Wow!! Two whole days of unparalleled aviation magic. Blue skies. Deep blue skies literally filled with historical airplanes, spanning the entire era of powered flight. WWI replica's sitting right alongside absolute classic aircraft from the 20's and 30's. Military aircraft from the dark days of WW2, the Eastern Block and Asian conflict, as well as modern day general aviation aircraft for unlimited racing, aerobatics and sport flying. The RAAF C-17A Globemaster was a spectacular and fitting final curtain for the airshow.

People!! With upwards of 10,000 visitors to the airfield, everywhere you looked families were enjoying the warm winter weather, the air display, military re-enactors, classic cars and military vehicles.There's no doubt that by any measure the inaugural Brisbane Valley Airshow was a fantastic success, enjoyed and supported by pilots, aviation enthusiasts and the general public alike.

A big "well-done" to all who made it happen!!

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Classic Wings coverage of the Brisbane Valley Airshow 2016

Classic Wings is a bi-monthly publication for pilots, restorers and lovers of old aircraft worldwide, and is the official magazine of both the New Zealand & Australian Warbirds Associations.

Graham Orphen the editor of Classic Wings attended the Brisbane Valley Airshow and published a great feature story in Issue 102.

Brisbane Valley Airshow - RAAus Sport Pilot Magazine Coverage.

The October Edition of Recreational Aviation Australia's Sport Pilot Magazine featured a great report of the Brisbane Valley Airshow, written and photographed by Alan Betteridge.
Click here to download the report.

The Brisbane Valley Airshow hit the front page of the Gatton Star

With so many families from the Brisbane Valley and surrounding areas attending the airshow, it was great to see that we hit the front page of the local newspaper with a double spread of photographs and a full report within.
Click here to read the newspaper.

Air Display Director's Report

by James Crockett.

Well we did it. I'm pleased to report that the inaugural Brisbane Valley Airshow was a massive success. Built on the hard work done in creating the Festival of Flight, the All-In Fly-In and the Gathering of the Eagles, The Brisbane Valley Airshow was keenly taken up by the flying community, the public from all over Southeast Queensland and further afield. Clearly we have tested the water and as expected we have highlighted that the broader community will support this type of event going forward.

The air display itself was as planned, safe, relaxed and a professional event that showcased Watts Bridge and assets from our region. We had one or two minor issues with non air-display aircraft attempting to enter or depart Watts Bridge during the air display, however on a whole it ran very well. CASA also commented on the event in a very positive way and are looking forward to assisting us again in the future.

The airshow saw many aircraft participate in the event and even more fly in. Over 225 aircraft flew in for the weekend.

Attributing numbers to the inbound motor vehicles was not as easy. Cars arrived and departed throughout both days. At the lunch break on Saturday an aerial photo indicated around 2000 motorcars and 200 campers.

Clearly the image also shows cars arriving and departing. Unfortunately without a dedicated gate counter we will never know the exact number. Total ticket sales were over 7500. This number included a little over 1000 family tickets. From these figures alone we are confident that we saw north of 10500 people over the weekend. Considering the additional free entry of;

  • Kids below 12 years of age.
  • Vintage and classic cars.
  • Members and volunteers.
  • Airshow participants.
  • People bypassing tickets
  • Flying in.
  • Walking through.
  • Driving through.

Estimates are between 12000-14000 people attended the Brisbane Valley Airshow. The final profit for the event will settle between $114,000 and $110,000. Profit and loss will appear in the minutes to be published soon.

I would like to highlight the hard work and months of sleepless nights endured by the main stakeholders, the sub committee, volunteers, aircraft owners, pilots and everyone that made the Brisbane Valley Airshow a success

One member in particular who deservers extra recognition is Phillip Cooper. As the airshow organiser, he took on a very complex task. Phillip had the foresight to take many items to the BoM that some would no doubt back down on. He believed in the Brisbane Valley Airshow's success from its inception. This together with his overall management and his resolve secured the airshow into the history books of WBMA, as the largest and most profitable event ever held.

Fundamental to the success of the Brisbane Valley Airshow was the commitment and dedication of the volunteers before during and after the airshow. Our volunteers spent every waking hour over the weekend, making sure the event run as it did and was a success. They didn't have time to rest, or enjoy the air displays as many did. Given the overall lower than anticipated number of volunteers who participated, it's a credit to them, how much they achieved. The total number of volunteers was unfortunately low and as a group it is one area we will need to improve on.

WBMA recognizes the Vintage, Sports, Warbird and Aviation Communities

The greater WBMA membership should also recognize the local Vintage, Sports, Warbird and Aviation community. Each aircraft owner and pilot volunteered not only their wonderful assets for us to marvel, but also their professionalism and generosity. Generally speaking as an airshow pilot myself, displaying aircraft usually requires some sort of remuneration. Clearly the local aviation community got behind this event and have helped Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield, secure it future as a hub for local recreational aviation.

One of the main reasons we saw such high number attend at the airshow was the Advertising and Marketing package that was put together by Brad Bishopp the CEO and owner of Bishopp Outdoor Advertising. Brad is a keen aviator, with a growing collection of aircraft including the P-51D Mustang. As a member of WBMA he took on the roll under the sub committee to ensure the marketing and advertising was completed to a high standard. Bishopp Outdoor Advertising donated over $20,000 in free advertising via the 96.5 Family Radio package. They also donated free airtime on their digital billboard in Fortitude Valley. We obviously also had the free use of his assets during the air display. The Watts Bridge community should thank Brad, next time you see him floating around the airfield.

So in the wrap up many positives have come from this event. WBMA now has an asset that can and will create an ongoing income. I know many people want to know when we will hold the next airshow. This decision lies with you the general membership. We will in the coming weeks ask this question.

Graham Orphen the editor of Classic Wings recently wrote "An Unparalleled Success" "If this is anything to go by, there will be much to look forward to in the future as the show matures and grows. Our congratulations to everyone involved in this very successful inaugural event"

Photo Gallery

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This year we feature the photographic skills of Aussie Aircraft Spotters, Steve Bass, Rob Crutcher, Margaret Dahl, Mitch Esler, Tom Fisher, Jeff Fitzpatrick, Peter Freeman, Mark Greenmantle, Kevin Litchfield, Mal Mc Kenzie, Liam Quinlan, QVAG, Jake Single, Mitch Vayro and Scott Williamson who have generously allowed Watts Bridge to feature their creative work on the website.
Hover over or click the thumbnail images for photographer credits.

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PO Box 98, Toogoolawah, Queensland, 4313, Australia

Phone: 0427 699 239