Each year, on the 25th April, we pause to honour and remember all Australian service men and women.
The Remembrance Service, which is held at the memorial cairn, includes Bible readings, speeches and the laying of floral wreathes. For 2017 Guest Speaker Sgt Corey Faehrmann gave a particularly moving address with speeches by President James Crockett and past President Mike Nelson.
At the conclusion of the service an F/A-18F Super Hornet based at the RAAF Base Amberley flew a low level pass down the runway with a final turn across the airfield. More than 50 people attended this year's ANZAC Day service on what was a particularly foggy morning which prevented the arrival of several in-bound aircraft.
A traditional Australian BBQ lunch was served in the AAC-QC clubrooms to bring the morning to a conclusion.
You're going to need a long weekend for this one. No less than 3 brand new news letters released to the archive from QWVAA/QVAG/AVAN !!
Editor Ross Stenhouse puts a huge amount of personal effort into accurately documenting aircraft and flying activities from yesteryear and current day. With no less than 98 pages to read, better make that a long wet weekend.
The Queensland Vintage Aeroplane Group (QVAG) has been a stalwart, indeed founding Homebase Group at Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield. For as long as anyone can remember there has been QVAG at the airfield, and for the majority of those earlier years The Festival of Flight was the premier annual fly-in event.
But time moves on - inexorably. To thrive and prosper any organization has to continually evolve to remain relevant to its membership. And so it was for QVAG. With the increasing accent on warbird aircraft, and yet continuing to represent all vintage aircraft, the difficult decision was taken to change the name of the group to the Queensland Warbird & Vintage Aircraft Association.
These changes are not without precedent. In 2011 the venerable Queensland Ultralight Association (also a founding homebase group) became the Brisbane Valley Sport Aviation Club for the same reasons, to better represent the interests of its members. And going even further back, Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield was once known simply as the Toogoolawah Airfield. So welcome on board QWVAA, to better represent and promote the huge diversity of aviation encompassing warbirds and vintage aircraft.
To get QWVAA off to a flying start, new president Gill Vardi has organised two club activities. The first, a one day working bee to smarten up the clubhouse and surrounds, is to be held on the 29th April starting at 8:00am. Then on the following weekend Saturday 6th May there is a QWVAA Fly-in and BBQ as an introduction and information day for Red Thunder 2017 which is to be conducted at the end of May.
Red Thunder brings together a variety of Eastern Bloc military aircraft for intensive training, formation and fun flying as well as themed social activities.
Click the poster images for more information on each activity.
It's been 3 months since the Watts Bridge Member's Only Forum was introduced. Since then the number of registered members has grown steadily to 38, which is approximately 25% of all members eligible to participate.
Listed below are the Forums and Topics currently under discussion, with new topics regularly added by members.
With the prospect of a new management structure, possible changes to the constitution and the membership classes and fees under review, there has never been a better time to join the discussion which could well influence the future directions of the airfield. Now's the time to sign-up to have YOUR say!!
Constitution & By-Laws
Maintenance & Improvement
of Airfield Infrastructure
Air Chalet, Private and
Commercial Hangar Site Leases
Watts Bridge Topics
Classes, Fees & Voting Rights
Is it really mid autumn? Really?? When the long hot summer days are but a memory and a cooler autumn anticipates the winter that will most surely follow? Right now the airfield presents as the idylicc country airfield. Just look at it! Judging by the photos it could so easily be late spring or even early summer. The late rainfall and a never ending summer has kept the airfield wonderfully lush and green, beautifully manicured thanks to the efforts of the indefatigable "mower men". We are indeed fortunate beyond compare!
As a casual observer, you could be forgiven for thinking that Watts Bridge is more akin to a food court than an airfield. Watts for Breakfast continues to impress the SE Queensland aviation fraternity with a good turn out of aircraft, pilots and "friends of aeroplanes". On the other hand, if it's a more intimate, after dark dining experience you crave, why not consider the Queensland Warbird & Vintage Aircraft Association's second Saturday of the month dinner and drinks? QWVAA stress that everyone (not just QWVAA members) is most welcome and there is no need to pre-book.
Seriously though, a low-key social scene on the airfield can only ever be a good thing, by bringing together people from all over the field in a pleasant convivial atmosphere. So raise your glasses......
The ongoing dry spell, (which does not exactly promote the growth of grass) and the increasing usage by a wider variety of aircraft has seen a slow deterioration in the surface quality of Runway 12/30. Of particular concern has been the emergence to the runway surface of rocks and pebbles which present a very real threat to propellers and airframes.
So on two Saturdays in February Watts Bridge members conducted an "Emu Parade" along the entire length of the strip, resulting in the collection of no less than 24 buckets of pebbles and rocks.
On the second Saturday of each month, starting at 1800hrs the Queensland Warbird & Vintage Aircraft Association (QWVAA) extends an open invitation to all Watts Bridge Members to come along and enjoy a meal, a drink and some social chat. No need to book unless there is a large group then some advance notice would be good.
