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Watts Bridge All-in Fly-in, 2014

As in past years, May means the All-in Fly-in at Watts Bridge, NW of Brisbane. So it was, on the last day of May, that this year’s All-in Fly-in was held.

The weather was fairly benign, although sadly, low cloud kept a few potential visitors away. The cloud was down to the mountain-tops immediately east of the field, which meant anyone from Caboolture or Caloundra area would have had difficulty making it in. And the “Boonah Boys” were said to be huddling in their hangar, being pounded by rain.

Still, for those who made it in, it was worth the trip.

Mallard & Harvard

Mallard & Harvard

There were a few aircraft I hadn’t seen previously at Watts Bridge, including a homebuilt jet aircraft. It really turned heads! Not the sort of aircraft we “lightie” pilots are accustomed to seeing around the place, and quite a treat to watch. Not exactly neighbour-friendly, we decided…. we tried to imagine how the locals at Gatton Airpark might respond to the noise produced, and decided it probably wouldn’t be well received. Gave us a nice fly-by as he departed.

Also in the interesting and rare category was a nice example of a Grumman Mallard. I seem to recall building a Airfix Mallard ‘way too long a go – am I really that old? – and I’ve always thought the Mallard as well as the Catalina & of course, the Sunderland were some of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. Always fancied taking a Mallard or similar and turning it into a flying motorhome… what a fun way to explore the remote parts of the world something like that would be.

Was it a genuine “Pou du ciel” – a flying flea, or was it a copy of the design? More than a passing glance tells me it’s not a flea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real flea here in Australia; several in the UK and Belgium, yes, but not here. A bit of a handful to fly, I’m told, and been the end of a few pilots because of it. I hope this one is a bit easier and safer to fly.

Other notable aircraft were a DH Dove, a Harvard or two, a few Tiger Moths, a few Chipmunks and an L4 Cub. And are they the Andrews sisters?

Catering was excellent, with good value for money burgers and sausage sandwiches, not to mention the delicious baked on site scones with jam and cream. Hard to beat.

A fun day, and we finished up staying much longer than expected.

Photos by kind permission of Arthur Marcel. Thanks, Arthur.


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