All pilots and aviation enthusiasts are invited to the Watts Bridge Airfield Open Day, celebrating the rich diversity of all forms of recreational aviation. Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield, situated in the Brisbane Valley is the home base for a wide range of aircraft including Vintage, Aerobatic and Recreational Aircraft as well as Gyroplanes, War Birds and a variety of Homebuilt Aircraft.
“ Over 90 Aircraft Attended
All-In Fly-In 2014”
The All-In Fly-In is an all day event with on-field catering, coffee and AVGAS available. Entry is free with no landing fees.
The event builds upon the success of last year when over 90 aircraft attended the All-In Fly-In 2014 on what was not a great day for flying. Imagine what the turnout would have been on a clear sunny morning!!
The fly-in is organized by the Home Base Groups as a great day out for
pilots and aviation devotees and to promote all forms of recreational aviation.
So mark the 30th May down in your diary as a not to be missed
opportunity for some flying fun!
For more information contact:
Richard Faint 0412-317-754 or Liz Cook 0419- 369-963
Red Thunder 2015
Flying & Social
14-17th May 2015
Fun Fly Poker Run 2015
The Game of Chance
4th July 2015
Christmas in July
Superb Fine Dining
4th July 2015
Gathering of Eagles
Pilots Public Welcome
29-30 August 2015.
In keeping with the history of Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield an ANZAC Day Remembrance Service is held to honour and remember all Australian service men and women. Warrant Officer Malcolm Swingler gave a heart-felt speech on behalf of the RAAF and indeed all in the services. This year carried special meaning for all Australians, being the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, a place where so many gave their lives. An impromptu fly-over of a Nieuport Replica piloted by Kev Walters paid tribute to those fought with great valour on the Western Front.
Following the bible readings, speeches and prayers, floral wreathes were placed on the cairn dedicated to those who have fallen in the line of duty. At the conclusion of the service an F/A-18F Super Hornet based at the RAAF Base Amberley performed an impressive low level pass over the airfield. Approximately 70 people enjoyed a traditional Australian Morning Tea served in the AAC-QC clubrooms bringing the morning to a conclusion. [ CLICK IMAGES TO VIEW FULL SIZE ]
from the diary of Rod Mill
Circa 1999Tony Hayes had a vision that a memorial cairn be built on the airfield. The WBMA Committee of the day approved his hand-drawn concept drawings and purchased the two large sentinel stones and granite rocks for the walls. Tony had a large mound of soil piled in place and started construction in 2000. He planted a Eucalyptus Grandis sapling in the centre of the soil mound.
2001Work proceeded slowly, but after several setbacks Tony finally abandoned the project.
2002 As the sapling had died, Rod Mill bought four Ghost Gum saplings (Eucalyptus Papina) from the DPI nursery at Bunyaville. The nurseryman thought these would be appropriate for a memorial as they don't grow too high, tolerate weather extremes, are Australian natives and they grow well when planted close together. Rod cared for the saplings so they could grow and strengthen before being planted out. Late in 2002 then President Gus DeLaat undertook the task of completing the memorial cairn.
2003The four Ghost Gum saplings were planted on the cairn. The one in the front eventually died, leaving a place for the eventual planting of the Gallipoli Pine which is a descendant of the original pine tree at Gallipoli.
2004Ed DeLaat negotiated with the Brisbane Valley Masonic Lodge to supply and install the flagpole in front of the sentinel stones which was presented at the Anzac Day Dawn Service.
2009Rod Mill read an article regarding the availability of Gallipoli Pines from a specialist nursery in Canberra, to be used exclusively for planting on memorials. Mike Nelson followed up and took delivery of two saplings. One sapling subsequently died. Pete Freeman and Rod Mill nurtured the surviving pine until it was strong enough to be replanted.
2010The Gallipoli Pine, (Pinus halepsensis) was replanted on the cairn in front of the remaining Ghost Gums.
2015A commemorative plaque was erected on the cairn outlining the history of the Lone Pine Tree. It is anticipated the pine will grow and flourish as a memorial to the men and women who fell in the line of duty all those years ago.
