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 ( 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.

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