Run sheet

Archived run sheet  

Weather: The only alterations needed to the Smith flight journey because of weather were:

Day 9, Monday 16 March: Narromine to Shellharbour was planned, but weather forced a stop at Rylstone: Overnight at Rylstone airport. RAAF were using Richmond till 1400 so there was a further delay. See below

Day 13. Friday 20 March: The light aircraft pilots were worried about the weather over the Kilmour Gap and also the landings at Little River so Louise Humble and Michael Coates with Tom Lockley as passenger did not go to Point Cook, very disappointing for the aviators. They flew to Horsham for overnight.

                                                                                                                                                                               

Day 0: Saturday 7 March report:

Aircraft gathered at Darwin airport; no need for aircraft to to to Emkaytee as no recreationally registered aircraft took part in the early legs.

Welcome and barbecue at Darwin Aviation Museum, by invitation from the museum, wonderful occasion, gathering of enthusiasts. Janetta Douglas, wife of onwer of winning plene in 1969 air race came from New Guinea for the two days,

Modifications to Day 2 run sheet, this will now be 0700 and initial times given will cone forwrd one hour. More accurate times were worked out March 8 afternoon and sent to destinations.                                                                                                                                                                                 

See Michael Smith's website at  http://www.southernsun.voyage/blog and facebook https://www.facebook.com/southernsunjourney/ and Michael Coates' facebook here

Record of Day 1, Sunday 8 March:

0900-1100 gathering at Darwin Aviaton Museum. Official farewell: event manager Darwin Aviation Museum, assisted by NT Tourism. Brief formal proceedings at 10 am, departure of aircraft after that.

About 50 enthusiasts attended, These included many founders of the museum and Janetta Douglas, wife of owner of winning aircraft in the 1969 race came from Hew Guinea to be present and family members attended.

Q&A session before start at approx 1030.

For the take-off the event aircraft were escorted by a Harvard T6, VH-VFM , flown by Nick Belfield, similar to the Australian Wirraway which was Australia's front line fighter of 1941-2, VH-VFM Aircraft departing from Darwin: Sea Bear, (Michael Smith, Tom Lockley passenger) Pipistrel (Michael Coates)

No aircraft starting at or making optional landing at Emkaytee, about 40 k from central Darwin. The three aircraft few over Emkaytee and the two headline aircraft flew to Daly Waters.

Darwin / Emkaytee to Daly Waters (distance 283 NM); a pleasant flight, no aircraft stopping at Katherine / Tindal.

Overnight Daly Waters Inn

See pictures

Record of Day 2, Monday 9 March:

Full route 555 NM. Daly Waters to Cloncurry stopping en route at Anthony Lagoon, Brunette Downs and Avon Downs. AACo stations ready to assist, awaiting details.

Aircraft participating: Sea Bear and Pipistrel (headline aircraft),

Take off from Daly Waters 0700, arrive Anthony Lagoon about 0900, arrive about 1100 at Brunette Downs, about 1500  at Avon Downs, These three places were very important in the journey of the Smiths and are part of the huge AACo organisation. We were met by young, enormously capable people who were delighted to show us around the stations, explaining their current operations and highlighting the historical remains.

Overnight Cloncurry, We were met by local people who  transported us to our  accommodation Gidgee Inn Motel and joined us for evening meal.

Louise Humble (see below) joined the group in her Jabiru.,

Cloncurry main contact Gail Wipaki  info@cloncurry.qld.gov.au of Cloncurry Unearthed Tourist Centre.  Visits planned here and John Flynn Place Museum before going on to Longreach, arrival early afternoon.

emains of police station at Anthony Lagoon..

Anthony Lagoon station, vastly different to the drought pictures of last year.

Checking out the Pipistrel

 

Record of Day 3, Tuesday 10 March:

276 NM: Cloncurry to Longreach

Take off time about 1100 after local visits to Cloncurry Unearthed and John Flynn Place Museum.

Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun,  Louise Humble (Jabiru 230 registration 24 7918). Louise, from Ballarat, is flying the whole distance to Alidinga.

Longreach: visit to QANTAS Founders Museum hosted by Nicole– dinner at Longreach RSL. Joined by #4, David Geers Searey VH=XWW The Pheonix, #7, Kevin Moore Searey VH-ZOY, Phezulu and #8, David Maddern Jabiru 430 VH-EDJ.   

QANTAS original Hangar Cloncurry

In this hangar in Longreach QANTAS built its own aircraft.

Report on Day 4, Wednesday 11March:

 235 NM: Longreach to Charleville:

0830 Group aircraft photo in front of QANTAS hangar

Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, #4, David Geers Searey VH=XWW The Phoenix, #7, Kevin Moore Searey VH-ZOY, Phezulu and #8, David Maddern Jabiru 430 VH-EDJ.   ,

Charleville activities: Visit to the site of the original landing at Glengarry: There was only a small monument there and it is a long way from the main town. We had a tour of the hotel itself, which has hosted Wrigley and Murphy, the Smiths, Amy Johnson and others. Dinner with historical society members and other interested people at the historic Corones Hotel (recommended accommodation place)  Thanks for the help of Gabrielle Wheeler and all other supporters of the Historic House museum who joined us for evening meal.

