Spring has arrived. How can I tell? Because my aircraft windscreen is covered in bugs. That’s why our aircraft are called bug smashers!
Anyway, they wash off easily enough and now we can look forward to more aviation friendly weather in the coming months. Indeed the event calendar is filling up quickly will airshows and flyins advertised at Temora, Narromine, Tocumwal and Benalla to name few, as well as Jamestown which is much closer to home. Just have a look at the calendar on our club website.
Speaking of the Jamestown Airshow on October 23rd, the organisers would like to see more RAAUS and GA aircraft making up a static display where the general public can get a closer look at these aircraft. In the past these aircraft have been parked on the far side of the airfield well away from public viewing. This year they want to make them more visible. There has been some money provided for fuel costs if you are willing to have your aircraft in the static display. If you are interested then contact me for more information. I would also like to use to airshow as an opportunity to promote the Sport Aircraft Club as well. We are having some brochures made up and I need some club members to hand them out and answer questions near the static display. If you are able to do this then again let me know and I’m sure that l can get you free entry to the show.
Last week 4 aircraft with 10 intrepid aviators headed up to Wentworth NSW, on the Darling River for a short 2 night flyaway. On the way we met in Loxton for morning tea, hosted by club members David and Sherry Pocock. We also got to see David’s newly completed Vans RV-14A. I nearly didn’t make it to Wentworth as I suffered an alternator failure in my RV-7A about 5 minutes after leaving Loxton. Heading back to Loxton the burning smell disappeared and after turning all electrics off I assessed I had enough battery power to head back to Goolwa where I could affect repairs. After safely landing at Goolwa an inspection revealed the alternator was fine but the connecting terminal had sheared off due to metal fatigue. A quick repair and we were on our way back to Wentworth for the second time that day!
The motel had very comfortable rooms overlooking the river and dinner each night was at the Crown hotel just across the road. I hadn’t realised that Wentworth was built before Mildura and in its heyday was the busiest riverport on the system due to its location on the confluence of the Murray and the Darling rivers.
The following day we joined an escorted tour around the district learning about its history and industry. There is a lot more to see in the Sunraysia district than you might imagine. In addition to the river precinct we saw the old gaol, paddle steamers, a salt mine, a botanical garden and an orange grove, followed by an olive grove for lunch. After lunch we also saw an historic homestead and a gemstone mine.
We even saw a tribute to the humble Ferguson tractor in the main street of Wentworth. During the record floods of 1956 the tractors were used to build levee banks, without which the town would have been washed away.
If you have not been to Wentworth before I can recommend it as a good stopover. If you have not flown into the airport recently you will probably not recognise it as a massive amount of money has been spent on upgrading it. Fully sealed crossed runways and taxiways and an apron big enough for at least 50 aircraft! The investment has come from China as they plan to add a large pilot training school there.
For our September meeting our guest speaker is Mr Doug Friend. Doug is an aerospace engineer with over 30 years experience. His expertise is mainly in military helicopters, having worked on the Black Hawk, Tiger and MRH types. His talk will be about the development process of a new type working through the operational test and evaluation. If you have ever wondered how this is done then do come along.
A recession is when you have to tighten your belt. A depression is when you have no belt to tighten. When you’ve lost your trousers- you’re in the airline business! –Sir Adam Thompson, founder of British Caledonian Airways