Aero Club Fly-In a successful mission

Jasmine Beattie tries out what it’s like inside a Jabiru 230 during Tumut Aero Club’s fly-in on Saturday.

Despite being held at a later date than usual and competing with an event in Wagga Wagga, the Tumut Aero Club Fly In was a success at the weekend.

Perfect flying and spectating conditions combined with interesting aircraft, vehicles and demonstrations to make the weekend a winner.

“Everybody we spoke to said they had a great day and loved coming to the area,” Tumut Aero Club secretary Rod Blundell said.

“There were a lot of spectators. We had about 20 to 25 planes fly in. There was an open day at Wagga; otherwise we would have had a few more.”

The Rural Fire Service was open, and the service put on helicopter fire water bombing demonstrations which were well received.

The Australian Military Equipment Collectors Club displayed interesting military vehicles and an anti-aircraft gun which were also a hit.

True North helicopter flights also proved popular, and one of the most popular aircraft with spectators was Doctor Andrew Pitcher’s Tiger Moth.

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“It’s the last one that came off the production line at Bankstown in 1943,” he said.

It took Dr Pitcher about 50 minutes to fly the biplane to Tumut from Canberra. He bought the ex-Royal Australian Air Force trainer 10 years ago, and it is in much the same configuration as it was during World War II.

“I have fitted and alternator and tow wheel,” he said.

He doesn’t get up in it as often as he used to.

“I used to fly it before and after work, but now, it’s every four to six weeks,” he said.

Dr Pitcher said the Moth is a hands-on machine, and flying it can be an adventure.

“It has a large wing area, so it gets knocked around by the wind,” he said.

“It goes through about three litres of oil each flight, so you have to take some with you.”

Unfortunately the plane wasn’t able to fly on Sunday because its magneto packed up.