4th February 2012
It happens. You end up acquiring a "pre-loved" aircraft. Then as you get into putting it back into flying condition it slowly dawns on you that its had just a bit too much "pre-love". Such was the case with the Hughes Pocket Rocket that Bill Oates recently called his own.
Over the years 19-3069 had been re-shaped and repaired a few times, then re-engined and re-instrumented. Each alteration taking it further away from the designer's original intention. What could have been a repair job quickly became much more than that - a restoration!
Now as it happens, Bill's just the man for the job, having been a LAME and RAAus L2 all his working life. Recently retired, he has all the time in the world to devote to straightening out the fuel systems, engine installation and instrumentation. The VW conversion power plant had been fitted with EFI and and an ECU. Bill stripped out all that "electronic junk" and fitted conventional ignition and carburetion systems.
The Watts' camera caught Bill coaxing the engine back into life, no mean feat after such a long "time-out".
It'll be good to see the Pocket Rocket back in the air with Bill safely at the helm !!
New Homebase Group
The Brisbane Valley Sport Aviation Club Inc. is the new name adopted by the long standing homebase group the Queensland Ultralight Association (QUA).
Since the club's formation in 1986, recreational aviation has changed completely with a much more diverse group of pilots and aircraft styles.
BVSAC more accurately represents the club goals, ideals and activities to its members and how it is seen by the general public.Click for the BVSAC Homepage
Newsletters are a vital part of all common interest clubs and groups. They provide a ready source of up-to-date information, stories and photographs.
Watts Bridge as well as several of the Home Base Groups publish newsletters and they are all made available here on the website.Click Here for Newsletter Index
and just scrolldown to find the club that takes your fancy.
New Welcome Archives
Over the years the Welcome Pages have provided a snapshot of what's been happening at the airfield.
While the historical content has always been available from the archive, fair to say it has been difficult to access.
So to put that right we've now created a snapshot page so that everything is just one click away.Click Here to Access the Archive
and be prepared to travel back in time !
Back at the end of last year we reported on major earthworks being carried out on the verge of the taxiway for Runway 03/21. Since then there has been a lot more diesel consumed extending that work further down the length of the runway. The wet weather we have experienced in January and February has given the earthworks a really good try-out. The good news is that there has been a marked improvement along the entire length of 03/21 and the formerly swampy area between the runway and the entrance road.
Actually - the recent rains have made both the main runway and the cross strip really pick up with great grass coverage and a softer surface. Now that the mower has been over them a few times the surfaces are excellent with absolutely no excuse for anything less than an a score of "8/10" for a landing!
Private Hangar Sites
It's no secret that the Australian economy has been in the doldrums for the last few years. Retail spending and business investment is flat and the country in general has gone into "conservative mode". And yet many smart investors know that this is the exact financial climate required to make great long term investments. It's often a buyer's market with plenty of investment opportunities on offer at various price points. Sellers are more prepared to negotiate on price, terms and conditions.
Such is the current situation at Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield. Over the last year or so the number of listings in the Site Sales section of the website has increased significantly. A variety of Commercial, Private Hangar and Chalet Sites are on offer from private vendors, as well as new site releases from airfield management. So if you're even remotely interested in making an investment in your aviation future/dream/indulgence at Watts Bridge, there is probably not going to be a better time than the present.
14th January 2012
Mal McKenzie has been flying from Watts Bridge for ages - and in a wide variety of aircraft. First was an early model Thruster, then a B1-RD, then a Tyro, then a Hi-Max, and more recently an X-Air. Spot the trend??
Each type goes a little higher and a little faster and then the X-Air has room for a passenger as well.
Haven't seen much of Mal up at Watts lately.....
And now we know why.
Mal's been busy hatching!
For the last 6 months a beaut new Sky Ranger has been going together bit by laborious bit. But now the project has outgrown the large shed in which it was being assembled, necessitating the move to the airfield for final fit out. Here we caught Mal hard at it doing the bit every constructor looks forward to - hanging the engine and plumbing all the hoses and cables and things. The Sky Ranger sports a Rotax 912 which should provide an exhilarating climb rate and a very respectable 90 knot cruise.
Can't wait to see this flying machine take to the air - but then neither can Mal!
Watch this space for the first flight announcement.