Sunday, June 22, 2014

TRIP REPORT - Local Flight over Biloela & Thangool in Light Wing LW1 25-0035 with CDFG Member Dave See

As featured on the CQ Plane Spotting Blog, Callide Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) recently held their very successful 25th Anniversary Fly-in at Biloela / Thangool Airport over the Queen's Birthday long weekend.  To top off a absolutely magnificent couple of days, CDFG member Dave See invited me on board his beautifully presented Howard Hughes Engineering Light Wing LW1 25-0035 for a local flight during the afternoon of Sunday 8 June.

The Light Wing was manufactured by Howard Hughes Engineering in Ballina, New South Wales.  Produced in 1986, Dave informs me that his Light Wing is the second off the Howard Hughes Engineering production line.  After starting its life in a flying school in Mount Gambier (South Australia), it went through a couple of ownership changes before eventually taking up residence in Theodore.  An engine failure over grazing country only a couple of miles from the owner's home strip caused some damage resulting in a new under-carriage, wing, prop and engine - the engine now being the ‘blue head oil injected 582’.

During the big flood which saw Theodore evacuated a few years ago, an enormous amount of goods and paperwork were lost, including, sadly, the original logs for the Light Wing.

Dave bought the Light Wing in May 2009 and has put in over 520 hours in since then - including two flights to South Grafton, twice to Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island, and a couple of times to Moonie, Emerald and Clermont, and almost every privately owned airstrip around the local area.

Dave describes the Light Wing as a great little plane to fly - "trim it out and fly hands off, very forgiving but like the typical tail dragger, keeps you busy on the rudder pedals on landing".

But as I can attest, the hardest thing with the Light Wing is the getting in and out bit, where it helps if your pretty nimble.  However, once you’re in there seems to be enough room to be quite comfortable.  I agree!

So, after squeezing into the Light Wing, Dave started the engine and idled for a little while before we taxied out for departure off the grass Runway 14 at Thangool Airport.

We departed over the sealed runway 10/28 at Thangool and tracked towards over the town and towards Biloela.

Nice views over the Callide Valley and the Callide Power Station.

We approached and overflew Biloela at around 1500ft.

We tracked back towards Thangool and slowly climbed to 2500ft to then overfly Thangool Airport, allowing for some great overhead photos to be had of the field and Fly-in.

Joining a left downwind and base leg before we lined up for finals on Runway 14.

After a bit of a bumpy landing, we taxied back to the aircraft's parking spot and powered down.  We then extricated ourselves from the aircraft!

My sincere thanks to Dave See for the opportunity to fly with him in his lovely little Light Wing.  It was a truly memorable flight!

The whole weekend at Thangool was a great success, and was a great credit to the dedicated members of the Callide Dawson Flying Group.

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