Tuesday, 27 March 2007


Well wouldn’t you know it? Overnight – just as forecast – it rained! And rained. And rained. Well what was worse – hot 38 degree day with 35 knot winds or mud?

We were wrapt. It meant that Lady Bird would have the dirt and dust washed off her. The surrounding grounds would be dust free and we could chamois her down.

A quick fairly lazy breaky and to the field by 9.00 am. Bit colder than we expected but what the heck. We were dressed in our cleaning clobber so we wiped, and chamoised and rubbed and cleaned windows and leather and shook out mats and polished chrome until she shone like a new pin.

Kev had borrowed a ladder and 2 buckets of water to rinse our cloths. We were quite cold as it only got to about 18 degrees but by 10.30am it was all done. Back to the camper for a quick change – warm up cuppa and then back to Lady for the 1st Public day.

We spent the day answering questions and keeping her clear for the hundreds of photos that were taken. The interest in her was overwhelming. We took occasional short walks to check out other aircraft and stalls etc. There were so many I couldn’t name.

We were invited to the Exxon Mobil Aviation chalet for lunch which was a superb meal served in comfort and style. We met Mobil refuellers from Moorabin as well as highly regarded customers from Lillydale. Three customer service staff from Bangkok were also in attendance and were very interesting people to chat with. They were fascinated by our cross country journey in our “little” craft to attend an airshow. They later visited us at Lady and were very impressed with her. Yogendra was a great host and obviously loved the week of entertaining his staff and customers.

Later that day Jenny Houghton (an ex W.A. friend) whizzed by in a cart and invited us for a coffee at the Official Chalet. We were met and enjoyed the company of many officials – and watched the airshow in greater comfort behind glass windows. It was so nice to be out of the wind.

We were then rushed off with Bob from the Aviation Historical Restoration Society who gave us a guided tour of “Connie”, the Super Constellation, the Catalina and the P2V Neptune.

What a great tour. We enjoyed it.

At 5.30 pm we were collected by Craig and Scott Taberner who were on the organizing board for the Antique Aeroplane Society and Sports Aeroplane Clubs. They were adamant that we attended the evenings Awards Ceremony.

The awards were given to military aircraft, their crews, pilots in command of airshow machines from Australia, U.K., Singapore as well as USA. So many countries were represented at this huge airshow.

The time for the Civil Aircraft Concourse D’elegance was growing near. Sarah was getting nervous in case we had to go up in front of all the people. I assured her that Dad only would have to go. I didn’t realize the importance of the evening until it was announced that the Concourse awarded this night would be the Grand Champion of all Aircraft judged at the Show. All category awards would be given on Sunday morning at the EAA tent.

A third runner up was announced, then a second runner up (Richard Shaw’s 1933 Gere Sport). Oh well I thought – we must have won a sub-category to be asked here. Then they said it
“KEVIN BAILEY’S 1935 STINSON RELIANT GULLWING” “Unanimously voted by the 6 judges as an outstanding restoration - even though there was 1 unmatched screw head!???”

Well we nearly fell out of our chairs as Kev collected the prize – had his photo taken with Ian Honnery – Chairman Airshows Committee and General “Chuck” Yaeger.

What an honour!!

All those meticulous hours of blood sweat and tears. Thanks Mark and Phil – we couldn’t have done it without you.

Thanks to all our friends and neighbours who have been there to move and carry wings, fuselage etc and just be so helpful all the time.

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Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL

Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

About Us

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.