Red Thunder Air Show Day 1 saw thousands of aviation buffs congregating on the airfield for a feast of precision aerobatics, performed by top class airshow pilots flying a wide range of aircraft - primarily warbirds from across the years.
Besides the aircraft there were many other attractions on offer with 50's style rockabilly theming including a wide range of vintage cars and models, jumping castle for the kids and numerous stalls offering a wide range of tasty food options.
And it is all set to continue today - Sunday 27th May. If anything the weather promises to be even more kind for aviation enthusiasts with a little clearing shower having settled the dust during the evening.
Tickets can be obtained at the front gate.
For all the most up to date information jump on the Red Thunder Air Show Website.
More photgraphs can be found in postings on the Watts Bridge Facebook Page and the Red Thunder Facebook Page. On Facebook pages also click on the Community Tab to see photographs uploaded by those who went to the air show.
Following major renovation work and an excellent growing season over the summer and autumn months, Runway 12R/30L has been reopened for normal operations. A big vote of thanks must go to all who made these upgrades possible, the volunteers and those who donated equipment and professional advise.
Friday afternoon and it's a veritable hive of activity at the airfield as everyone's "Get Ready, Get Set, Let's Go for The Red Thunder Airshow". Early arriving caravanners are busy getting their campsites sorted. The food vendors have arrived and are setting up their stalls in anticipation of a big weekend. The Airfield Homebase Groups are touching up their clubrooms to make a lasting impression. The event organizers look slightly harrowed as they attend to all the last minute details!!
If you haven't already made the decision to attend - it's still not too late!! Grab the phone and get on to your rellies, friends and mates - tickets can be purchased at the gate on both Saturday and Sunday.
Just jump on the Red Thunder Air Show Website for all the details. See yar there then!!
Though the Red Thunder Air Show will not be getting underway until Saturday, there has already been much aviation excitement at the airfield. Over the last few days operations of the Eastern Bloc Red Radials have been intense as they go about their annual advanced training sessions and military mission simulations, which are a lead up to the formal airshow. Plenty of YAKs, Nanchangs and a smattering of other nations aircraft have all been taking part.
Over the long weekend in May the Caboolture Gliding Club came to Watts Bridge to enjoy the flying and friendship on offer at the airfield. In the words of CGC's Garrett Russell, here's the fun they all enjoyed.....
Watt a Weekend Four days, two airfields, a dozen or so glider pilots, three tug pilots (but mainly one) and more than 24 hours of glider flight time. What a weekend we had at Watts Bridge! Full of flying with friends and family, ferry flights and fun in the air and on the ground, and food... OMG, the food... Here's how it all happened:...
The Flying From an AEF flown by Jim Thompson prior to the first ferry flight departures on Friday to the last landing by Mike McCluskey
to bring the fleet home on Monday, the flying went without a hitch in skies which varied from clear blue to soaring heaven (well, up to 5,000') to downright dark and dismal.
The club's L-13 A1, IS-28, IS-30, and Speedy Gonsalves' Ka-6CR between them logged 28 flights on Saturday and Sunday. Most of these were shared, with only six solo launches (three of those for GSR).
Even the difficult soaring resulted in reasonable flights: a total of 20 over the 20 minute mark, seven of them over the half hour and six lasting more than an hour. On Saturday Speedy scored two hours plus in his single seater, going as far as Kilcoy and back, and on Sunday he made over three hours, reaching the weekend's maximum height of just under 5,000 feet. Those of us in the two seaters experienced a little ridge lift from the strong SE winds which we heard would have cancelled flying at Caboolture, but thermalling was mainly the name of the game.
The Friends The friendly atmosphere that filled our flight line shade shelter for two full days proved to be a great attraction for other fliers.
Among the interested, and interesting, visitors who dropped in for a chat were the owner of a Nieuport replica along with former club member Rupert Perry
who helped him to build it. Kevin Rodda flew in from Caboolture in the Piper Tripacer of his mate and Brisbane Valley Sport Aviation Club president Sandy Walker.
BVSAC were particularly friendly, allowing us the use of their clubhouse for the weekend.
