Presidents Report – November 2020

After being postponed for more than 8 weeks the workshop visit to Nigel Steel-Scott’s vintage car collection went ahead on October 31st. Heavy rain in the Adelaide hills in the days prior to the event threatened to turn Nigel’s property into a quagmire, but it dried out just enough so visitors were able to bring their cars in to park in the back paddock. Nigel’s property is set on 5 acres with a beautifully landscaped garden nestled in a valley.

Members admiring the amazingly smooth idle of the 1922 Rolls Royce.

He has several sheds housing no less than seven immaculately restored vehicles, most in running condition. The oldest being 116 years old the youngest a mere 66 years old! These old cars have a lot in common with aviation. They require aluminium and woodworking skills on the bodies and the old engines contain controls not seen in cars today, such as adjustable ignition timing and variable mixture control.

Nigel is a self-taught mechanic and engineer whose skills have brought cars of yesteryear back to better than new condition. Indeed his 1922 Rolls Royce tourer has the smoothest running engine I have ever heard! When asked how difficult was it to get parts for these old machines he simply stated “If I can’t buy it I just manufacture my own part!”. My personal favourite was a 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4. It looks modern even today.

At the conclusion of the tour the two dozen members and their partners enjoyed an afternoon tea on the patio looking over the garden.

Thank you Nigel and thanks to Barry Windle for organising this event.

You can see some photos of the cars and the garden in the Workshop Visits Gallery.

Nigel Steele-Scott in his lovely Hills garden
Matt Hall- 2019 Red Bull Air Race World Champion

Last Sunday I attended the Aviation chat day at the Aero Service Hangar at Parafield airport. This was sponsored by RAAUS and included various speakers from RAAUS, Oz Runways, and 2019 Red Bull Air Race world champion, Matt Hall.

Latest information from RAAUS includes:

  • 750kg weight increase. CASA will release the legislation documentation for public consultation imminently.
  • RAAUS expect to be Part 149 compliant and approved by years end.
  • Technical manual Version 8 is coming soon.
  • A print version of Sport Pilot magazine will return, to be included in the membership cost, published 3 times a year.
General view of the Aero Service hangar during the Aviation chat day

There were various aircraft displayed including an electric powered Pipestrel, Gyrocopters and Matt Hall’s P51 Mustang. Coffee and a BBQ lunch was generously provided by the sponsors. Turnout was reasonable but I would have expected more considering it was free, provided good up to date information and advice and had Matt Hall as the keynote speaker.

Oz Runways Ellen Franklin and Jake Beswick gave a presentation on the latest features of their app, to be released in the next week or so.

Matt Hall gave a fascinating talk about his aviation career. He came from humble beginnings growing up on a farm in the Illawarra district of NSW. He learnt to fly in a Drifter aged 15 and flew Gliders and the Tug Plane at the local Gliding Club by age 17. After seeing a RAAF fighter jet at an airshow he decided that was what he wanted to do. With a very strong work ethic he duxed his RAAF Pilot’s course thus ensuring a posting to F18s.

Matt spoke about success coming from having the right potential when the opportunities come along. There is also the need to keep improving your potential to expand your opportunities.

He had reached the top of the RAAF fighter pilots, being in charge of the Fighter Conversion School, before turning his sights to Air Racing. With no background in this sport he had to work very hard for 6 months to qualify. He became the first rookie to achieve a podium finish in his inaugural season. After 3 seasons finishing second he finally achieved world champion in the final race in the final season of Red Bull Air Racing in 2019.

For those thought air racing is finished Matt brought good news. The whole Air Racing franchise has been bought by another company who plan to start racing again with all the previous teams starting in Saudi Arabia in late 2021. So keep an eye out for that.

During the day I was able to network with other people in the industry, and as a result I have lined up some more interesting speakers for 2021. I will keep you posted as details are confirmed.

Coming up on November 25th is our Christmas Dinner at the Public Schools Club. We will enjoy a 3 course dinner and I have been told that all the Christmas decorations will be set up by then to get us in the Christmas spirit. There will be raffle prizes and fun with a quiz and a paper aeroplane contest to test your building and flying skills!
Payment needs to be made online to the club bank account before the event as we pay in advance. Cost is $60 per head. See details on the Calendar.

We have about 3 dozen guests signed up so far. The dining room is able to accommodate double that, so I would like to see a few more members and their partners coming along.

Don’t forget the 2020 Christmas Toy Run to Truro Flats Airfield on November 29th from 0900. Fly or drive. Just bring an unwrapped gift for a child. These will be distributed by Anglicare Gawler. There will be morning tea and a BBQ lunch from midday. Let’s get a good turnout for what may be the only flyin for 2020.

Keep your dairy open on December 13th for our final event of the year, the Club BBQ at Murray Bridge. I encourage to come along as profits from this event will go to RFDS.

Blue skies,

You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.