Jump for your Life

June 9th, 2014

Found another really nice base jumping video…. just thought I’d like to share it with you. Enjoy…


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Ultralight Pioneer Sander Veenstra

June 8th, 2014

Today, an article reproduced by kind permission of Arthur Marcel, about ultralight aviation pioneer, Sander Veenstra.

Please click on the box at the top right of the post to view with Google Docs.

Unable to display PDF
Click here to download

Thank you Arthur.

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Did you even know it Existed?

June 5th, 2014

Of course you’ve heard of “thinking outside the box”, right? How about “thinking outside the planet”?

Once again, not exactly ultralight related, but really interesting and a bit of a puzzle…. a US X-37B spaceplane in orbit for more than 500 days, and it barely gets a mention in the press. In fact, I simply stumbled over this article; wasn’t looking for it, was supremely surprised when I read it and considered the implications.

Makes you wonder, no?

Click on the link here: Thinking Outside the Planet

Interestingly, it turns out it’s not that different in size from our little CT!


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Watts Bridge All-in Fly-in, 2014

June 3rd, 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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Yes, we’re still here!

May 21st, 2014

Hi All.

I received an email from Brian G (he knows who I mean) this morning asking if he’d been dropped from the mailing list of this site. Well I have to say, I was pleased to get his email. It means, I’m happy to say, that someone reads my blog, and apparently looks forward to receiving the latest from Ultralight Aircraft Australia. So to answer Brian’s question, No, He hadn’t been “dropped”. Here’s what’s happening:

My wife, (the lovely Sandra) and I have been away overseas for the last 13 months, so sadly, you may have noticed that the website has been a little neglected. Not entirely, but fairly substantially.

I’ve done a post or two about places and events in the UK, and quite probably will do some more of Uk/Euro places in the future when we resume our travels. But not being in Oz and on-the-spot to hear what’s happening there has inevitably meant that the blog has suffered.

I’m sorry, folks. I’ll try to do better!

You can help…. I’ve often wondered if anyone reads the blog. When I started it, I also had a forum for use by the members, but it received such a small amount of traffic that I didn’t feel it was worth the effort maintaining it. So you can see that I’m encouraged when someone actually seems to be looking forward to hearing from me.

If you have some news you think is worthy of publishing, or a photo or two you might like to share, please let me know. It would be great to expand the site and make it better for all. Above all, It would be nice to see you make the occasional comment. Don’t be shy about making fun of my mistakes/stupidities, etc, it’s all grist for the mill, and I really don’t mind. Above all, I don’t think the blog should just be a monologue.

If you’re a real masochist, and for some crazy reason may want to follow the continuing adventures of Colin & Sandra, adventurers extraordinaire, you might also like to take a look at Euronomads.com … nothing at all (or very little) to do with aeroplanes, but much ado about our European motorhome travels. I don’t yet have it set up so that you can subscribe to it directly, but when I do, I’ll let you know. At the moment, we’re planning to go to Turkey and Greece this (northern) winter, and tossing around the idea of spending some time in the US, getting a motorhome there and visiting such places as Oshkosh, Fun ‘n’ Sun, etc. Maybe you’ll enjoy reading about it.

I try to be careful and stay on topic, which here is Ultralights. So that’s all I’ll say about Euronomads this time around.

But I thank you for your continued interest in this site and hope that I can entertain you with more aviation stories into the future.

Thanks again, Brian. :o)

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Gatton Airpark Breakfast Fly-in, 2014

May 12th, 2014

Terry Kronk's Focke-Wulf

The late Terry Kronk’s Focke-Wulf. Pssst! It’s for sale if you’re an adrenalin junkie!

Another year, and another successful Gatton Airpark Fly-in Breakfast.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect; close to zero wind, sunny but not too hot. Those who attended were treated to near-perfect flying conditions.

Alan Kirwan & kids

Gatton Airpark Resident Alan Kirwan takes his grand-kids for a ride, supervised by the lovely Sandra Johnson

Unfortunately, it was held on Mothers’ Day. Organisers miscalculated the date, and this is what they came up with. However, had it been held the previous week, it would have been miserable.
Nieuport replica for sale

Nieuport replica for sale

Strong, gusty winds and threatened rain would have kept people away in their droves. But happily, such was not the case this time.

A good turnout, and fun had by all, catching up with old friends and making new ones.

The lineup

The lineup

Resident Phil McMahon taxying his lovely old Auster,

Resident Phil McMahon taxying his lovely old Auster, “Gentle Annie”

Nice looking RV for sale

Nice looking RV for sale

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Base Jump from New Heights

April 25th, 2014

How’s this for a top BASE jump?

Two French guys here jump from the top of the 868 metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, setting a new world record. You just can’t get much higher, without a balloon.

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Popular Flier Dies at Gatton Airpark

March 2nd, 2014

John Stortelder, with daughter Alanah

John Stortelder, with daughter Alanah

For the most part, I just do this blog for the heck of it. Just a hobby, don’t take it too seriously. But when I find myself reporting on the flying-related deaths of not just people who are known to me, but friends, it gives me an unpleasant feeling.

Such is the case with the death today of John Stortelder, a well-known and much loved fellow aviator at Gatton Airpark.

John was a concreting contractor who ran his own successful business in Brisbane. He came to flying somewhat later in life, as many of us do, learning to fly in a Jabiru. Later, he learnt to fly the RV6, in which he died.

He first built a house at the airpark several years ago. For awhile, he spent weekends in this house, then he let the house out and made day trips up from Brisbane as his second unique, purpose-designed home took shape. John designed the house himself and did much of the work in the construction. He leaves a wife, daughter and son.

He died today, Sunday morning, doing what he loved to do – flying – first thing on Sunday morning as always.

No more of this stuff, please folks.

Some more links to other articles about the tragedy are to be found below:

The Brisbane Times

The Guardian

The Courier Mail

The Gatton Star

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LAA Sywell 2013, Day 2

September 1st, 2013

Day 2 of the LAA fly-in at Sywell, Northamptonshire.

Lots more pics:

Yet more pics…..

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LAA Rally, Sywell, 2013

August 31st, 2013

In August every year, the UK’s Light Aircraft Association (LAA) holds a fly-in; this year it’s being held in Sywell, Northamptonshire. Here’s a few piccies of of the first days’ happenings.

Both Sandra & I felt that it wasn’t as busy as it has been in years past, but it was nice to look at all the aircraft and meet old friends, anyway.

This balloon went right over the top of us (obviously!)

And more pics…..

Note the guy being interviewed for Flyer magazine (UK)

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