Written in the Sky by Mark Carr

Since childhood, Mark Carr wanted to fly, and fly he did … firstly as a naval aviator, a jet instructor and then pilot for Cathay Pacific Airways.

This ‘techno-biography’ is written for those who, like him, seemingly have hydraulic oil flowing through their veins. However the book also gives readers of a non-flying background an insight into military and civil aviation.

See the this PDF for details, or Email Mark Carr and upon payment of $40 he will send you a signed copy post free.

Presidents Report – August 2020

The relaxing of COVID19 requirements saw an improvement in the turnout for last month’s club meeting where 20 attended. Hopefully everyone will continue to do the right thing so we don’t repeat the debacle happening in Victoria.

Regarding club meetings, we are now having our meals as well as the formal meeting in the Dalton Room with a 24 person limit imposed. Online registration through the club website is required so we can monitor the numbers attending. If the maximum of 24 is reached you will be advised during registration that the meeting is full. You can then advise Bob Scrymgour that you would like to waitlist so if anyone registered cannot attend due illness etc, then we can still fully utilise the room.

This keeps the hotel management happy so that they will continue to provide the meeting venue free of charge. The council will monitor the numbers attending so if too many members are missing out then we will need to reconsider the venue.

Coming up on August 29th at 2pm is a workshop visit with a difference. No aircraft but a garage full of Classic cars including a Rolls Royce. Councillor Barry Windle has organised this one with Nigel Steel-Scott who is opening up his garage in the Adelaide Hills. There is also a lovely garden to view so you might like to bring your partner as well. Afternoon tea will be served. You have to be logged in to see the Calendar entry. This is a change in club policy where we will no longer publish personal information like addresses and phone numbers on an open website without permission.

There was a positive response from the membership to have another Club BBQ get together at Murray Bridge sooner rather than later. We have set a date for September 19th at 11am. Format will be the same as the one held in June.

On a sad note I report the passing of member Mick Wright, after a brave battle with cancer. Mick was very generous in sharing his time and knowledge of all things aviation. He helped many owner/builders in their projects, helping to see them through to final inspection and weight and balance. He was instrumental in introducing an RAAUS maintenance course for members to improve their technical knowledge. He will be sorely missed. The club council will examine a suitable way to acknowledge Mick’s legacy.

I do hope you have been taking advantage of the superb winter flying days of late. Sunny, still and NO turbulence. Absolutely brilliant!

Blue skies,


In the Alaskan bush I would rather have a 2 hour bladder and 3 hours of gas than vice versa. –Kurt Wein

Presidents Report June 2020

It seems as if we have weathered the worst of COVID-19 and can look forward to our lives getting back to some sort of “normal”. It remains to be seen what our new normal will look like.

Just this week pubs and restaurants are reopening with conditions applied, and as a result I am able to announce that our regular Club meeting on June 10th will go ahead at the Feathers Hotel.

There will be some differences though, so please note the following:

  • We will dine at the Greenwall restaurant as per usual, and remain there for our meeting after the meal, however, we are limited to 20 PERSONS ONLY.
  • The meal choices on offer will be from the a la Carte menu to be ordered on the night. Main courses range from $20 to $34.
  • The hotel is doing double sittings and we are booked for the second sitting starting at 7:30pm. You will not have access to the restaurant earlier than that as it will be getting cleaned from the earlier sitting. The meal time is limited to 2 hours so we are expected to wind up by 9:30 pm.
  • Drinks with your meal are available but must be taken sitting down. No standing in the Lounge bar is allowed.
  • The meeting will be limited to MEMBERS ONLY for the June meeting and I am hopeful that number restrictions will be further relaxed in time for the July meeting.
  • The meeting format will be low key with no guest speaker. It will be a chance to mingle with people you have not seen for 3 months and talk aviation. I will invite anyone from the floor to report their interesting activities during the lockdown. It might be a building project, work done on your existing aircraft or a new aircraft type flown.
  • To book for this meeting you will need to log on to the club calendar and register. The first 20 bookings will be successful. If you are too late you will be advised accordingly and you will not be able to attend.
  • It goes without saying that if you are unwell on the night then please do not come but advise a committee member so we may be able to admit someone else.

