Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Classic Safari Company Outback Air Race 2018 Kicks off and Calls into Bundaberg and Longreach Airports

The Classic Safari Company Outback Air Race 2018 kicked off from Archerfield Airport in Brisbane on Sunday 19 August with some 37 light General Aviation (GA) aircraft taking to the air to not only compete but also raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS).

While not technically a 'race', the aircraft and aviators compete in a GPS-based navigation time trial which will take them throughout the remote Australian outback.  During each leg, pilots nominate an elapsed time between two visual waypoints, receiving points for both time and location accuracy.

Approximately 100 competitors in 37 aircraft departed in 3-minute intervals from Archerfield on Sunday morning and ventured via the coast up to Bundaberg Airport where they were welcomed by the local Bundaberg Aero Club who were hosting an Open Day at the Airport.

On Monday 20 August, after an afternoon and evening of entertainment, all 37 aircraft departed Bundaberg Airport for Longreach Airport with one aircraft – Western Australian-based Van's RV-7A VH-ZIC – nominating a really scenic route via Hamilton Island Airport!

Competitors will now enjoy a lay day before continuing to Mount Isa on Wednesday 22 August.  From there, the Air Race will see competitors and their aircraft fly through the Northern Territory and into Western Australia where the race will end in Broome on Friday 31 August.

UPDATE!  VH-ZIC also got creative while flying from Longreach to Mount Isa!

The Classic Safari Company Outback Air Race is held every three years and exists to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS). Since 1996, competitors and spectators have raised over $2.1 million, with funds from each race going towards outfitting RFDS aircraft with essential medical equipment, vital for treating sick and injured patients.

You can check out some great photos and other highlights of the entire race on the SOAR website:  http://www.outbackairrace.com.au/

We wish all the participants the very best of luck in their flights and urge you to support this great cause!

Sincere thanks to the Bundaberg Aero Club for allowing us to share their images from Sunday's Open Day!

UPDATE!  Thanks to local aviator and aircraft enthusiast, Russell Legg, here is a list of participants that were noted parked at on the Tindal General Aviation (GA) Apron in the Northern Territory on Sunday 26 August:

The 2018 event participants (36) tied down at Tindal GA as of 1700 local were (listed in order of Race #):

  1    VH-EIL      Cessna 182Q
  2    VH-SJT     Mooney M20J
  3    VH-IPF      SOCATA Trinidad TB-20
  4    VH-PYH    Cessna T210N
  5    VH-OMB   Van's RV-7
  6    VH-WKG   Piper PA-32RT-300T
  7    VH-WOB   Van's RV-7
  8    VH-LHH    Sling LSA
  9    VH-STF     Piper PA24-260
10    VH-ZIC      Van's RV-7A
13    VH-DTQ    Raytheon A36
14    VH-FCI      Cessna 172RG
15    VH-RCK    Cessna 172M
16    VH-CMO   Mooney M20J
17    VH-ZKV     Van's RV-6
18    VH-HWM   Cessna 182Q
19    VH-WWW  SOCATA Tobago TB-10
21    VH-DKY     Cessna 310J
22    VH-SFH     Cessna 182Q 
24    VH-JCU    Cessna R182
26    VH-JJO     Cessna U206G
27    VH-XQQ   Van's RV-14A
28    VH-CAI     Mooney M20J
32    VH-CKS    Zenith Zodiac 601 XLB TD
34    VH-TZT     Lake LA4-200
35    VH-IXI       Amateur T-18
36    VH-FSC    Cirrus SR-20
37    23-1160     Bristell
39    VH-GWW  Piper PA-32R-300
40    VH-RMM   Beech A36
42    VH-EON    Piper PA-22-108
45    VH-KTE    Cessna 210N
48    VH-YLA     Cirrus SR-22
49    VH-PGX    Van's RV-10
50    19-8850     Savannah
51    24-8514     Sling 2

Participant #11 - VH-FGE Piper PA-28R-201T - appears to have stopped at Adels Grove and the remaining gaps were non-starters.

Each aircraft has a race sticker/number and several had additional and numerous sponsor/fundraising stickers/motifs.

The official race number/sticker layout included motifs/titles representing: 'Outback Air Race 2018', 'Proudly Supporting 90 Years - Royal Flying Doctor Service', 'The Classic Safari Company', 'Recharge' & 'CASA'.

Thanks Russell!

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