Wednesday, 9 May 2007


Temora Museum

Well life in a motel was getting routine. You get up shower, make a cuppa before or after, then wait for the breakfast to arrive at your door. I could get use to it!

Once again the plan was for Kev to return to the airfield to work on the oil leaks on the gaskets on Lady Bird’s push rods. He got a lift to the field from the motel owners at about 8.30 whilst Sarah and I finished tidying up and packing.

We stored our bags in the room and walked into Temora township which was only 2 blocks. Temora is a 100 year old town with very wide streets with deep gutters and drains. Many of the original buildings are still used as shops and all are in good repair. The town was busy and seems to be flourishing. Sarah and I browsed along shop fronts finding a few sales to purchase gifts for friends and clothes for Sarah (of course). We needed to purchase araldite for Kev and some fresh fruit and snacks for the next flight legs.

Meanwhile back at Temora’s Aviation Museum hangar Kev had degreased, thoroughly cleaned the suspected oil leak areas in preparation for overlaying the oil leak area with the araldite in the hope of stopping the leaks.

We met up again at the hangar where Kevin was waiting for the araldite. The chief engineer and he were jointly evaluating the situation and Kev proceeded to overlay multiple mixes of araldite to the offending areas.

Sarah and I spent the time having a guided tour through the Museum’s new project. The latest restoration of a jet engined "……………….."(oops forgotten) was in an advanced condition with all fuselage parts fitted and the wings ready for attaching. The engine was donated from a major airline and is encased ready for installation. They plan to have it flying by March 2008. The remainder of the museum is a room containing detailed information about flying aces, the Temora FTS and a relief of what the airfield would have looked like during the war. The main showcase of this museum is all the flying exhibits. In the main hangar were a MK XVI Spitfire, Bird Dog, Wirraway, Aero Cobra, Tiger Moth, Buffalo, Mitchell, Canberra and a Ryan STM 52. The theme of this Museum, privately owned by David Lowry, is that all aircraft have had something to do with active service with the Australian Air Force. Very impressive.

The repair all finished we flew out into the mid morning air. Once again facing miles of smoke haze from burning off visibility was restricted to 2 km. This leg was only a short flight to Wangaratta – previous home (for 20+ years) of Lady Bird when she was VH-CWM. Over the top we could see the huge domed hangar of Drage Airworld with a DC3 VH-AES parked out the front. We landed on the huge runway and taxied to the front of the hangar.

Drage Airworld Hangar Wangaratta

It is now fully utilized as a restoration business with multiple aircraft being worked upon simultaneously. They employ 22 LAME’s and were restoring an Aero Cobra, 2 Kitty Hawks, a P38 Lightening, a Corsair and a Mitchell amongst others.

We awaited the arrival of Graham and Dawn Whitehead (cousins of Kev’s) and they collected us all up and drove us to their lovely 40 acres property on the western side of town. Their home was a dream design and a pleasure to stay in. They had researched extensively their choices for everything for this house prior to building it. And it showed, from the timber cupboards and marble bench tops in the kitchen, roof line, upstairs room, guest bathroom to the decorator items and paintings it was truly a part of their family.
Us with Graham, Dawn, Meagan and Jessica

We relaxed over coffee chatting with Jessica and Meagen, whilst Dawn and Graham attended to business. A lovely home cooked evening meal followed with much lively conversation and laughter.

We heard from Ken at the Wangaratta Aero Club that Joe Drage would come out to the airport the next morning to see Lady Bird in her new livery.

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.