I do hope this temporary measure does not stay for long and we are able to return to what we are used to very soon.

Back in May the committee met and planned a BBQ at the Windsock Lounge at Murray Bridge Airport on Saturday June 20that 11am. This was to be our first event post COVID and will go ahead as well as the Club meeting.  Again it is a low key event to allow members to mingle and chat (socially distancing of course!). You can fly in (weather permitting), or drive.

Food will be simple egg & bacon sandwiches, tea, coffee with cake and biscuits. Because you have not been getting much for your membership of late, this event will be free for members. I just ask that you advise of your attendance so we can get the catering right.

Member Chris Malone has put together an itinerary for an outback safari flight to be flown as soon as Northern Territory border restrictions ease and AVGAS and accommodation are assured. Details are shown below. I expect that will happen in the next 2 months. Chris is looking for expressions of interest before it is confirmed. The itinerary may also be subject to amendment. If you are interested please Email Chris malone or Tel 0429 178 464.

I look forward to catching up sometime during June.

Blue Skies,


When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the aeroplane takes off against the wind, not with it  -Henry Ford

Safari July 2020 To Jabiru/ Kakadu

Subject to border opening, accommodation, and fuel availability

Murray Bridge  
Port AugustaY 
William CreekY1
Cadney ParkY 
Alice SpringsY2
Tennant CreekY1
JabiruY2 or 3
Tennant CreekY1
Kings Creek 2
Ayers RockY 
Coober PedyY1
Port AugustaY 
Murray Bridge  
Alice SpringsAircraft Storage, Eddie Connellan Airport Display , Central Australian Aviation Museum  
Jabiru Kakadu National Park  Kings Creek Trip To Kings Canyon. Walk The Rim If Fit  
Ayers Rock Fly  The Uluru / Tata Tula Circuit After Refuelling And Then Depart The Area For Coober Pedy  

SAC Socially Distant Brunch

Join us for a post-COVID kick-off Brunch at the Murray Bridge Airport “Windsock Lounge” on Saturday 20 June from 1100-1300.

Egg and Bacon Sandwiches. Coffee and Tea.

Free for members. Non Members $5.

Presidents Report – May 2020

What an interesting month it has been in isolation. Hopefully you have embraced it positively and used the extra time at home to catch up on those tasks you were always putting off.

It might be gardening, cleaning or home maintenance but equally it could be servicing and washing your aircraft.

I do hope the aircraft owners amongst you are keeping your flying recency up and your engines ticking over. My understanding is there is nothing to prevent you from flying solo and indeed in some countries in lockdown they are allowing flying every 28 days to maintain your aircraft engine health.

You will also be aware that both CASA and RAAUS have provided extensions on requirements to renew medicals, BFRs, instrument ratings and the like. Check out their websites for details if you are affected.

You may have heard this week that the 2020 EAA flyin at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has been cancelled. Understandable given that preparations begin in May and USA is largely still in lockdown. Also, international airline travel is probably still a long way off for all of us.

I have seen that EAA are continuing to offer Webinars throughout May and June with lots of interesting subjects discussed. You can sign up on their website for live participation or pick up an older webinar anytime.

Regarding our own club activity, I know that there will not be a meeting in May but signs are hopeful that the easing of restrictions coming imminently, could make a June meeting possible with social distancing applied. I will be liaising with the Feathers Hotel as to what this would look like.

The easing of travel restrictions at least within the state means that we could soon organise a local fly away day trip to say the riverland or the south east as we had originally planned.

If any of you are finding the lack of social contact with other club members difficult, RAAUS have offered clubs the use of their Zoom video conferencing account free of charge so we can meet online.

