Basic matters:

Mission statement

To publicise Australian aviation history with a view to

·         Emphasising the safety of modern light aircraft. All aircraft will abide by CASA regulations. The arrangements will be flexible so as to ensure safety through avoiding bad weather etc

·         Highlighting the remarkable advances being made in light aircraft, notably in Australia

·         Bringing to the attention of the Australian and world public the contribution, past and present,  of aircraft to  the nation’s development

·         Encouraging the discovery, collation, recording and preservation of relevant historical materials

·         Providing the airfields and settlements visited with an opportunity to engage the local community in these events

Three overriding principles:

Any bad incident would be very damaging to light and historical aviaiton aircraft. The itinerary takes a distant second place

Who does what

AHSA NSW Smith Flight Commemorative Group (link to our details).

We act only as communications hub and collect ideas. Our resources are small and we are greatly extended in this effort. Please understand any errors and also understand the need to continually modify our ideas to get something that might work.

Some background: We are a group with no resources or access to sponsorship. In 2014 we co-ordinated a commemorative event for the first airmail flight from Melbourne to Sydney, and found a good model for this type of event.

See the report of this event on the Publications page, (100 Years of Australian Air Mails).

A small group of aircraft flew the whole distance. They landed at nine places over 3 days. They were joined by other aircraft for as many stages as they wished to. At each landing spot there was a welcome, and aero club members and others assisted the aviators. Each place organised their own event, and some of the things that occurred were displays by historical societies and museums,

People then asked what was happening on the occasion of the centenary of the Smith flight from England to Australia  At the time the Northern Territory Government was sponsoring an attempt by the commercial firm Inspiress to organise a 'race' from England to Darwin, ending 10 December 2019 using electric, hybrid other fuel-efficient aircraft. This planning began early 2018 and was abandoned April/May 2019. We tried to plan a commemorative flight Darwin to Adelaide to follow on from this but when this collapsed we concentrated on discussing a Darwin-Adelaide event to conclude March 23 2019 in Adelaide to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Smiths' arrival in their home town.

In 2014 we supplied a flight consultant (Tony Coliero) who discussed with participants take-off and arrival times for each leg of the flight. This was put on the flight website to give the latest information. If delays occur due to weather the itinerary will be constantly modified. We also assisted with philatelic matters. We recorded the flight and gave individual recognition to all participants. We assisted with publicity at all levels. Tony Coleiro produced a pilot's handbook with the necessary information on each stop: see this link

Participating aircraft.

Each aircraft  is responsible for all their costs. Decisions re safety are in the hands of each pilot. All CASA rules will be adhered to. Aircraft may fly the whole route, sections of the route, or fly in to any stop, at their own expense.

At this stage (January 2020) we have two 'lead' aircraft: Michael Coates' ultra fuel-efficient Pipilstrel and Michael Smith's Sea Bear in which he flew the England to Darwin route arriving in Darwin at 4pm on 10 December 2019, exacgtly 100 years after the 1919 flight. The Northern Territory organisaitons provided a wonderful welcome, and the current flight celebrates the journey across Australia that followed, and had remarkable effects on this country.

En route stops

For the commemorative flight idea to succeed we need a liaison person at each stop, whose role is, at a minimum, to organise for participating aircraft to know where everything they need is. If the stop location would like to make other special arrangements that is to be encouraged. In the 2014 flight we had many historical displays, visits by car clubs and historical groups, media presence etc.

The participants in these activities do so as independent entities. If, for example, the Rotary Club runs a sausage sizzle they use their insurance etc. Host airfields and AHSA NSW have no liability.