My parting words in my last phone call to David Brown, Vice President of SAAA and organizer of Ausfly were,
“oh, and you have organized the weather with the gods of the sky, haven’t you?’
“Of course!” he scoffed.
Clearly, Mr Brown has a direct line to the elemental organisers, as the weather was as well planned as the rest of the event. Aside from the Thursday (the day I was scheduled to fly in, incidentally) the weather was splendid. Admittedly, it was a tad windy on the
morning of the Friday, and for those of us doomed to tents, it was a bit nippy in the wee hours (truth be told, my eyelashes welded together with frost and the idea of ‘glamping’ – glamorous camping – was just that: an idea). Happily, though, the Saturday was stunning.
As the newly appointed editor of AOPA’s Australian Pilot magazine, I arrived on the Thursday. Unable, or rather unwilling, to brave the enormous front moving towards Narromine, I hopped on Qantas to Dubbo and hired a car. When I arrived at the aerodrome on Thursday evening, the place was already abuzz.
Friday afternoon was spent catching up with all the old regulars – Bose, CASA, RA Aus, Jabiru, Pacific Avionics, Brumby, etc. We at AOPA had a display stand inside; it was fabulous to see so many of our members in the flesh.
The air displays on Friday were marvelous, and the barbeque a roaring success. Some one (who shall remain nameless) persuaded me of the anti-freeze qualities of red wine, and encouraged me to drink a-plenty to fight off the frost.
Saturday was taken up – after several paracetamol – with the AOPA safety seminars, the OzRunways seminar (packed!) and many visits to the coffee stall (their caramel tarts were to die for!).
|Andrew Andersen at the AOPA seminar|
Sunday morning began with the sound of aircraft departing. AOPA conducted another seminar in the morning, on the changes imminent in avionics, particularly pertaining to ADS-b.
I took off around lunchtime, having scored a seat in AOPA president Andrew Andersen’s 182. The journey home to Bankstown (one hour and thirty seven minutes) provided us with the perfect time to dissect the event. We both agreed that the most delightful element of the event was seeing all factions of aviation together in one airshow – AOPA, SAAA, RA Aus, CASA, AWAL, etc
Summed up the event perfectly in my opinion. Word in the air is that the event will be on again next year.
One thing's for certain: I'm booking my accommodation right away; there'll be no glamping for me next year.