You would need to have your own PC and internet connection, and be familiar will Zoom to join in.

I would like to hear from you if you are interested in using this format and if we get enough takers we can do this until face to face meetings resume.

As you know, last month we held our AGM almost exclusively by proxy. There were 4 council members in attendance and 17 proxies. Thanks to those who returned their proxy so we did achieve a quorum.

All the constitution changes were carried so I am pleased to announce that we can now formally offer social membership to the club at half the normal membership rate for those who meet the criteria for this category. Details are on our website.

The club council was re-elected unchanged from last year.

They are:

  • Steve Nelson     President
  • Chris Moore       Secretary
  • Greg Tabe         Treasurer & Membership
  • Chris Dearden   Webmaster
  • Bob Scrymgour Meals
  • Rob Wintulich    AV & Meeting Host
  • Barry Windle     Ordinary Member

So keep an eye on the club website for the latest updates and I hope to see you all in the flesh soon.

Blue Skies,


The only thing it would be nice to have more of would be M & Ms. –Astronaut Shannon Lucid, after 6 months isolation on the Mir Space Station in 1996.

AGM Report April 2020


Let’s have a look at the club activities for the last 12 months.

The Sport Aircraft Club has now been around for some 40 years now, with current members Don Fraser, Henry Schultz, Ted and Judith King having been members since the early days. We appreciate the legacy you have given us.

This last year the builders in our club have been very active with 4 successful completions in 2019.

Other activities included club organised fly aways to Swan Hill in April 2019 and Lake Eyre in September. We also had members attending other aviation events during year including the Antique Aircraft Association flyins at Echuca and Clare, Airventure at Parkes, Ausfly at Narromine and EAA Airventure at Oshkosh to name a few. There was also a visit to member Dave Limmer’s workshop at Mile End in September where we saw his Arion Lightning Kitplane, intended as a test bed for his new 200hp gas turbine engine development. We wish him success with his exciting new venture.

One of our club strengths is to introduce interesting speakers to our regular monthly meetings. The past year we had talks from vintage aircraft experts Steve Johnson and Dr Tim Brownridge. Mike Holtby described his Military flying years. Dr Ziggy Kusiak reminded us how to stay healthy for flying. Lea Vesic gave us an update in RAAUS affairs. Historian Mike Miln gave us the history of the Vimy flight after the arrival in Darwin. Steve Adcock showed us the incredible camera footage that is possible with modern drones and Steve Burnard told us all about the difficulties of flying in China. The committee will continue to try to source quality speakers for future meetings. 

A Bunnings sausage sizzle fund raising initiative by our Treasurer Greg Tabe raised close to $2000 net profit over 5 stints at Bunnings Kent Town in the last 12 months. My thanks to those who helped out. For those who would like to help there will be plenty of opportunities in the future as we continue with this method of fund raising.

Our regular monthly Wednesday meetings were disrupted in April 2019 when we were required to vacate the Public Schools Club on short notice after more than 3 years meeting there. It was then the club council realised how difficult it is to find suitable replacement venues that meet all of our criteria. We were looking for a place that provides sit down hot meals without excessive cost, close to the CBD, free car parking and space to seat everyone who attends. We tried the Edinburgh Hotel for 3 months but it became a struggle with noise issues and lack of space. In August we started at our current venue the Feathers Hotel which I believe is more suitable. We will need to monitor the space requirements as some of our guest speakers have drawn numbers that filled nearly every available seat. Not a bad problem to have but it could stifle future growth.

We enjoyed a good turnout for the club Xmas dinner in November held at the Greenhouse restaurant at Feathers Hotel. Winner of the best club aircraft of 2019 was Richard Young with his scratch built Sonex. Life membership was also awarded to Chris Moore in recognition of his many years of service on the club council as President and Secretary.

A new initiative that your council has been working on to attract new membership is an annual flying scholarship. This would be available to any paid up full member to help cover the costs of gaining or renewing an RPL or RAAUS RPC. We have budgeted up $2000 per year for up to 2 scholarships annually to help get more people flying. This commenced in January 2020.

