The morning dawned bright and clear but tinged with sadness as the two cousins who had just met each other had to leave.
Up on the hill at Lady Bird we packed the luggage with the usual efficiency required while photographs were snapped in the dozens. At final time for departure the two girls clung to each other. Ella not realizing the occasion remained all smiles, as did Sarah on the outside until we finally roared into the morning air and she broke down and cried. I could do little to comfort her.
We flew down over the valley passing Tony Green’s very impressive property with it’s private airstrip, pools and multiple storied houses. We did an orbit over the place just for a good look and then continued out to the coast. Our next port of call was to be Caboulture to meet Colin and Lyn Newlove and to see their Stinson Reliant SR9E.
Flying around Noosa Heads and along the beaches and then into Caboulture airfield. We taxied in around the end buildings to see the Stinson proudly parked out in the sunshine. Wow it was awesome to see another Reliant. She was painted red and cream in the reverse of our scheme. We parked Lady Bird along side and piled out to meet Colin and Lyn. They took us off to the local pub where we enjoyed a seafood platter and chatted long about flying and restoration.
Their Stinson has a USA history, having been brought into Australia some time ago and they purchased it from Rob Black. It was great to compare the differences being wrap around windscreen, wind down quarter window and minor differences in seat types etc. She was undergoing some repairs on belly and undercarriage skins therefore not flying. They have it up for sale however as both Newloves consider themselves the “custodians” of their aircraft and feel it should go to another home who feel the same. They gave us a block mounted aerial photo of VH-UXL in her CWM days. It was great – the first flying shot we have of her from her past.
Back past the Gold Coast again – this time in full sun shine – certainly looked more impressive. The Seaworld centre looked very inviting and all the water-ways were very blue and tropical. We tracked for Coffs Harbour airfield and made an arrival over the beaches onto the short strip. Upon arrival we were surprised to see the Hempel unknown aircraft type parked on the grass. We had just missed an airshow that weekend and were advised that quite a number of aircraft had made it successful. Our attendance would have been very welcome. We parked in front of the local helicopter joy ride business and tied her down. Tracey took us into town and found us a motel to stay in for the night.
The Sheridans on Prince was a great motel – our apartment had two separate bedrooms, kitchen/lounge area with separate bathroom and even a laundry only for $95.00 per night. As I wasn’t feeling very well I went to bed early whilst Kev and Sarah made themselves a light dinner.