Why is Pat Toole an "Aviation Living Legend"?
Because Pat was Australia's first female pilot to fly full-time as a commercial pilot in Papua New Guinea.
It is likely that Pat was the first woman to be employed full-time as a commercial pilot anywhere in the world. In PNG, Pat flew for Gibbs Sepik Airways, owned by Australian Bobby Gibbs. Pat flew in PNG for two years from 1952 to 1954 and the flying conditions were demanding. During that time Pat flew 500 hours and as Pat puts it most of the flights were short.
During her presentation to the audience in the QVAG building at Watts, Pat gave details of the engine failures, the crashes, the forced landings and other exciting aviation events that were common place in PNG at that time. A video was made of the event and it is on YouTube and makes very interesting viewing.
Pat was an interesting and well-presented speaker and all those who attended the presentation enjoyed themselves. The presentation was followed by a light lunch that offered the opportunity for those attending to have a chat amongst themselves and to Pat.
21st March 2015
The photo above was taken on the 21st March and shows just how well the airfields drainage works.
Within an hour of the rain finishing the drainage system for the airfield had conveyed all the water away and the area was serviceable. Photograph and report by Ross Stenhouse.
11th March 2015
Watts and QVAG member Peter Biddle certainly enjoys his flying. Not content with the 2 week "Around Queensland" trip he did last year, Peter is currently undertaking extreme flying training in Alaska.
On the day that these photo's were taken Peter reported that he was at 7,000 feet, the temperature was minus 20 degrees and that there was nobody else around for miles.
Before the trip Peter was asked "Why would you ever do this kind of training?? I mean, let's face it, these are not your typical Ozzi flying conditions are they?
Quick as a flash the answer was "Because I can !"
No further questions.
On Saturday the 28th February, the Queensland Vintage Aeroplane Group/Australian Flying Museum (QVAG) held a very successful workshop on using the Stewart Systems water borne glues and paints for fabric covering of aeroplanes. The workshop was held in the QVAG Building at Watts Memorial Airfield.
Open to all (NOT just QVAG members), about 26 people attended the workshop. Bill Finlen was the presenter and he gave an introduction to the range of Stewart Systems products. Bill also gave a practical demonstration on using the products.
As is normal with all demonstrations, in part the demo had a few moments where things didnít go as planned, however overall it served as a good introduction to the Stewart Systems products.
Following the workshop a light lunch was provided and that too was well attended. The lunch allowed those in attendance the opportunity to continue the discussion with Bill.
This workshop was one of a series of workshops and seminars conducted by QVAG. These are held on a monthly basis. The March 28 seminar will be a talk by Pat Toole, the first female commercial pilot in PNG. Pat starting flying for Bobby Gibbís Sepic Airways in PNG in 1950.
This will be a very interesting presentation by a person able to give first hand recollections of what life was like as a commercial pilot in PNG in the 1950s. The presentation is open to all and will be followed by a light lunch with the opportunity to have an informal talk with Pat Toole.
Remember back six months or so, when the airstrip was completely bare and rock hard?
Well the story of the Australian landscape is to simply add water and Watts Bridge is a part of that picture.
Over 100mm of rain has fallen in November, December and January. Add the typical hot summer days and the airfield is now covered with a lush crop of vigorously growing grass. The volunteer "Tractor Brigade" has been in action keeping the various hangar precincts, taxiways and runways under control.
The larger areas to the east of the parallel runway and the areas flanking the entrance drive have been cut and baled to provide much needed stock feed for local farmers when times are harder.
Photographs by Peter Freeman and Mark Foy
Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield is strongly committed to a "Fly Neighbourly" policy ensuring good working relationships with other land owners in the district.
Pilots are requested to download the Fly Neighbourly Chart to be aware of and avoid where operationally possible, noise and over-fly sensitive locations adjacent to the airfield.
Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield requests that all members and visitors using the airfield's internal roads adhere to the signposted maximum Speed Limit of 20kph.
The Speed Limit maximises safety for all motorists and pedestrians, significantly reduces damage to the airfield's roadways and minimises the generation of dust which has an adverse affect on aircraft, buildings and human health.