And on top of that, four of our flights had the added joy of members flying family and friends. Mark Morwood flew his wife Marta and I flew my partner Di, while Mick Moloney and Lindsay Mitchell had two Queensland gliding luminaries as their guests.
The Food The friendliness extended well into the night when everyone gathered for the traditional Saturday night feast at the Toogoolawah Hotel. The food there is legendary, both for the quality of the cuisine and the quantity of the country pub size servings. Almost as many of the crew returned on Sunday night, a couple of us also ate there on Friday night, and we can proudly boast that after the three meals we had eaten them out of this Baked Barramundi Special. Another proud Watts tradition is Alan Graham's equally legendary Sausage Sizzle, which this year even included a vegetarian option. Thank you, Alan!
The Ferries None of this could have happened without the tuggies who got the club gliders to Watts and back.
Thanks to Mike Grady and Steve Bowtell for towing a ferry flight each on Friday, under the careful pre-flight supervision of Tony Sorensen,
who packed a comprehensive kit of tug spares (none of which were needed, thankfully).
Steve also flew one of the ferried gliders, with Paul Breslin providing ground transport between Caboolture and Watts and back. However the biggest thank you is due to John Ashford, who towed the third ferry flight from Caboolture on Saturday, all 28 launches at YWSG, and the three return ferry tows. The gloomy weather which caused us to modify plans for an early return on Monday was an extra challenge which Scrubby handled with his usual calm and quiet proficiency. And with all birds safely back in the nest before the rain hit, the ferry crew gathered for the Golden Wings Pilot Lounge debrief agreed that the next long weekend in October would be a very good time to do it all again.
As told by Jim G.
A chance meeting with a volunteer at the TAVAS event, who kindly help me moving my aeroplane and display boards, has revealed 2 amazing discoveries.
First, the man who lent a hand was Adrian Hellwig and after chatting with him for a while he modestly told me that he had written a book about a local Australian who went on to be a WW1 fighter pilot and scored 48 kills.
The book is titled ĎAustralian Hawk over the Western Frontí and is a biography about Major R.S. Dallas, born near Esk in SE Queensland. Immediately impressed, I thought to myself "Iíd be finding a copy of that book" and mentioned to Adrian that I would catch up with him later in the show and write down the details.
The second discovery occurred first thing on Sunday when I was opening the Hangar doors to get the Nieuport out when Adrian walked over wearing a beaming smile. He was happy and excited to tell me that the tail numbers on my Nieuport rang a bell with him so he looked them up in his records and found that on the 23rd of April 1916 (Thatís TODAY, 102 yrs ago) Major Dallas flew that Nieuport 11 with those number in combat and scored his 2nd kill. What an unbelievable coincidence, the Nieuport I copied is a French build fighter, operated by the Royal Naval Air Service and flown by an Australian. The fluke of luck has only occurred because when I was looking for a Nieuport livery to copy I figured the Indians head had been done to death, I didnít really want join the long list of Nieuports with French Roundels and I really liked to looks of the British Roundel. So I hunted google images and forums and found the attached picture and went from there.
Just when I thought I could not be any happier with the way my Nieuport looks, flies and has been received by onlookers, now this comes along and raises the bar heaps, truly the proverbial icing on the cake ÖÖÖ.. the plane was flown by an ANZAC!
A huge thanks goes to Adrian for opening my eyes to this fact, not only is Adrian an Author/Historian, he is the Editor of the newsletter for The Society of WW1 Aero-Historians. I recommend you buy his book and enjoy reading the achievements of this Australian Legend who is still to this day the current leading Australian Ace.
Adrianís book is easy to find online at amazon, fishpond etc. I have my copy on the way!
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 2018 the guest speaker was Flight lieutenant Adam Cross from No 1 Squadron, RAAF Amberley. Speeches were also given by by Vice President Mark Foy and Past President Mike Nelson.
At the conclusion of the service an F/A-18F Super Hornet based at the RAAF Base Amberley performed a commerative pass across the airfield.
Approximately 45 people attended the ANZAC Day service. A traditional Australian morning tea was served in the AAC-QC clubrooms to bring the remembrance to a conclusion.
[ CLICK THE THUMBNAIL IMAGES TO VIEW FULL SIZE ]
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.