Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield is proud to invite all aviation enthusiasts, pilots and public alike, to the Red Thunder Air Show which is being held on the 26th - 27th May 2018.
A massive aviation weekend is planned with a full airshow featuring a wide range of aircraft including military and warbirds representative of WW1 and WW2 performing thrilling unlimited aerobatics. There will be hot rods and pinups, static displays, car clubs, ex-military vehicle displays and other exhibits in keeping with a major fly-in. A jumping castle will keep the kids entertained for hours.
A wide range of food and drinks are available on both days. Saturday night will feature live entertainment so that everyone can sit back, relax and enjoy. Onsite camping is encouraged in the dedicated caravan camping area located close to all the airfield action.
For all Red Thunder Air Show information including the aerobatic program, aircraft details and pilot profiles as well more on the hot rods, pinups, re-enactors, camping and ticketting visiting the dedicated Red Thunder website is an absolute must!
15th April 2018
At the Annual General Meeting, held on the 16th December 2017 a motion to decide the overall governance structure for Watts Bridge, (Association Vs Company Limited by Guarantee) was adjourned due to ambiguities in the voting process. Following legal advice clarifying procedures, the meeting was re-convened on the 15th April 2018.
72 members and 46 members by proxy attended the meeting, held in the AAC-QC clubrooms. A secret ballot on the motion: "To change the governance structure of WBMA to a Company Limited by Guarantee" resulted in 62 votes in favour of the proposal and 56 against. The constitution requires of minimum of 75% of the votes to be in favour of such a motion, so the motion was defeated.
With the outcome of the motion resolved, members can look forward to greater harmony on the airfield, with everyone working together making Watts Bridge the premier airfield for recreational aviation in SE Queensland.
Keeping the airfield's 230 something acres maintained is a big job. A really BIG job! WBMA volunteers keep the high usage areas such as the runways, taxiways and development precincts well mowed, clean and tidy. However, the wide open spaces at the northern and western ends of the airfield are a totally different story. Keeping these areas under control represents a major undertaking for the airfield, given the limited equipment and human resources able to be brought to bear.
Fortunately, all that long grass is also a valuable resource for the local graziers. When suitably cut and baled, the grass becomes an excellent fodder for cattle during leaner times.
And so this is where the win-win arrangement kicks in.....
Using their own equipment, fuel and labour inputs local farmers come in and cut, bale and remove the grass from the airfield, at no cost, effectively solving the airfield's problem of how to maintain those areas of the airfield, and at the same time the graziers have gained the benefit of another source of valuable stock feed!
13th March 2018
Watts Bridge member and leaseholder, Gerry Gledhill flew his RV-8 into Watts Bridge in late March.
At the break of dawn on March 13 2018, RV-8 VH-VRV took to the skies at Caboolture for its very first flight. And what a thrill that was! After a six and a half year build the first flight went off without a hitch and she is a total delight to fly. Stall speeds are precisely as published by Vans and all flight characteristics are as consistently reported by the very many RV-8 pilots who have come before me.
Gerry goes on to say "The RV-8 journey for me has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I recommend it to anyone who feels they have the drive and dedication to see it through. As the seasons passed and passed again the embryo grew from empennage to fuselage, it grew wings and finally paint and what emerged is a thing that gives me great pleasure and satisfaction. Along the way I have forged close friendships with so many members of the local experimental builder and RV community in SE Qld."
3rd March 2018
Yet another first flight and yet another WWI replica!!
This time it was Jim Gollagher's turn in his recently completed Nieuport 11.
Designed by Graham Lee, Jim started his project by acquiring an unfinished airframe kit which required a further 3 years pain staking work to finish. The aircraft is powered by a VW engine converted for aviation use with a belt reduction unit to drive a 2 blade wooden propeller.
Jim's Nieuport is painted to faithfully remember the British Nieuport's colour scheme, because, as he said, "I like the roundels and wanted them on my plane".
First flights are always approached with caution, there's a lot on the line and everything has to be just right. For Jim that meant a meticulous preflight and picking a suitable day when the winds were light and favouring Watts Runway 03/21. Nonetheless it's always a great relief to take to the sky and then return safely, ready for another sortie.
After flying the test schedule, Jim promises to "kit up" in a period aviation uniform, complete with leather flying helmet. Which begs the inevitable question, "When are we going to see some German replicas completed so that WWI can be remembered in peace time over a century later at Watts Bridge?"
7th February 2018
Paddy Martin recently conducted the first flights of "Rosie" his Sopwith Pup replica at Watts Bridge.
In the note which accompanied the photographs Paddy commented, "I was very impressed with Runway 12 Left as it has good grass coverage which suits early aeroplanes with their skids and no brakes".
It's always good to see new aircraft operating at the airfield with Paddy's Pup being a welcome addition to the fleet of aircraft already operating at Watts Bridge. [ Click the small photographs below to view a full size image. ]
It has been interesting watching Richard Wiltshire almost single-handedly go about building Air Chalet/ Hangar ACDC. With only very limited assistance from outside trades people, Richard, with a little help from his friends, and some creative use of a large scissor lift has erected what can only be described as a most impressive hangar in a remarkably short period of time.
It's so good to see yet more positive investment in the airfield.
Now we're all looking forward to seeing what interesting aircraft Richard houses in his new hangar!!
It's now been 8 or 9 weeks since the upgrade work on RWY 12R/30L was completed. Since then the surface has been watered religiously (by both nature and human effort) to encourage the grass seeding to take root, grow and spread.
After a slower start than some folks expected, the surface is now showing a rapidly increasing coverage of existing and new grass seedlings. The summer thunder storms and humid tropical heat has no doubt contributed enormously. Remember that the type of grass planted grows out more than up!!
With at least 4 months until the runway will be reopened - it's all looking good!!
16th December 2017
The Watts Bridge Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 16th in the AAC-QC Clubrooms. Approximately 50 members were present carrying an additional 30 proxies which is somewhat less than prior years.
Following the presentation of the President's and Treasurer's Reports all management positions were declared vacant and the new Board of Management for 2018 was elected.
Special recognition was made of the exceptional efforts of Liz Cook (ex Secretary) and Cheryl Brown (ex Treasurer) who each served the WBMA Membership for more than 10 years. Cheryl and Liz now join the very select group of Watts Bridge Life Members.
12th November 2017
And pilots were lured by the promise of bottomless coffee cups to fly their aeroplanes to the November fly-in Watts for Breakfast?? As always there was a good roll up with 20 something aircraft stretched out down the flight line, keeping the BBQ's sizzling throughout the morning.
There's no denying that Watts for Breakfast has been an unqualified success, bringing together pilots from surrounding airfields in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. A special big vote of thanks to Mark Purdie and his team of tireless volunteers for making it all happen!!
Don't forget to keep an eye on the Calendar of Events for the Watts for Breakfast?? dates in 2018.
The parallel runways (12L/30R and 12R/30L) are now fully operational. With the publication of the August ERSA update, effective the 17th August 2017, contra circuit procedures are now in operation at Watts Bridge.
Pilots are strongly encouraged to download the Contra Circuits Procedures information sheet and the YWSG ERSA extract (shown above) to be fully aware of how to safely join and fly the circuit pattern.
Many many thanks to Gary Clark - creator of The Swamp for the special cartoons illustrating the changes in circuit procedures and possible outcomes of everyone not being fully prepared.
Please support Gary by visiting The Swamp Website at www.swamp.com.au
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.