The aircraft flying this section lined up in front of the historic QANTAS hangar at Longreach.

Report on Day 5, Thursday 12 March:

368 NM: Charleville to Caboolture, Start 0700, take-off farewelled by  representatives of Murweh Shire and the Historic House Museum

Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, #4, David Geers Searey VH=XWW The Phoenix, #7, and #8, David Maddern Jabiru 430 VH-EDJ.   ,

Early start made desirable because of weather conditions. The arrival at Caboolture was made difficult by rain and wind. The Sea Bear , David and Jan Maddern's Jabiru  and David Geer in his Searey reached Caboolture. Louise Humble diverted to Kingaroy and Michael Coates stayed overnight at his home airfield on the Gold Coast. They will arrive at Caboolture by lunchtime, see below

Caboolture Sundowner Motel, close to airfield,

Activities in Caboolture organised by David Geers of Caboolture aero Club and Andrew Carter of TAVAS. Arriving aircraft were welcomed at the TAVAS hangar. Aviators were transported to accommodation. Dinner on Thursday night at the Sundowner motel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Report on Day 6, Friday 13 March:

day at Caboolture.

Tour of the amazing TAVAS aircraft collection led by Andrew Carter at 3 pm allowed for delays in arriving aircraft as described above and was an amazing revelation.

Evening: The Social Committee held a Centenary Dinner at the Caboolture Aero Club , start 1800, $45, cocktail, dinner, talk from Michael Smith, tickets sold out.

Contact:  david@computerdrive.com.au

This was an amazing day that cannot be adequately described here. The dinner, with a Gatsby theme, was attended by about 80 people. Michael Smith spoke on his adventures to a very interested crowd, The TAVAS collection is a national treasure that is unique.

 For technical reasons pictures from this amazing day cannot be included.

Report on Day 7, Saturday 14 March:

637 NM (including optional landing at Bourke) departure from Caboolture at 0530 so as to pass through the Dividing Range before anticipated bad weather.

Caboolture to Bourke.

Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, #3 Louise Humble (Jabiru 230 registration 24 7918)

Extended lunch at Nancy Bird Terminal, Bourke airport,  enjoying Bourke hospitality. Lunch catered by CWA, Lee Sharpe is the secretary and her number is 0488 722 807

Community program assisted by Jodie Sontag, tourism officer Tourism Officer, Back O Bourke Exhibition Centre,Kidman Way ,PO Box 21 Bourke NSW 2840,T: (02) 68721321,Email: jodie@backobourke.com.au ,Website: www.visitbourke.com.au,

Main contact for the day: Fran Carter of Bourke Shire. Specially printed historical banners were made.

mte@bourke.nsw.gov.au

0417 140 209

Bourke to Narromine:

Bourke to Narromine distance about 180 nm. Arrial about 5 pm

Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, Louise Humble (Jabiru 230 registration 24 7918)

Beryl Hartley arnie.hartley@gmail.com ,02 8329 5759 , 0407 459 587 arranged accommodation and events

Kelly McCutcheon Narromine shire helped with publicity and the event has been covered by 2DU.

­

 

Time

Description

Saturday 14 March

5pm

Arrival

6pm – 8pm

dinner at the Narromine Aero Club

Sunday 15 March

 

Tour of the Narromine Aviation Museum  etc M Neimes

6pm – 8pm

Sunday night BBQ at the Gliding Club. M Smith to speak

Monday 16 March

TBC

Departure

 

Report on Day 8, Sunday 15 March:

Event at Narromine. Talks by Michael Neimes, curator of the Narromine museum and Michael Smith. Visit to monument to Vimy landing on the golf course. (this day is between two long and complex flight days and full activity plans were not needed!)

At this stage the effects of the Coronavirus were beginning to be felt and from here on there were considerable alterations to plans.

Day 9, Monday 16 March:

 Narromine to Shellharbour was planned, but weather forced a stop at Rylstone:

Overnight at Rylstone airport.

Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, #3 Louise Humble Jabiru

Suggested accommodation: Lakeview Motel Shellharbour, about 6 k from airport: nearer motel is full.

Day 10, Tuesday 17 March:

Arrival at Richmond 1400 because of RAAF activity.

All landing at Richmond, Luskintyre arrangement not required. Aircraft were met on tarmac by RAAF representatives and departed.

Flight over Sydney by V1 route. Sea Bear flew over Sydney Harbour and made a landing approach at Rose Bay.

John Daley with Brett Thomson joined the flight from here to Adelaide and were hosts at HARS..

Covid is impacting our activities. Point Cook musuem is closed. Checks made on future activites, most places were keen to go ahead with less formal activities that enabled 'social distance'.

