Sunday, 17 April 2011

April 15 – Goulburn to Lustkintyre, Maitland

 Luckily for the us, the day dawned bright and clear so we were able to meet Kim Jones at the airport prior to our departure as planned.

Margaret and I did a spot of shopping before heading out to the airport where Kevin and Dick had already untied and packed the Stinson.  Marg said her goodbyes as she had her regular swimercise class on Friday mornings.

After a quick briefing and refueling we watched Kim take off in his Piper Cub Vagabond VH-KIM – a newly built, neat and clean Cub with beige colouring.
Kim Jones in VH-KIM

Cloud from fire smoke
Cliffs to coast
We said our sad farewells to Dick – he is such a true friend and aviator and he and Kev have so much in common.  We took off, caught up to Kim and took as many photos of his Cub whilst he formated on us even though the air was quite lumpy over the hills.  After quite a few good shots (and some bad ones) we parted company and set our heading over Mittagong and past Wooloongong with it’s breathtaking cliffs and then down to Stanwell Park on the beach where we had descended down to 1,000 feet to enter the Victor 1 Light Aircraft Lane – northbound up the Sydney beaches. 

Sydney city

Sydney icons
 Passing southhead and the entrance to Sydney harbour we tracked north along the coast past the beautiful city.  We were lucky to see most of the city in the gloom but the beaches were vast and clean. 

We passed Barrenjoi and the Entrance before tracking inland for Luskintyre.

Arriving over Luskintyre we saw a number of Tigers on the beautifully manicured airfield and managed a lovely three pointer to finish a most interesting flight of only 1hr and 45 minutes from Goulburn.
Arriving at Luskintyre

Luskintyre is the home of the LuskinTigers – a group of dedicated Tiger Moth owners including Kevin Weldon’s Museum and hangar and a Tiger restoration workshop run by Matt.  Matt has taken over the Tiger Restoration from Ray Windred who retired due to ill health 2 years ago.  He is a dynamic young LAME who is working hard to improve the business and has completed 8 Tigers in his first 2 years. 

Nancy Bird Walton Tower

There are at least 10 Tigers that fly from there as well as the restorations in progress.  New to the cluster of buildings is the Lady Bird Walton Memorial Tower dedicated to the wonderful aviatrix, who’s ashes were spread at this airfield after her death.

Later that afternoon Kevin Weldon arrived in his beautiful 6 seater jet helicopter while Geoff Kubank arrived by car.  We were welcomed into the club house by Vince with freshly made cappuccinos and settled in easily to this wonderful environment.  We were lucky to have flown in the morning as the weather was closing in and showers commenced.

We were dragged off to the Lochinvar Hotel for a pub meal with Kevin Weldon, Geoff K and Matt.  We had an enjoyable evening listening to Kevin W’s funny and tall stories blended with aviation conversation with Matt and Geoff.

As everyone else had imbibed too much wine or beer it was left up to me to drive home in the rain.  It was a successful trip with four “back-seat” pilots telling me what to do – we all arrived home safely.

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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.