Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday was Another Great Day at The Callide Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) 25th Anniversary Fly-in at Biloela / Thangool Airport

I've had another magnificent day at Biloela / Thangool Airport on Sunday 8 June, taking the many and varied sights and sounds of the Callide Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) 25th Anniversary Fly-in.  I arrived early and capture a couple of images of some of the aircraft that had stayed the night after arriving yesterday.

Around 9am, a nice mix of day-visitors started arriving, including Grumman American AA-5B Tiger VH-SYW.  It, along with several other visiting aircraft were parked on the Western end of the Airport.

One of the other notable arrivals was the big and bright Air Tractor AT-402B VH-SNF of Expedition Aerial Services of Moura.  It later put a spectacular show over Thangool Airport - see below!

Shortly after, one of the more important and sombre parts of the Fly-in weekend took place, with eight aircraft taking to the skies of the Callide Valley in memory of one of the founding members of the Callide Dawson Flying Group - Kevin Wilson.

Kevin lived at the nearby property "Smoky Creek" where the aircraft departed to from Thangool.  They then overflew the Smoky Creek Cemetery and the nearby Jambin Township.  Fellow CDFG foundation member, Len Neale, was captured departing in his J6 Karatoo 19-4396, which is appropriately named "Spirit of Smoky Creek".

Once the memorial flight had concluded, there was, again like Saturday, several aircraft departing on local flights, along with the Stirling Helicopters Robinson R-44 VH-MTY, which operated local flights for paying passengers virtually all day!

One of the more unusual aircraft to take to the skies at Thangool over the last couple of days was local Gyrocopter G-1122.  The bright yellow 'Gyro' certainly turned many heads - and not just because of its bright colours!  Many observers were heard to "Is it a plane or it is a helicopter??!!"

With Thangool being a major navigation point aircraft flying up and (mostly) down the Queensland coast (into Brisbane), there were a couple of larger aircraft overflying the Airport.  Tiger Airways Airbus A320 VH-VNG flying North from Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Mackay as TGW744.

And Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Lockheed C-130J Hercules believed to be A97-442 flying South to Amberley Air Base.

The Air Tractor VH-SNF then came out and took off and then proceeded to make two low passes with "smoke on".

After landing, VH-SNF was then reversed back up the grass strip under its own power, just to top-off the demonstration of the aircraft's handling and manoeuvrability.

The smoke was even put back on - and then the VH-SNF performed a 'burn-out' on the strip!

Around 1pm, proceedings at the Fly-in were slowed with the arrival of the schduled QantasLink RPT service into Thangool from Brisbane.  On Sunday 8 June, the QLK2396/2397 service was operated by Dash-8-Q300 VH-SBB.

Late legendary Australian racing driver Peter Brock's 1993 Bathurst 12-hour Endurance Race winning vehicle - Holden VP SS Castle Hill Commodore '06' - then put on another spirited display.  It performed four drive pasts along the main Thangool Airport runway.

Finally to top off a magnificent day, CDFG member Dave See invited me on board his beautifully presented Howard Hughes Engineering Light Wing LW1 25-0035. 

We departed Thangool and tracked towards Biloela where we overflew at around 1500ft.  We tracked back to and then overflew Thangool Airport, allowing for some great overhead photos to be had of the field and Fly-in.

The whole weekend was a great success, and was a great credit to the dedicated members of the Callide Dawson Flying Group.  The weekend couldn't have gone ahead either without help from numerous generous sponsors and helpers ensuring that the weekend ran smoothly.  With this fly-in the Club hoped to raise funds towards the building of an amenities block for the CDFG as well as the funds being raised for RFDS and Angel Flight.

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