The Old Station Fly-in and Heritage Show at Raglan was held over the long weekend of Friday 27 May to Sunday 29 May, with (I'm told) an estimated 20,000 strong crowd in attendance over the three days enjoying the sights and sounds as over 150 aircraft and helicopters which flew in from all parts of Queensland and interstate! There was also an impressive car and truck show, as well as plenty of new and old machinery on show, while the tractor pulling was extremely popular with big crowds enjoying the action during the weekend!
The entire weekend was hosted by the Creed Family and the Old Station Flying Club. There was support from numerous sponsors and helpers from other local flying groups including the Callide Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) which not only had members' aircraft on display, but also supplied the ground marshallers tasked to park all the visiting aircraft.
We arrived at the Old Station on Friday 27 May to see that almost 100 aircraft had arrived, before enjoying a lovely two-course dinner followed by an entertaining Q&A session with Matt Hall, Paul Bennet and Lachlan Smart who, in June 2016, will attempt to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in his Cirrus SR22 VH-IBC.
From early on Saturday 28 May, one of biggest crowds I've seen came to the farm and wandered amongst the visiting aircraft and enjoyed car and truck displays, as well as the machinery and tractor pulling!
For most of the weekend, the crowd was entertained by some spectacular Warbirds which operated regular aerobatic joyflights out of the Old Station. The most popular aircraft were undoubtedly the Warbird Adventure Flights-operated North American T-28D Trojan VH-TRO and Australia's only Beech 45 / T-34 Mentor VH-XUS.
Matt Hall Racing Extra EA-300L VH-IOG also operated several aerobatic joyflights during the weekend including a couple of lucky passenger having Matt Hall fly them around during "The Ultimate Experience" in aerobatic joyflights!
Slightly more sedate was Stock-Air Helicopters Robinson R44 VH-HWT and Robinson R22 Beta VH-BRD which also operated joyflights over the Old Station.
During the middle of Saturday afternoon, the crowds began settling in for a spectacular airshow which was highlighted by Paul Bennet Airshows and Australia's own Top Gun pilot Matt Hall, days before he jets off to compete in the Japanese leg of the Red Bull Air Race 2016 World Championship.
The skies above the Old Station came alive with a great airshow which kicked off with Paul Bennet in his Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB being joined by Paul Bennet Airshow's recently acquired Yakovlev Yak-52 VH-YBZ forming the 'Sky Aces' formation aerobatics team.
Then, making its debut at the Old Station, was Caboolture-based Amateur-built Fokker Dr.1 Dreidecker (Triplane) (Replica) VH-FXP which put on a nice series of flypasts.
Matt Hall then took to the skies once again in his Extra EA-300L VH-IOG, performing an awe inspiring aerobatic display and air-race simulation that had the crowd amazed. In fact, some people I spoke to suggested that Matt's performance was his best ever at the Old Station!
Rockhampton-based R-Mach Aviation PZL Warszawa-Okecie M-18B Dromader VH-MDR then put in a great handling and then water-bombing and spraying display.
Then one of my personal favourite aircraft took to the skies with Paul Bennet piloting his mighty Grumman TBM-3E Avenger Warbird VH-MML.
The thunderous Avenger put on a very spirited display which also included three 'mock' bombing runs!
Then Just Aircraft Super STOL 19-8530 demonstrated its stunning and very unique Short Take-off and Landing capabilities by virtually hovering in the air!
Paul Bennet's Yakovlev Yak-52 VH-YBZ then returned to the skies for a spectacular solo aerobatic display.
This was followed by Kim Rolph-Smith in his ever popular North American T-28 Trojan VH-TRO which put on a great display featuring several flypasts.
Also completing several spectacular flypasts was the 1954-built Beech 45 / T-34 Mentor VH-XUS.
Bringing the airborne displays to an end was Paul Bennet putting his Amateur-built Wolf Pitts Pro VH-PVB through its paces with a truly spectacular aerobatic display which had the massive crowds gasping in awe!
But the 'show' wasn't quite finished with Mikoyan MIG-15UTI VH-DIE wheeled out by the Creeds and its Klimov VKI LIS-2 Turbojet engine fired up and pushed to full power by Richard McDonald. Sadly the airframe is out-of-hours so couldn't take to the skies.
After the airshow, the people that stayed at the Old Station - including a large amount of on-site campers - were entertained with live music, chainsaw competition, cross-saw competition, bonfires and a spectacular fireworks display.
It was a wonderful weekend with most aircraft departing for their home airfields during the morning on Sunday 29 May.
It should be pointed out that all proceeds from the weekend - from admissions, auctions, food and drink sales, and part of the joyflights - will aid the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service (CHRS). CHRS (Australian Helicopters) Bell 412EP VH-EPR "Rescue 300" also arrived on the Saturday and was a very popular display at the Old Station!
We would like to congratulate the Creed Family and the Old Station Flying Club for running yet another very successful weekend! Their hard work and commitment are remarkable and should be heartily congratulated!
Personally, I would like to thank Leonie Creed for the very kind invitation to be the 'Official Photographer' for the long weekend - it was a thoroughly enjoyable role!