For those of you keeping an eye on the media it would be hard not to notice last week’s celebrations of the RAAF Centenary. There have been several events already this year and more to come throughout this year but the main celebration occurred in Canberra on March 31st under clear blue skies.
There was a large parade on the lawns of Yarralumla where all the current RAAF units’ colours (flags) were displayed. Her Majesty the Queen saw fit to award the RAAF a new Queen’s Colour to mark the centenary. This is only the third time this has happened during her reign, the last time being 1986.
Following the parade there was a mass fly past of past and current RAAF aircraft, totalling some 60 in number. HARS and Temora aviation museums contributed heavily to ensure a large representation of older types previously operated by the RAAF. This included The Hudson, Boomerang, Wirraway, Spitfire, Mustang, Kittyhawk, DC3, Neptune, Caribou, Iroquois and Catalina. The fly past culminated in a full display by the Roulettes, seen for the first time over Canberra in their new Pilatus PC-21s.
Closer to home in Adelaide, a smaller, more intimate wreath laying ceremony at the North Terrace Cenotaph to honour those RAAF personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The flyover at exactly 11am was made by a P-8 Poseidon and a Pilatus PC-21. They then went on to fly over former South Australian RAAF bases that are no more. This included Malalla, Port Pirie, Gawler and Victor Harbour.
I understand we had a good turnout to Ian Pearce’s RV14 workshop visit at Goolwa last month. I was not able to attend and do hope to see the aircraft soon. One of the unique features is that the airframe has been vinyl wrapped, not painted. There was extra activity on the airfield that day as owner, Geoff Eastwood’s 80th birthday was celebrated.
I was able to get to the AAAA flyin at Temora on 26th to 28th March. I had hoped to go in my Chipmunk but had to settle for the non-antique RV7A instead. Having been postponed several times and then cancelled in 2020 due COVID this one almost didn’t go ahead either, due to heavy rains on the east coast during the days leading up to the event, leaving the grassed parking areas and unsealed runways sodden. Everything did dry out just in time for the event to go ahead under perfect weather but numbers were down by about half as a lot of aircraft were unable to leave their still sodden home airfields. Grand Champion was the Dehavilland DH85 Leopard Moth VH-UUL owned by Bill Finlen from Queensland.
Don’t forget this weekend, Sunday 11th April is the Barossa Airshow at Rowland Flat. Details are on the Calendar here.
This looks like being the only big aviation event in SA this year as I have just been advised that the Jamestown Airshow planned for October has been postponed until next year.
Our next meeting is our AGM. It is not too late to nominate for the council. I encourage as many as possible to attend meetings as we need a minimum of 30 diners to meet the minimum spend criteria required by the Public Schools Club. Any shortfall must be paid from the club’s coffers. Following the AGM we will hear from our guest Speaker Phil Parker giving us the “History of Kai Tak Airport Hong Kong”. Phil is well qualified to talk about Kai Tak as he was and Air Traffic controller in Hong Kong for 27 years of his 45 year career. Phil also has a Master’s degree in Aviation Management and holds a PPL. He is also an avid aviation photographer and has shot many spectacular aircraft photos from the ATC Tower at Kai Tak. It is sure to be an interesting talk.
A reminder that when you book your meals for the meeting it would greatly help our Treasurer Greg if you could prepay online as well.
There is no such thing as a natural born pilot- Chuck Yeager Test Pilot