Smith Centenary Celebration Group – Bulletin 6

Less than 4 weeks to go

Thanks to all people who have contacted us. I hope we have responded adequately in each case, but please be in contact as above if you need more information or want to tell us something. And tell us via the contact form if you do not want to receive this information.

Please look at It is a pretty basic website but for the next few months has been given over to news about the flight.

Welcome to all people who are receiving, for the first time, information about the Smith Centenary Celebration Flight Darwin to Adelaide by light, ultralight and historic aircraft, March 8-22 2020. If you are not sure what is happening go to and look at the current media information and final itinerary  and also General information booklet for non-aviators. If you would like a copy of this in printed from, send your postal address.

Everyone should look at the Pilot Handbook , assembled by technical advisor Anthony Coleiro. He has done an excellent job, and many thank to everyone who has helped.

Even more vital at this stage is the run sheet, Many details have to be added: could local stopping places please read what has been written about them and send corrections and extra information. It will be continually updated until the end of the flight.

The most constant question is ‘how many aircraft are participating’? We have started an Excel file listing those who have recently said they are taking part, either for the whole journey or for part of the journey.

Please, if you intend to fly in the event, even if only one section, advise us via the website contact form or phone. This is not binding: the whole event is based on voluntary participation, and expressions of intention to fly are not a contract! You can withdraw at any time. But expressing your intentions does give everyone an idea of what will happen.

Technically, participants are responsible for arranging their won accommodation but a booking sheet to assist the process will be available this week.

Please spread the word! We have emailed all flying clubs and aircraft historical groups we can find, we continually bombard the aviation press and other media with information, but still many people have not heard of what is happening. Go to this page for helpful material. Media people, phone 0403 615 134 to get any additional information needed.

One thing that has occurred is a recent publication, The Even More Forgotten Air Race,  re the 1969 England-Australia air race. This huge event is almost forgotten and one of the bi-products of planning for this year’s event is a quickly prepared booklet, available online in  single pages and print your own booklet . We hope that many people who have connections to the 1969 race will be able to take part in the current event even if just by visiting a stopping point. And we hope that our event will result in the discovery and dissemination of more historical material.

Finally, here is the basic itinerary: Mark your participation in your diary, now! Remember that the run sheet gives far more detail.

1 Darwin to Daly Waters Sunday
200 Main departure form Darwin Aviation Museum, 0900 to 1100. Brief official function 1000. Alternative departure point Emkaytee airfield, home of the Top End Flying Club. Options: stop at Katherine (Tindal RAAF), overfly Warlock Ponds (Elsey)
Alternatives for slow aircraft available: day 2 is very long!
2 Daly Waters to Cloncurry Monday
555 Stops – AACo stations Anthony Lagoon, Brunette Downs and Avon Downs
3 Cloncurry to Longreach Tuesday
270 Evening at QANTAS Heritage Museum
4 Longreach to Charleville Wednesday
235 Visits to local attractions and evening meal with interested people
5 Charleville to Caboolture Thursday
368 Visits to local attractions and evening meal with interested people
Day 6: Friday 13/3/20: full day at Caboolture, (TAVAS Museum) various options
7 Caboolture to Narromine Saturday
594 Via Bourke (otherwise 444 NM),
Day 8:   Sunday 15/3/20 day at Narromine: Various activities – Narromine Aviation Museum
9 Narromine to Wollongong (HARS) Monday 16/03/20 265 Via Richmond or Luskintyre, then V1 to HARS Albion Park. Landing at Rose Bay by seaplanes if practicable
Day 10: Tuesday 17/03/20 day at Historical Aircraft Restoration Society museum etc
10 HARS to Cootamundra Wednesday 18/03/20 203 via Temora to visit Australian Aviation Museum
Evening function being planned
11 Cootamundra to Benalla Thursday 19/3/20 250 Henty optional stop
12 Benalla to ‘Little River’ airstrips (full journey participants) or Lilydale Friday
Visit to Point Cook Museum
13 Melbourne airfields to Adelaide (Gawler) Saturday 21/03/20 445 Nhill as staging point fuel etc and visit Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre. Airmail philatelic display at Gawler.
14 Adelaide Sunday 22/03/20 Gawler to Aldinga fly-in to culminate flight. Short official function about 1200.
Day 15 Monday 23 March: Exactly 100 years since the arrival of the Smith Flight: visit to South Australian Aviation Museum and possible event eg at Adelaide airport if desired.

