Wednesday, 9 May 2007


Crescent Head Coffs Harbour

We didn’t really want to leave this great place there was plenty to do however we wanted to get closer to Echuca before the airshow in case weather caught up with us. The plan was to fly short legs via Luskintyre, Wangaratta then Echuca by midday Saturday.

We taxied into Coffs large shopping centre – posted off Mick’s phone charger that we had accidentally packed (Oops Sorry Mick). Bought groceries for our evening meal as the clubrooms at Luskintyre were self contained and no shops for miles around. Back at the airfield we packed (stuffed) all the extras into Lady and blasted off over the beaches down the coast until Taree where we stopped for fuel.

Taree Aero Club refuelling stop

At Taree Aero Club we met Brian (G?) a local aviator who was restoring a Tiger Moth. He kindly showed us through his project and spent time with us while we lunched in the beautifully maintained Aero Club. Although in his 70s, due to unfortunate circumstances he and his wife were parenting 6 of their grandchildren aged between 6 and 14.

After Taree we turned West via the same track we had flown out from Luskintyre only seven days before. It seemed so long ago – we had been so far and done so much.

The beauty of the valley astounded us once again with miles of fertile open farming country. We searched in vain for Ray Windred’s house – as he had given us directions – but to no avail. So we trundled onto the airfield and the familiar clubrooms. ]

It had only been a 2.5 hour flight so we were refreshed still – had plenty of time to tie down, unpack then wander around and chat to everyone. Once again Lady attracted plenty of attention from the Tiger enthusiasts.

On arrival Jeff Kubank’s freshly restored yellow Tiger was starting up for another local flight to complete his run-in schedule prior to the trip to Echuca for the airshow. His restoration standard was exceptional and he reported it was flying “hands off”.

Old Mobil Signs at Luskintyre

Kev also caught up with Ray Windred and took photos of the rocker hat clamping system which Ray uses to rejuvenate flattened hats. Ray is the ghuru of Tiger restoration on the east coast having some 22 projects in his hangar with considerable reserves of parts yet to be touched. He unfortunately has been suffering from colon cancer but after radical surgery, sporting a scar from chest to crutch, he has it under control and managed.

Jeff Kubank, Cookie and Vince came in for a drink and a chat for an hour before heading off home. I then cooked our chicken kebabs, served up with salad and we enjoyed our meal in the large club house main room. Then Ray Windred arrived for his “Tiger talk” and whilst Kev and he compared notes Sarah and I settled down to watch Mcleods Daughters – our favourite show that we hadn’t seen for a while.

Kevin had contacted Lance Fletcher to visit next morning. Lance was an old Tiger associate whom he had met in 1976 when Allen Wilson took him for a fly in VH-ADW at Maitland. Lance was the chief engineer of the Royal Newcastle Aero Club and kindly gave Kev a Dragon Rapide ferry tank which was then in turn, installed in VH-BAR (Tiger 66) as the long range fuel tank.

That evenings bedding plans was for Sar and I to be in one room as they were all bunks. Kev with his noisy Cpap machine was at the other end of the hall. Unfortunately I had chosen the lumpiest mattress and after tossing for 2 hours I changed rooms. I did sleep better however had to listen to the Kev Cpap fighting noises as usual.

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.