Fly-in or drive-in for the all new in 2017 - Watts for Breakfast?
Serving up bacon, sausages and eggs plus toast, mushrooms, beans, plus endless tea and coffee.
11th June 8:00 till 10:00
For more information contact:
Mark Purdie 0413-646-922
QWVAA members receive regular newsletters, the Australian Vintage Aeroplane News.
AVAN editor Ross Stenhouse diligently researches a wide range of historical records to produce a truly interesting newsletter now made available to all WBMA members.
12th February 2017
"Hot: Very very very very hot". That's the only way to describe the first Watts for Breakfast in 2017.
And we're not talking about the coffee, snags or (dare I even suggest) the BBQ chefs! With temperatures predicted to max out at 42-43°C this was not going to be for the faint hearted! So it was most gratifying to see early arrivals starting at 7:00am in an attempt to beat the heat. In fact most of those who elected to fly in commented on just how smooth the air was above 3,500' which just goes to show ......... ?
Anyway, by the time the last meal had been served 20 or so pilots had defied density altitude with many more electing to drive, bringing the total attendance up to 60+ people, which makes it a really successful gathering. Its been said before, but its worth saying again that low-key events such as Watts for Breakfast are an absolutely vital part of any airfield's activities, bringing together pilots, navigators and aviation enthusiasts from across the whole spectrum of recreational flying. A big "thank-you" to those who make it happen!
Be sure to keep a keen eye on the Watts Bridge Events Calendar for future Watts For Breakfasts in 2017.
Since the introduction of the Member's Forum user feedback has greatly assisted with the fine-tuning of the system, aimed at providing a highly responsive platform for Watts Bridge Members to discuss anything at all related to the airfield in particular, and aviation in general.
The use of Nicknames and the introduction of a Member's Only Area for has seen a steady increase in membership and forum posts. We currently have 36 members and 60 posts. If you having been holding back, maybe now is the time to sign-up for the forum and join the fray.
Who would have thought that it's been almost 3 years since the last major website upgrade? Soooo much has changed at Watts in that time. And no: I promise not to bore everyone yet again by listing the goings-on at the airfield.
January 2017 seemed like a really good time to get down to work and give the Watts Web a major theming makeover, add functionality to the existing pages and provide some very real enhancements to the site in general.
Firstly: The site's theming. As I am sure (or hope) you have already noticed there has been a major visual makeover. The look and feel of the site is clearly contemporary, with graphics, typography and a colour scheme most suited to the presentation of aviation activities and events.
The site's navigation has had a major boost with the addition of a Navigation Panel at the foot of every page. The Footer Menu minimizes the amount of tedious vertical scrolling which was previously required to move from page to page. The Main Menu's greater use of "fly-out" sub-menus makes the ever growing site content much more readily accessible.
And finally, a brand new site entrance welcomes first time visitors (and repeat offenders) with a scrolling display
of aircraft selected at random from the 100's which have attended the many fly-ins and airshows conducted at Watts Bridge.
As the Watts Bridge airfield community has grown it has become increasingly difficult for everyone to get to know each other and to have an effective, open and wide ranging discussion on all aspects of the airfield's activities. With the increasing use of the internet for almost everything, a newly elected BoM looking for a more effective means of communication and with a website upgrade already being planned, a member's discussion forum was an obvious major addition for the website. And so here it is - ready to roll.
Members of the airfield can now openly discuss the airfield's past, present and future directions, important issues such as airfield events, governance, membership requirements and fees, home base group activities, future planning, flying, aerobatics, the list just goes on and on! Although the forum is administered by Watts Bridge, the BoM has stated a very "hands-off" approach, with a team of moderators, independent of the BoM, reviewing the forum posts to ensure the overall goodwill and intent of the forum is maintained.
So how to get started??
My recommendation is to simply select [Member's Forum] from the the menu to be automatically logged on as a Guest. A number of start-up Forums have been created for topics which will be of interest to many members. As a Guest you can read each of the Forum's "sticky" "Welcome Posts" to get a feel for what's on offer.
If you're interested in registering to become a Forum Member read the 4 posts in the first Forum
[Member's Forum - Introduction and Information **READ FIRST**] which explains the registration requirements, the forum features and rules and the assigned roles of forum administrators and moderators. Registered members can create new topics on a forum and add posts to existing topics. Private messages (PM's) can be sent to and received from other members. In-line images and a variety of file types can be attached to posts and PM's.
Once your registration has been approved, the next step would be to review your Profile and become familiar with the User Control Panel. If you wish, you can upload an avatar image to add personality to your forum posts. And now you're good to go ahead and contribute to the discussion. Just remember that everything you post is visible for the whole world to see, so please, play nice and always respect other forum members.
For a whole variety of reasons the final report and photo gallery for the Brisbane Valley Airshow and Red Thunder 2016 never quite made it to the website. Somewhat belatedly this has all been put right with complete pages for both events now freely available.
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.