After the club building, owning and flying a Sonex aircraft for over the last 5 years we bade farewell to the aircraft in August as it was sold to a new owner in New Zealand. Whilst I believe it served a useful purpose in developing building skills in our members, the flying utilisation once completed was not sufficient to justify continued club ownership. The aircraft was sold with only a small loss which leaves the club in a healthy financial position.

Can I introduce our hard working council. Gentlemen, please stand as I call your name. Chris Moore-Secretary; Greg Tabe- Treasurer & Membership; Chris Dearden- Website & Newsletter; Rob Wintulich- Meeting host and AV; Bob Scrymgour- Meals & Barry Windle. Please join me in a vote of thanks.

So as we move forward in 2020, my hope is that the club will continue to flourish and see new fliers and builders joining the club in the future.

Steve Nelson


Presidents Report – April 2020

How the world has changed in just 3 weeks since our last club meeting. Limitations imposed on our daily lives to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 has changed literally everything we previously took for granted.

The experts are still unsure how long this whole process will take to return to normal but in the meantime we have to get used to our “new normal”. The good news is that there are the first signs that the rate of spread is slowing down.

So I ask that you all stay safe, apply the guidelines, and we will all come through it.

Needless to say that formal club meetings and other club activities are suspended for the time being but that is not to say that you cannot still keep in touch with each other by phone or the various video platforms.

We still have an AGM to conduct on April 8th to allow the club to continue to function. This will be a purely administrative meeting. Fortunately, all the current councilors have agreed to stand again and there have been no new nominations received so the process for re-election is simple. Because of the latest limits imposed on group sizes I can no longer allow members to attend the meeting in person. You can of course still have your say by submitting a proxy to the club secretary.

As of yesterday only 3 proxies had been received so it is imperative that all members make their best effort to submit a proxy before the deadline of 1130am Wednesday 8th April, so that we reach a quorum.

Presidents Report, Treasurers Report and Accounts available via these links.

Download and print this Proxy Form. You then add your personal details, a mark in the box (for, against or abstain) for each item and submit it to the club secretary.

This can be done by scanning and emailing (cpmoore@internode.on.net) or by post. If all of that fails for some reason then sending a photograph of your proxy would be acceptable as long as it is legible. So please act on this email as soon as you receive it.

As there are no events or club activities to report on I suspect this will be the last Plane Paper you will receive for the time being. The club website is still available to check out any updates that may be posted there, so continue to monitor it.

Rest assured, when things return to normal the club council has a number of events planned and ready to implement.

 COVID free skies,


Cancelled – Michael Smith Lecture – Retracing the Great Air Race Flightpath

To mark the centenary of the Smith brothers arrival in Adelaide on 23 March, join Michael Smith, named Adventurer of the Year 2016 by Australian Geographic, as he entertains you with stories from his latest adventure where he retraced the original Great Air Race flight path.

Held at the State Library of South Australia, Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building (Ground floor) 6pm-7pm Monday 23 March. Details also on the Calendar.

This is a free lecture, but bookings are essential. See the State Library of South Australia for details and booking form.

RAAF Centenary Air Pilgrimage – seeking expressions of interest

The Red Thunder Centennial Air Pilgrimage to the Avalon Airshow 2021 is planned to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force and culminate with flying into Avalon Airshow 2021, the biggest Airshow Australia has ever held!

We’re looking for 100 aircraft, to celebrate 100 years, flown by pilots that are motivated to showcase Australian aviation through our country towns bearing significant military history. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly with like-minded aviation enthusiasts in celebration of this aviation milestone and to both showcase at and enjoy the Avalon Airshow 2021.

Current plans are to congregate on Monday 22nd of February and commence a pilgrimage through a series of towns, to arrive at Avalon (main) on Thursday the 25th of February and be on ‘static-display’ till the airshow’s end on Sunday the 28th of February 2021. Staging fields are yet to be confirmed and will be announced at the earliest opportunity.

