Watts Bridge Annual General Meeting

19th November 2016

History will record that 2016 was a pivotal year for Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield - and a highly successful one at that!   There can be no doubt that the Brisbane Valley Airshow elevated the airfield in so many ways. Aviators, the local community and the general public are now that much more aware of what grass-roots based airfields such as Watts Bridge have to offer. 2016 also saw increased building activity, an increase in membership and the sale (or re-sale) of several chalet, commercial and private hangar sites.

Perhaps these positives and the fact that several existing Board Members were not seeking re-election generated much higher than usual attendance at the Annual General Meeting. Almost 100 members were present in person or by proxy for the democratic election of a new Board of Management. By the conclusion of the AGM it was clear that the new Board of Management represents a subtle hand-over to a new generation of office bearers, with ongoing continuity ensured by those who continue to serve in their previous positions. Similarly for the Airfield Council, made of Representatives from the Homebase Groups. New blood and new ideas, renewed vigour and fresh enthusiasm.

The Motions on Notice generated wide ranging constructive dialogue. It is quite clear that the majority of the members feel a thorough review of the airfield's business model, membership classes and fee structure is warranted and timely, all the more so now that the airfield is owned outright by the members.

And so looking to the future. Surely it is incumbent on all members to engage in the ongoing development of the airfield and to participate fully in the review process of the airfield's underlying structures?   2017 and beyond promises great things for Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield, its Members and Homebase Groups!

Board of Management

Vice President
Maintenance Officer

James Crockett
Mark Foy
Liz Cook
Tracy Hearne
Peter Freeman

Airfield Council

AAC-QC Representative
BVSAC Representative
LHG Representative
QVAG Representative

Brendan Scilini
Mike Smith
Dr Jim Peters
Doug Stott

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!!

[ Click the thumbnail photographs to load a fullsize image. ]


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.

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"

Kubota ZD Series Mower

A brand new Kubota ZD Series Zero-Turn Mower, which features a 72" rear discharge and a 29.1hp diesel engine was delivered to the airfield on the 18th November.

The Kubota was chosen because of its features and a plan to standardise the product make of the airfield's mowing equipment.

A rear discharge machine has been the choice for 2 main reasons. It will allow close mowing to obstacles on both sides of the deck and will greatly reduce the propulsion of object such as rocks into buildings which has been a problem on a few occasions in the past.

Mowing the airfield runways, taxiways and building areas is a major airfield maintenance task made that much easier by utilizing appropriate modern equipment.

Watts for Breakfast

25th Sept 2016

The fifth Watts For Breakfast fly-in was held on the last Sunday in September. The radar showed showers coming through from the West so there was a lot of upward gazing from ground level. Luckily, the weather didn't hang around and the day turned out just fine.

Despite the early weather, the final count was 23 aircraft. The Focke Wulf replica showed up along with aircraft from Gympie and Oakey. There were also a number of repeat attendees and a lot of socialising with new and old acquaintances. Late shows were students from Caboolture RA on a cross country exercise.

Watts For Breakfast continues in 2017. Watch the Calendar for the January and future month's dates. Thanks for all the support throughout the year. If you have any feedback or want to become involved, please contact the organizer markpurdie@yahoo.com

Queensland Aerobatic Championships

29th - 31st July 2016

The 2016 AAC Queensland State Chapter's Championships, held over the weekend 29th to 31st of July was fantastic; beautiful winter weather, blue skies, plenty of sunshine, warm days and cool nites. We could not have asked for better conditions, on the ground or in the air.

We had 15 starters for the competition; not a large field but very competitive in all grades. Thanks to Steve Hudson our Competition Director, who with the help of Competition Judge Greg Diedrich, kept the comp running smoothly over the three days.

Place getters of the Advanced Level 1st to 3rd were Cassandra Moller, Peter Townsend and Chris Lee. Congratulations all. With Peter and Cassandra having a spanking brand new Extra 330 SC, they will no doubt be taking home lots more trophies in the future.

Intermediate Grade saw two of our members fight it out over the weekend with Scott Yates taking out first place and Martin Woodhouse in second place. Well done gents.

The Sports Person level was won by Natalie Korrum from Victoria, 2nd place by our own Peter Bess, and 3rd place Moray Clowes from NSW. Natilie also had the overall highest percentage and her name will go on the Tony Gordon memorial trophy. Well done ladies and gents. I would also like to thank all competitors, judges and other volunteers for their time to compete, travel, and help make our state championships a great success.

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.

Download the Fly Neighbourly Chart.

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.

Download the Drive Neighbourly Information Sheet.

© 2003 - 2024 Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield Inc.
PO Box 98, Toogoolawah, Queensland, 4313, Australia

Phone: 0427 699 239 
Email: info@wattsbridge.com.au

Page Top