 100 people attended.

There was a briefing from Oz Runways staff about the latest features of their App following a major update. This was followed by talk from Marjorie Pagani, CEO of Angel Flight Australia, about the vital work done by Angel Flight Pilots to benefit the country and outback communities. If you own a production built light aircraft and enjoy cross country flying you really could help out by flying patients from remote areas to the city for medical appointments. Please consider volunteering. You will be reimbursed your fuel costs.

The signature speaker at Clare was Matt Hall, of Red Bull Air Race fame. His talk consisted of a race by race commentary of the 2018 season he had just completed, finishing runner up for the third time. A fascinating insight into the life of air racing, complete with his own in cockpit videos of each race.

The view from the cockpit clearly demonstrated just how demanding this sport really is. Entering the course at 200 knots, flying 30 feet above the ground, rolling at 400 degrees per second and pulling up to 12g is not for the faint hearted! The top competitors are so evenly matched that this year the top 3 finishers in race 6 were within 8/100 sec of each other! In other words the distance between first and third was 7 meters, less than the length of the aircraft!

Matt was also seen last weekend at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival in Victoria Park providing an aerobatics demonstration in some seriously strong winds and drag racing some of the high performance cars. He beat everyone except the F1 vehicle.

Coming up this Saturday 8th December is the club’s first ever Bunnings Sausage Sizzle fund raiser at Bunnings Kent Town. We have enough volunteers this time but please consider if you can spare some time for the club the next time we host this event. In the meantime pop down to Bunnings this Saturday and buy a sausage (onions on the bottom!) and a drink.

The guest speaker for our final meeting of the year on December 12th is Bev Roediger, a GA flying instructor with some 42 years experience. She would have started out instructing at a time when there were very few professional female aviators in the business. Bring your partner and come along and hear her story. It is called “Learn from others mistakes because life is too short to make them all yourself”.

Please use the online booking service to book a meal before the meeting.

Also don’t forget the Club Christmas BBQ at Murray Bridge Airfield on Sunday December 16th at 1030am. Drive in or fly in and enjoy a lovely BBQ for just $10 per person. It will be an opportunity to see Greg Tabe’s brand new Bristel aircraft. I currently have 30 people coming along so please let me know if you want me to add your name to the list so we can get the catering right.

Blue Skies,


Our two greatest problems are gravity and paperwork. We can lick gravity but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. Dr.Wernher von Braun

Final P3 fly past before retirement – 30 November

As part of the 50 year anniversary of P3 operations in the Royal Australian Air Force, a formation flight of 4 P3 aircraft will take place over Adelaide on Friday 30 November.

The aircraft will depart Edinburgh at midday, tracking southbound via the coast to Marino Lighthouse then to Adelaide Oval, Regency Park shopping centre, Hope Valley reservoir, Mt Lofty Lookout, Adelaide Airport, Carisbrooke Park and Elizabeth shopping centre before returning to Edinburgh at approximately 13:45. The aircraft will be at 250 ft AGL.

Also, at 10:30 Sunday 2 December at the South Australian Aviation Museum there will be an official opening of the P3 to the public

“First Man” Movie Night

Hi All,

Last meeting I mentioned that there was a new movie being released called “First Man”, the life story of astronaut, Neil Armstrong.

It has received very good reviews as given below:

First Man (M) A small step , a giant leap, and a mighty film, 141 minutes.

The epic story of the eight year journey of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) from unassuming civilian pilot-engineer to unlikely NASA astronaut, becoming the first man to set foot on the moon.

Though its brave visual style and skeletal storytelling are sure to divide viewers, First Man is still undoubtedly one of the best movie releases of 2018. Oscar winning director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) has shaped an imposing screen spectacle with an intimacy and intricacy normally undetected on this vast cinematic scale.

The key scenes are those focussing exclusively on Armstrong strapped inside a variety of spacecraft as the US missions Gemini and Apollo evolve.

Chazelle’s frenetically rattling camera keeps registering confusion, concentration and real terror in Armstrong’s eyes. Then there is the sound the craft makes: a chilling combination of a rolling thunderous rumble, topped by a continuous metallic scream. To reach for greatness from such a primitive, low-tech place inspires legitimate awe, fear and wonder. 4.5 stars.

I propose an informal get together for the 8:20 pm session on Wednesday 31st October at the Wallis Cinemas ,Level 1, Mitcham Shopping Centre, 119 Belair Rd, Torrens Park 5062.

Make your own arrangements for ticketing and dinner. If you desire  you can enjoy a drink and a snack in the cinema’s Boulevard Lounge beforehand.

More Details on the Calendar here

I  look forward to seeing you there. Please Email me to let know to look for you.

PS If you have not already done so, please get online and purchase your tickets for the Club Christmas Dinner on Friday November 23rd at 7:00 pm.


Steve Nelson

Presidents Report – October 2018

Greetings from Wales.

My wife and I are currently touring UK and we have spent the last week in South Wales.

Lovely coastal scenery and some marvelous Norman Castles around the Pembrokeshire district.

You may not know that during WW2 Pembroke Dock housed the largest flying boat base in the world ,with many RAF Short Sunderlands based there right through until the late 1950s.

All that remains today are some of the military buildings and a small museum in the the former chapel. The last Sunderland that was recovered from Pembroke Dock is now on public display at the RAF museum in Hendon.

I also happened upon a genuine WW2 air traffic control tower a few miles down the road at a former RAF airfield called Carew Cheriton.

I did also visit the RAF Museum at Hendon earlier in my trip which I hope to bring a report on when I return home.


Please be reminded that tickets are now on sale for our annual Christmas dinner at the Public Schools Club on November 23rd.

Tickets are just $55 per person for a 3 course meal , a welcome drink plus coffee and tea.

There will also be lots of raffle prizes given away which is included in your ticket.

You will be able to pay by cash or credit card at the October meeting otherwise online directly to the club bank account. Payment will need to be made by November 16th.

Our guest speaker for October has changed at late notice.

I have been lucky enough to secure a very good replacement in Marta Najfeld.

Marta is a glider pilot who has held 3 world records in closed distance events and is currently a ground school instructor at Flight Training Adelaide.

Her talk is based on her Masters thesis about synthetic vision for aviation applications where direct vision for the pilot through windows is replaced with cameras. A very interesting concept. Come along and see what you think about it.

It is entitled “ Vision beyond sight”.

Blue skies,


‘Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man, Landing is the first ‘