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SAAA fly-in Cowra NSW

Guest Fred Bear

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Guest Fred Bear

Well here is our trip report from the SAAA fly-in held in Cowra NSW this weekend.


Had a great weekend and a great time at this air show. Emma and the kids and I left Sydney around 0800 on Friday morning and made the long 300-something km trip. I had three grey hairs when we left but after having gone the distance with two kids screaming and kicking my seat in the back I think I now have ten!!!!068_angry.gif.cc43c1d4bb0cee77bfbafb87fd434239.gif The best/worst part was the last 100km stretch of the Mid Western HWY between Bathurst and Cowra. Had to make the traditional McCholesterol stop and got into Cowra just after 1100. Entry was $15 each for Emma and I at the gate and that covered the whole weekend so we did not think that was too bad. Parked in the dry and dusty car park. Infact, the whole of Cowra and surrounds looks as though it has not seen rain for quite a few months. I was impressed by the local flies though. Literally thousands of them and they are able to do amazing things like aerobatics around your head, socialise on your back and make it into your ears, nose, mouth and any other orifice that one has. They also had an amazing immunity to Aeroguard! It was good to catch up with Glenn (the owner of another forum), Darly and Jo Clee from VIC in their J430 VH-CSJ (more about that later), aerobatic pilot Paul Andronicou and Uncle Fred (justfred) from these forums. Also bumped into Mick again with his Dova Skylark. They had you a more respectable spot this time mate ;) There was an array of aircraft there at this fly-in. Most impressed. We left around 1600 that day to make the trip back to my folks farm NW of Orange and Bathurst (150km trip). That was my fault as making enquiries to hotels/motels/caravan parks etc in Cowra a week before the event just ain't going to cut it 088_censored.gif.2b71e8da9d295ba8f94b998d0f2420b4.gif The trip from Cowra to Orange is a much more interesting one than the Bathurst Cowra. Some 50km of dirt road after the initial 100km and we are at my folks farm. Well deserved bbq and sleep after the first day followed. Emma and the kids and I were up at 0500 Saturday morning departing around 0700 to make the trip back to Cowra. Were there about an hr and 3/4 later. First thing was first and that was to go for a flight with Daryl Clee in his J430. Emma was as stoked as usual (not) to go for a fly. Just amazing at how dry everything is out that way (folks farm included). We went up to around 4,500ft and did the Cowra and surrounds flight. I then got to take control of Daryls J430 and was most impressed by the way she flew. Built it himself too! You should be proud mate. This is a real Jab! A perfect landing by Daryl followed. After that was good to catch up with Glenn again and got the usual sonic display of Matt and Kaz flying in with their CT4. I swear you can hear them coming from 10 miles out! Watched some aerobatic displays by the Pitts, YAKS and others. Paul Andronicou always impresses with his Extra 300S! It was then time for me to go for an aerobatic flight in Pauls RV8-VH-VPA. I had been looking forward to/dreading doing this weeks prior. Pilot was Daryl Clees son Shane (predominately a Pitts pilot). Strapped in the back seat with head gear and all ready to go! I truly think I was more nervous than when I did my first solo back in the GA days! Was a bumpy old ride up to about 6,000ft and quite a few miles to the North of the airfield. Shane then explained he would first do a barrel roll. Got that over with and what followed were many other tricks. Loops, more rolls, inverted and some stall turns etc. I just could not believe how heavy I was at 4.5G. The g-loading is the biggest factor of the flight that stood out to me. I am still sore today! I was fine through all the tricks but then coming in to land is when I got crook. Got the cold sweats, mouth full of saliva, turning stomach etc but nothing came of it. I put the sick bag away and landed. This was well and truly an experience that I will never forget for as long as I live. Up there with watching your child being born, first aircraft solo etc. Amazing! I will be doing it again. Next time with Paul himself. Who was it on these forums that said that it will take you a week to get over it? Brent C I think and you were right mate ;) Caught up with Dave C and Marilyn C from here too. Glenn then took us all for a tour of the airport and the production facility for the Brumby. Really enjoyed the day and did not realise just how quick it was over. We ended up departing around 1700 so as to avoid the roos on the way back to my folks farm. We had a great weekend. This fly-in was much better than the Narromine airshow a few weeks back. Was great to catch up with all of you again. Looking forward to the next one. Enjoy the pics below!


Shane and I taxii out in Paul Andronicous RV8 VH-VPA (photo by Glenn).






Rolling (pic by Glenn).






Airborne (pic by Glenn).







I have no idea what I am looking at here beside Paul Andronicous Extra 300S, VH-XTR with Dave C looking on behind me. Paul strapped in ready to do a display (pic by Glenn).







Emma and I beside a very large RFS aircraft. You need a crane to get into the pilots seat (pic by Glenn).







Emma and I with Paul and his Extra (pic by Glenn).









Emma and I with Daryl and Jo Clees J430 VH-CSJ.







Cowra aerodrome from above.









Below: Some inflight pics in and around Cowra.







Below: A P40.







Below: Pitts VH-UDP.







Below: Pauls RV8 VH-VPA.







Below: Pauls Extra VH-XTR matching the fire engine in background.







Video of aerobatics in RV8 to come...



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I'd recognise those coloured wings of Daryl Clee's J430 anywhere.


Did Daryl mention that he knows me Darren? He built his machine in East Bentleigh about 500 metres from where I worked so I used to frequently drop around when he got stuck. He may have stolen my central locking idea if you were wondering!



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Guest Fred Bear
I'd recognise those coloured wings of Daryl Clee's J430 anywhere.Did Daryl mention that he knows me Darren? He built his machine in East Bentleigh about 500 metres from where I worked so I used to frequently drop around when he got stuck. He may have stolen my central locking idea if you were wondering!

Hey mate, yes Daryl and Jo did mention that they knew you. They are lovely people mate. Going to sms them in a minute to make sure they got home ok. The central locking? Shhh, I am sworn to secrecy with that one. Gosh, the format I put the pics in leaves a lot to be desired :devil:



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Guest David C

Thanks Darren .... A great report from a great day at Cowra . Have you come down to Earth yet ??? ... I bet the adrenalin is still pumping hey !! .. We got back about 1430hrs , had a good trip back flying line astern with Just Fred in the Mitsubishi's:laugh:.. We almost collected a kangaroo near Yass , it made a crossing manouver between the two cars , Fred said " what kangaroo , I never saw one " .. What about the flies !! , I reckon Luke must have eaten a couple of dozen . The good thing was the heat managed to warm the beer naturally , non of this cold throat numbing stuff for me , it was beautiful , easily the best ale I've had in Aussie !! ;)... Here are few photos taken on Saturday . Hope you like them


Paul getting ready to display



The Oaks Crowd






Dova Skylark ( What a beauty !! )



Dave C



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