Report on Day 11, Wednesday 18 March

Shellharbour to Cootamundra. About 200 nm all up. Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, Louise Humble (Jabiru 230 registration 24 7918),

John Daley, Lake Buccaneer VH-TZT with Brett Thomson. Staging at Temora to visit Temora Aviation Museum, lunch here. Group take-off and flight to Cootamundra, less than 20 nm away. Community welcome and evening meal by Cootamundra History Group. who provided transport etc and visits to Museum and Arts Centre, 

Great group meal at Central Hotel. Accommodation Southern Comfort Motel

 

Report on Day 12, Thursday 19 March:

Cootamundra to Benalla

250 NM total. Group take-off about 0930.

Aircraft participating:   #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, John Daley, Lake Buccaneer VH-TZT Louise Humble (Jabiru 230 registration 24 7918)

Aircraft landed at Henty, on a private airstrip about 3km west of the township, to be welcomed by the local history group who are keen to recognise the Vimy’s forced landing at Henty on 24 February 1920. At least 40 people attended, with good discussions of local history.

Coordinator John Ebsworth, Historical Society and Trevor Haines, ALA owner.

Benalla, which has another wonderful aviation museum, welcomed us as usual, with lunch and visit to museum at 1200. The group dispersed as the activities in Melbourne are curtailed as below,

Report on Day 13 Friday 20 March:

The Point Cook Museum is closed and all that is happening is a brief visit by participants to the Point Cook Flying Club, and to Laverton RAAF base, There are no opportunities for public participation, which is not a happy situation as Victoria, particularly  AHSA Victoria, has been a strong supporter since this event was first proposed over two years ago,

Weather caused problems. The light aircraft pilots were worried about the weather over the Kilmour Gap and also the landings at Little River so Louise Humble and Michael Coates with Tom Lockley as passenger did not go to Point Cook, very disappointing for the aviators. They flew to Horsham for overnight.

Michael Smith in the Sea Bear, with John Daley and Brett Thomson in the Buccaneer, reached Point Cook at 9 30 and were taken to Laverton RAAF base to see the various Smith flight exhibits in the Combined Officers and Staff Mess (COSM), These included the original propeller of the Vimy, They then joined members of the Point Cook Flying Club for lunch.

Report on Day 14, Saturday 21 March:

(approx. 400 NM) flight to Adelaide (Gawler) staging at Nhill, another historic centre.

Aircraft participating:

#2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, #9 John Daley, Lake Buccaneer VH-TZT. leaving from Little River airstrips

Departing from Horsham:  #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates . Also  #3 Louise Humble (Jabiru 230 registration 24 7918)

Mark Carr  flying from Benalla to join at Nhill had to withdraw

Point Cook departure: None: Ben Ippolito no longer flying.

Nhill: Arranged by Jennifer Goldsworthy. The Nhill Aviation Historical Centre were very supportive. Aircraft landing were greeted by about 30 people, with refreshments, a barbecue, and access to their wonderful museum. Michael Smith spoke about his journeys and Tom Lockley spoke about the Australian section of the Smith flight. The flight of the Vimy over Nhill was recognised  by Michael Coates in his Pipistrel and the resulting message will form part of the archives of the museum.

Martin Walker, President of the Organising Committee of Aeropex 2019 and leading aviation philatelist organised a display at Gawler airport for the afternoon. The display was spread widely around a hangar, in deference to the almighty Corona virus, and many other precautions were taken, Presentation by M Smith of material carried for his organisations.

Rob Moore, of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots arranged an evening meal with local aviators as the meal and visit to South Australian Aviation Museum was cancelled.

Members of the Gliding Club and others generously provided transport to and from the accommodation in Elizabeth, some 20 minutes away,

Report on Day 15, Sunday 22 March:

Gawler to Aldinga:

Thanks to skies denuded by Corona Virus, almost all aircraft flying to Aldinga flew over the city departing Gawler at about 1100:

 #1 Pipistrel VH-LEC, Michael Coates,  #2 Michael Smith Sea Bear Southern Sun, J#3 Louise Humble flying Jabiru 24 7918, #9 John Daley, Lake Buccaneer VH-TZT who have flown from interstate

Flying from Parafield via city route: Pipistrel ALPHA Electro flown by Barrie Rogers.

Others:  Bradley Leksas, flying Roko Aero Stratus 24-7357. Chantal Didenko and Rod Curtin, Jabiru 24-7693

Geoffrey Schuster flying inland route in Jabiru 19-8399

Brief formalities about 1230 were conducted and Michael Smith outlined the flight and Tom Lockley spoke to thank all concerned. The while event was conducted with awareness of socal distance by the Aldinga people, notably Patrick Normoyle and John Ellis with the assistance of Lainie Anderson and support from History Trust of South Australia. This concluded the celebration of the transcontinental flight as far as AHSA is concerned.

Monday 23rd March

was the 100th anniversary of the Vickers Vimy Landing in Adelaide, so I visited her behind a glass cased hangar to pay homage, just the two of us alone to ponder the achievement and the state of the world then and today. As I departed to fly over the landing location, a RAAF P8 Poseidon conducted a city orbit and flew ahead marking the centenary. A crowd of 7 people watched from below. (From Michael Smith

Corona virus rules! But nothing can spoil the highlights of this event, thanks to literally hundreds of wonderful people.

Thank you all!

Tom Lockley.