12th November 2011
It should come as no surprise that the Australian general aviation fleet of aircraft is ageing. CASA has recognized this and will be proposing changes to the way that maintenance and airworthiness issues are to be addressed. Prior to introducing their proposals, CASA's Mike Higgins and Dr Bob Holdsworth (pictured above) have been out on the road conducting industry seminars to better explain the situation.
Watts Bridge was fortunate in being able to host one of the seminars. Approximately 60 pilots and aircraft maintenance personnel were treated to an extremely informative (and at times worrying) presentation on the effects of ageing in aircraft.
Dr Bob wanted participants to take just one message away from the seminar, "Take A Closer Look" and after seeing photo's showing the effects of corrosion on aircraft structures, you can be sure this message was well understood. A sausage sizzle and the chance for one-on-one discussion concluded the day.Download the Seminar Presentation Notes
The presentation notes for the seminar are still available for download from the Watts Bridge Website. Even if you missed the seminar, the notes still contain valuable information on the effects of aircraft ageing.
The area between the south eastern side of Runway 03/21 and Pilot Officer Thorley Drive (the main entrance road) has been prone to poor drainage following prolonged periods of wet weather. Over the last few weeks extensive earthworks have been undertaken to put the situation right.
The mounds of earth and rubble along the entrance road have been gathered up in preparation for removal. Drainage pipes dating back to World War 2 has been repositioned. An earth drain has been constructed to drain water which formerly collected between the runway and the road to a new pipe drain which runs under the road and disperses to the model aircraft area.
About the only downside to all this activity is that the Yellow Billed Spponbills which used to go yabbie fishing in the now drained swampy area will have to fly a little further down the airfield for their meal.
[Click the small images for a full size photograph with caption.]
Hot off the press are the latest newsletters from Watts Bridge and the Queensland Ultralight Association.
Check-out heaps of photographs from the "Gathering of Eagles" and interesting snippets of information & gossip from around the field in Watts News. Click to view Watts News
The QUA October AGM saw a name change for this venerable homebase group. Introducing the Brisbane Valley Sport Aviation Club. Same people - same ideals - updated outlook. Read about it here!! Click to view Brisbane Valley Flyer
The Watts Bridge Events Calendar for 2012 has just been added to the website. Check out the aviation activities already planned for the next twelve months. Check back often to catch up on new events as they are announced.
16th October 2011
The Queensland Vintage Aeroplane Group Fly In Breakfasts are a real institution at Watts Bridge. It's a simple but highly effective idea. Hop in your (vintage) aeroplane, fly over to Watts Bridge and have a traditional "Pilot's Breakfast". Aircraft based on the field by tradition have to at least fly a circuit to qualify as having flown in. The whole thing is over by midday - but you have had a good excuse to go for a fly.
The October Breakfast attracted between 15 and 20 aircraft across the morning with more participants arriving by other means. Homebase Group events are a vital part of the activities at Watts, so here's to many more breakfasts at Watts.
17th September 2011
The Watts Bridge Leaseholders banded together to organize a really low-key fly-in celebrating The Freedom Of Flight - The Gathering Of Eagles.
Now: Staging a fly-in is a really chancy affair. You do all the work, do the promotion, get everything and everyone organized, then just pray like crazy that the weather will cooperate. And on this occasion it really did.
Saturday dawned with not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, the local
farmers decided en-masse that today was the day to do
controlled burn-offs, in anticipation of good spring
rains and improving their pastures. The familiar blue/green
slopes of Mt Brisbane to the east of the field were reduced
to a mere brown silhouette seen through the smoke haze.
Nonetheless - More than 50 pilots got themselves and their airplanes in the sky and made the trek to Watts. When they arrived all the usual fare was on offer - QUA for drinks, the "Esk Church Ladies" with the hamburgers and the Aerobatics Club for tea and scones.
Here's the interesting thing..... Over the last 3 or 4 years there have been perhaps 10 or so organized fly-ins at Watts. You'd think that by now pretty much every aircraft in the area has been on show at one time or another. And yet there were quite a few aircraft on the Gathering Of Eagles flight-line that have not been seen at the airfield on previous occasions.
Makes you wonder just how many different aircraft there would be if you could get them all in the same place at the same time.
View the Gathering Of Eagles Photo Gallery to see a good cross section of all those who were in attendance.
Now the good news is that both the "All-In Fly-In" and the "Gathering of
Eagles" are scheduled for the 2012 Watts Bridge Calendar
As they say.... "Watch this space" for all the details and you never know what you will see on the day !!