Sixteen pilots took to the skies for the Victorian Aerobatic Championships at Tocumwal last Thursday.February 26, 2014 4:38am
The Victorian Aerobatic Championships at Tocumwal got off to a flying start last Thursday, with 16 pilots taking to the skies for the three-day daredevil display.
The Murray Border Flying Club hosted the championships, held Thursday to Saturday, with competitors from Queensland, Victoria, NSW and South Australia flocking to the Murray River town for the event.
The championships have been held in Tocumwal for three consecutive years and club secretary Owen Peake said the 2014 event was ‘‘very successful’’ with approximately 60 people attending each day.
‘‘We’re doing our best to ensure they visit us again for the next Victorian Championships and the National Championships,’’ he said.
‘‘These events are very important to our club as fundraisers. We provide catering for evening meals and host a presentation dinner on Saturday night, with any proceeds going back into our facilities at the terminal building.
‘‘Over the last 12 months, with some assistance from the Berrigan Shire, we have installed three air conditioning units, restored the concrete paving around the terminal, replaced all of the chairs in the function room, along with many other small improvements.
‘‘Events like the Aerobatic Championships are very important to the general community of Tocumwal as well with extra money being spent in the town.’’
Mr Peake said the championships also brought a number of pilots with extensive careers and interesting tales to share.
‘‘We had a visit from a gentleman, Fred Hendy, who learnt to fly at the Murray Border club in 1964,’’ he said.
‘‘Fred is now 89 years of age and well remembers his first instructor Bob Barry, an ex-RAAF World War II pilot.
‘‘He learnt in a Victa Airtourer [aircraft] and went on to fly Cessna and Piper aircraft. He was farming for 70 years and enjoyed flying from his brother’s airstrip at Naring just south of the Murray River.’’
At the championships, Fred was re-acquainted with a CT4 aircraft, similar to the Victa Airtourer he learnt to fly in 1964.
Fred’s nephew Rob Hendy has a Rockwell Commander aircraft at Tocumwal aerodrome.
Sydney-siders Peter Townsend and Cass Moeller flew their bi-wing Pitts Special S2C aircraft at the event.
‘‘Cass is a commercial aerobatic pilot, co-director of the Australian Aerobatic Academy and a qualified formation pilot,’’ Mr Peake said.
‘‘She has a broad range of experience in general aviation and airline flight operations and holds degrees in Aeronautical Engineering & Commerce from the University of Sydney.
‘‘Peter is the Chief Flying Instructor, Chief Pilot and co-director of the Academy.
‘‘He has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, having learned and applied his skills at the Sydney Aerobatic School, where he was an aerobatic charter pilot and flight instructor for a number of years.
‘‘Peter holds a Bachelor of Aviation (Operations Management) from the University of NSW and has flown aircraft ranging from gliders to corporate jets.’’
A car and truck have collided at Barmah-Shepparton Rd in Bunbartha near Medland Rd. Both lanes are closed and people are asked to avoid the area.
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
THREE words were chanted in unison at Hopwood Gardens, Echuca on Thursday night — bring them here.
TRUCKS, cars and vintage machinery took over Rochester Recreation Reserve on Tuesday last week.
KYABRAM’S Margaret and Leonard Flint have come a long way since meeting in the early 1950s.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
YOU probably wouldn’t expect to find an intensive care nurse running an award winning hotel and brewery, but that’s exactly what you will find when you visit Tooborac.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
At 77 years of age, popular local golfer Paul ‘Tango’ has claimed his second hole-in-one.
Tuesday, August 16
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