French Airman Maurice Guillaux made the flight from Melbourne to Sydney on July 12, 1914.MONIQIUE FREER July 16, 2014 7:30am
A fleet of vintage aircraft descended on Benalla on Saturday in a celebration of the first airmail flight in Australia.
The historic re-enactment was to celebrate 100 years since French airman Maurice Guillaux first made the flight between Melbourne and Sydney on July 12, 1914.
It was the longest flight in the world at that time, with an 88
The re-enactment began at Essendon Airport on Saturday morning, before touching down at Mangalore Airport.
The mail load was handed from the Pacific Aerospace CT-4 to Benalla pilot Mark Carr’s Winjeel VH-CZE and both flew on to Benalla Airport, where they were joined by a Dragon Rapide from the 1930s.
Although Benalla was not on the original airmail flight path, Benalla Aviation Museum president Terry Kay said they were included in the commemoration because of Mr Carr’s involvement.
A Jabiru 230, Cessna 182 VH-TZX and Cessna 177B VH-WNM participated in the entire three-day event, while Mr Carr’s Winjeel, the Pacific Aerospace CT-4 and Dragon Rapide joined in for various legs of the journey.
Benalla Aviation Museum secretary John Currie said the event was terrific for Benalla.
‘‘I think from the town’s point of view it’s an absolutely fantastic thing,’’ Mr Currie said.
‘‘It’s a centenary of aviation event. It’s been organised to be that way because we’ve got a pretty vibrant airfield operating here with the museum and the gliding club.’’
Pilots from the Gliding Club of Victoria also joined the re-enactment, carrying mail cargoes to Wangaratta for the following leg.
The Benalla Aviation Museum commemorated the day with a special event for vintage aircraft enthusiasts, and Benalla Rural City councillors Peter Davis and Margaret Richards presented each pilot with a memento of the town.
The special mail delivery was delivered to Powerhouse Museum in Sydney on Monday as centrepiece of a reception held to commemorate Bastille Day, conducted by the French Consul-General M Eric Berti.
Other mail loads being carried include a replica of original mail, 1785 numbered postcards, token air freight Madura Tea and Murray Valley Fruit Juice, and other items related to the French companies who had sponsored the flight.
Shepparton police pursued two youths on foot near Waters Rd this afternoon.
The Mulwala Lions took a huge step forward in the race for the Murray League title with a hard fought, low scoring, 15 point win, against the fancied Barooga outfit, in near perfect conditions at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
Chelsea Campbell is excited with her new business venture, after purchasing Carol Taylor’s hairdressing salon in Hogan St.
THE Echuca-Moama Country Music Festival will kick off next week at Moama RSL with three days of entertainment under the one roof.
NATIONAL tree day came early for Rochester Secondary College with 16 students planting 350 trees in little more than an hour on Thursday.
Goulburn Valley Water, in consultation with the Department of Health & Human Services, has lifted the Boil Water Notice for the township of Tongala.
Australian Army Cadets unit keeps winning awards.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
HEATHCOTE Park Raceway was back in action on Sunday with a surprise for those expecting owner Russell Clarke to be enjoying his retirement.
Dozens of birds of all shapes and sizes flew the coop as Cobram hosted its inaugural poultry auction last Sunday.
Neil Buckley has been inducted as president of the Deniliquin Lions for the next 12 months.
Superior Seed Co ran a successful Winter Cropping Field Day at Deniliquin last week.
The Benalla Giants came out winners in both the under-14s and under-16s against the Benalla Bulldogs on the weekend.
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