To ensure your invitation to this very limited opportunity, please register your interest on the Red Thunder Website.  We look forward to bringing you further details of staging airfields and final commitment procedures, as they come to hand.

Presidents Report – March 2020

Last meeting we enjoyed a very interesting and enthusiastic speaker in antique aircraft owner Tim Brownridge. Tim owns a DH82 Tiger Moth and a Stinson SR9E Reliant.

After the talk Tim invited me to fly with him in his Stinson a few days later, which I very quickly accepted.

The following are my personal observations of flying a machine such as this. I met Tim at his hangar at Callington and the first thing I noticed about the Stinson is its size. This is no regular GA aircraft. It is LARGE. At 42 foot wingspan, 1816kg all up weight and a 350HP Wright Whirlwind 7 cylinder radial engine (same as used on the Southern Cross), it has a commanding presence. It has a very elegant double taper fabric covered Gull wing which is something never seen on today’s aircraft. You have to climb a ladder to get into the cabin and once seated I estimate you are sitting nearly 9 feet above the ground.

The interior is gorgeous. Plush burgundy leather seats and side panels, a simulated woodgrain instrument panel and circular wooden steering wheels, very reminiscent of the luxury motor vehicles of the same era (1937). It can carry 5 persons all up, plus a large baggage compartment and 400 litres of fuel. Cruise is a surprisingly fast 115 kts at 70 litres per hour fuel consumption. This puts the endurance just short of 6 hours and with that payload makes it a very capable aircraft. Given this design is 85 years old makes it exceptional.

It is a fairly conventional cockpit layout with several interesting exceptions. Heel brakes are used which are not often seen these days. The elevator trim is a rotary handle in the cabin ceiling. Electric engine start is by a foot operated switch on the floor between the rudder pedals. Fuel quantity gauges are in each wing root up by your ears like a Piper Cub. The magneto switches and the electric flap switch are either side of the throttle and look very similar. Tim has confessed to accidentally turning off the engine when intending to lower the flaps! There is also a very nifty 24 hour analogue clock which takes a bit familiarity to interpret. And when it gets hot the cabin windows can be wound down, just like in a car!

Aircraft handling is entirely conventional albeit a little heavy as one would expect of an aircraft this size. I expected a wing drop during the stall, given the high taper of the wingtips. Yet it was very benign with only the tiniest of right wing drop. Visibility into turns is somewhat restricted given the high wing and the leading edge out in front of the pilot. It felt very solid and stable on approach at 70kts and touchdown was soft given the forgiving nature of the undercarriage design. The flare is commenced earlier than normal GA aircraft remembering how high you are seated above the ground. The only “gotcha” is the tailwheel. It is fully castoring and not lockable so you have to be on your rudder pedals quickly after landing to keep it straight, particularly in a crosswind.

Overall, a delightful experience which I feel very privileged to have had. Thanks Tim.

Last week we had about 15 turn up at Lyndon Wright’s workshop in McClaren Vale to view his dual projects of a Savannah LSA and a 1968 Porsche 911 restoration. Both were very nicely done, a testament to Lyndon’s engineering skills. Both projects are nearing completion but the Savannah has been taking a back seat for the last 18 months as Lyndon concentrates on getting the Porsche on the road first. He has a thing about older German technology so he has chosen to paint the Savannah to represent a WW2 era German observation plane.

At this months meeting we have as our speaker Captain Steve Burnard. Steve is recently retired from a long career with Dragonair (now known as Cathay Dragon) in Hong Kong. The bulk of his flying would have been from Hong Kong into various mainland Chinese airports which from experience I know were always interesting and challenging. He also operated into Kathmandu in Nepal which is renowned as one of the worlds more difficult jet airports. Come and hear his reminiscences entitled “Cathay Dragon Tales”.

Blue Skies,


Experience is the knowledge that enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.