|Dawn photo by Keith|
Sunday, 3 April 2011
March 30 Ballarat
I moved between the Austers and stopped at the Chipmunk owned by Murray who had won an award at the Temora function. He had a bubble on his Chippy that was made in WA and was exactly the same as on our Chippi. (Glen and Kevin purchased three when they were doing their restoration) I moved onto the Yaks – all very tall and streamlined but with large paddle prop blades. Past various other types and then had a good look at the Black and Yellow CT4 that had won Best Military. This unit was very clean, neat and tidy and really deserved its award.
I finished my walk just in time to tidy a last few things and then climb aboard ready for departure. Kev had been interviewed by a TV station WIN whilst I was out walking. This trip James, another photographer was joining us. We taxied out after the Dragon and Drover with the Stearman following behind us. We took off on runway 23 at 10.27. The sky was overcast with low cloud however the countryside below was picture card perfect. Almost English type paddock squares as far as the eye could see interspersed with hedges and irrigation canals. Once again the Stearman formated on us and James was able to get some lovely photos. We were also catching up with the Drover who was only achieving 86 knots against the strong headwind. So------ we overtook the Drover – great photo opportunity and then left her behind.
We finally arrived at Ballarat at 12.10pm local time to a light shower on the windscreen. We landed behind the Dragon and taxied up past PC9’s to park on the tarmac out from the Aero Club. A huge crowd of about 1000 people were there to see the arrivals and bus loads of school children were arriving constantly. About 3,500 school children were given the opportunity to view all the aircraft as well as watch the Roulettes do their amazing aerobatic display over head. The weather was bitterly cold but we were well received and fed in a hangar out of the cold wind. We caught up with Jim and Jenny Wickham who had dropped a friend at Ballarat to join the pilgrimage.
We caught the bus into town to book into our hotel and then go into Ballarat for some sightseeing.