After submitting my article on our Chev restoration, John asked me to write an article around flying.
So where to start? My first interest in flying came from reading Biggles books in primary school. We had a good library and I was a very keen reader. Later on while still in primary school I entered an essay competition resulting in a free flight at Tyabb. With the ongoing development at Tyabb it became a place of regular visits during my teenage years.
Marriage and a growing family lessened time spent around planes somewhat but as our sons grew up both also became interested in flight. One joined the Air League while we lived in NSW, and the other joined the Air Cadets at Tyabb when we moved back to Tyabb in 1990. One of his instructors owned a vintage Cessna 140 and would often take us flying. He later joined the Army and became a helicopter pilot and flew Blackhawks until a car accident unfortunately ended his flying career.
As most of you are aware, Kaye and I travel extensively in our caravans, and we have whenever possible, taken flights in light planes to see the local attractions. Some of the places we have seen by air include Kalgoorlie, Rockhampton, Fraser Island and Merimbula. The flight on Fraser Island took off and landed from the Ocean beach. We were also doing a tour in an all wheel drive coach and the signs all along the beach showed aeroplanes landing. It was quite strange after the flight to see four wheel drives driving along the beach with a plane following it and preparing to land.
We have also taken helicopter flights at Bright, Philip Island and Geelong. For Christmas 2012 our family gave us a dinner flight on a DC3 out of Essendon airport. We flew down the bay, circled over Geelong and then circled over Albert Park and the city before landing back at Essendon. It was an awesome night out.
Two of my most memorable flights have been presents from family. For one birthday, the whole family chipped in and bought me a flight in a Trojan T28 from Tyabb. Club members who attended the Airfield run will have seen this in the hangar. Several years later Kaye bought me a flight in a Nanchung CJ5 from Bendigo.
Coincidentally for a long time Brock supporter, the rego on this was 05. This flight lasted for 30 minutes and consisted of lots of aerobatics. I even got to fly it for about 10 minutes.
We have been regular attendees at the International air show at Avalon. The planes on display and flying there range from replica WW1 planes through to the latest commercial and armed forces planes and helicopters.
The air show is held every two years and offers a night show on Friday, and all day shows on Saturday and Sunday.
In 2018 I entered some photos in a competition to raise funds for the RFDS. One of my photos won its category and I was awarded a flight in a Tiger Moth over the Yarra Valley. We also got some photos of our Chev with a scaled P51 Mustang running a 350 Chev motor.
For the last air show in 2019 I was invited by a neighbour to fly over to Avalon from Tyabb in a Piper Chieftain. This is a twin engine 10 seater. It was a great experience and also bypassed the long queues
on the roads both arriving and leaving. There was a short wait when we left as there were lots of light planes in the auxiliary field. This day coincided with the paella evening at Alan and Ruth’s but a quick flight saw me back at Tyabb with ample time.
Tyabb Airfield also stage a biannual air show and as show by the photos from this year, we are fortunate to have a great view of it. We thoroughly enjoy the vision of regular flights from both later model trainers and all the vintage war birds based here.