Tuesday, 27 March 2007


Day of Stinson maintenance, clothes washing and Blogspot updating.

So here you all go – friends and rely’s I am up to date at last !

NOW if you’ve got to here – you’ll have to wait for more. Til we travel again.

He he he he


DAY 12 - 27th MARCH - TYABB




Vick - Chief Editor


2nd Prize Winner Lara Camping ground

Up and about early. We had to pack the camper up today. Get the battery from the Stinson charged – it had gone flat from hours of opening the locker door, book a departure time and attend the awards ceremony at 9.30 am.

Kev was keen to get started – not so Sar and I. It was still cold outside and the showers were not hot again. Well last day at tent city Lara. We were looking forward to the comfort and hospitality of Peter & Irene Bernardi’s house at Tyabb airfield.

We took our trophy to show Ernie Bickford – an essential worker and instrumental in getting our locker door lock repaired prior to public day. We took photos with him and all his helpers. They had been hopeful for us and were very happy.

They gave us a ladder to display our trophy on and after the battery charger was quickly organized, we headed off to the ceremony.

I could not believe the number of categories that had been judged, from ultralights, homebuilts, commercial builds, helicopters, vintage, metal, composite and antique craft.

Our Trophy Bag Plaque and Cleaning Kit Best Overall Vintage Aircraft

We had won the Best Overall Vintage Aircraft and received a beautiful plaque together with a Flight Jacket cleaning kit.

As well as the trophy awarded the previous evening – as part of the Concourse Award we were given more prizes. A huge Canvas bag, Drizabone coat, long sleeved shirts, drink bottles, caps and thermos all donated by Shell. Then it was announced that part of the prize was also 2 Gold Pass tickets to Wanaka Airshow in New Zealand. Yippee…

The remainder of the day was at Lady Bird, talking to the public and watching the spectacular air displays. The hours passed and finally we were organized to depart with Bob Attwater in the Ryan to Tyabb for the evening.

Due to the overwhelming amount of luggage we had accumulated it was suggested that maybe Sarah could take the empty seat in the Ryan for the flight – leaving us to pack all the gear on the back seat as well as in the locker. All the officials, ground crew etc were so helpful – we couldn’t have been more thankful for such great volunteers.

A wonderful flight was had by all with Sarah freezing in the front of the Ryan with Peter leading in his Chippi RSK – making wise cracks on the way – and us formating on them with the Bird. It was a weird feeling to be so close to other aircraft and they looked so small.

Sarah in Ryan VH-RPT with Bob Attwater

After a few arrivals at Tyabb – damn that sink over the road – we always get our money’s worth when there is an audience – we taxied to Peter’s hangar at the southern end. What a great hangar set-up. Irene came down to welcome us and after unpacking all the gear we moved inside to Peter and Irene’s spacious lovely new house. The evening was enjoyed with much aeroplane talk and reminiscing about old times, (Peter & Bob had visited us 11 years ago to attend a Langley Park Fly-In). Irene had prepared a lovely meal and Bob’s wife Helen joined us and provided fresh fruit salad.

Ah. A real bed (with electric blanket) in a real room with walls and a real toilet and a real bathroom and lights and ….Oh shut up Vick you do go on!!


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.

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.