Presidents Report – February 2020

Having left the teens behind and entering a new decade we look forward to meeting again with friends and enjoying some exciting club events planned for this year.

Our regular monthly meetings resume on February 12th at the Feathers Hotel. Dinner beforehand can be ordered in the usual way through the club website.

Our speaker is Tim Brownridge, an owner of not one but two antique aircraft, a Tiger Moth and a Stinson Reliant, and is the secretary of the Antique Aircraft Association of Australia. He is formation qualified and took part in the recent Vimy Centenary flypast. He also captured a lot of inflight video which he edited into a superb short film of the event. His talk is entitled “Vintage aircraft ownership, why would you?’

Looking back over events that have happened since the last newsletter.

The club hosted their annual flyin BBQ at Murray Bridge on December 15th. It was well attended with 40 plus attendees and several arriving by air. My thanks goes to all those who helped out with setup, cooking and providing salads. Paul Baishont gave us an educational talk on Naips in the club hangar where I counted 27 people listening in. This seems a popular format in place of our normal December meeting so I would like to hear feedback to confirm that and we can continue. I would also like to hear what educational subjects you would like to hear about and I can find the appropriate presenters.

 On January 11th member Terry Wilson hosted a flyin to his property near Morgan in the Riverland. It was not expected to be a large affair but in the end there were 8 visiting aircraft including 3 from the Barossa Birdmen club at Truro Flats. Terry’s hangar has a basic but ingenious fitout that makes it possible to enjoy extended stays there. He provided a great lunch which was most appreciated.  But I think the best part was the camaraderie between all pilots when they gather together like this.

I do hope it will be possible to do flyins like Terry’s regularly.

There are numerous aviation events coming up which I would like to draw your attention to.

15th February there is a book launch of Rod Lovell’s book “Hero to Zero” at the South Australian Aviation Museum at 11am. Rob will also be our club meeting guest speaker in April.

Also on the 15th the Southern Districts Flying Club are hosting a CASA AvSafety Seminar at Strathalbyn.

22nd February we are hosting a workshop visit at McClaren Vale. After all the flurry of building activity last year I was concerned there were no more building projects out there. Member John Heather has located another project. Motor mechanic, Lyndon Wright is building a Savannah and as an added bonus is also restoring an old Porsche 911 in his workshop. He has agreed to us visiting from 1pm at 2 Hall St McClaren Vale. It might be a good opportunity to stock up with wine from the cellar doors whilst you are in the area. See attatched photos of his workshop.

26th February there is another CASA pilot safety seminar at the South Australian Aviation Museum. Entry is free, you just need to register on the CASA website.

1st March We have received an invite to the annual Hutton Vale Flyin at Angaston hosted by the Aldinga Aero Club. It looks like a gourmets delight judging by the lunch selections! There is also wine tasting available for the non flyers. Details, including a landing strip brief, and who to contact are on the club website.

7th March we are doing another Bunnings Sausage sizzle fund raiser. This money goes towards covering the costs of 2 flying scholarships. We have enough helpers for this day but you are welcome to volunteer for the next one so please contact Greg Tabe if you can do a half day shift. We expect to do a fundraiser day every three months.

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. Alternatively, you can pay by cash or credit card (2% service charge) at the next club meeting.


Ensure that your dream consumes your life so that life does not consume your dream – Pioneer Aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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