A number of the Air Activity Team recently attended the Wings Over Illawara Airshow on the 12 – 13 November. In particular, Angela Williams (Activity Leader Air – Activity Pilot) wrote the following blog article about the weekend. read Angela’s story below:
Two days out from the weekend of 12-13 November, the Scouts Air Activity Centre was preparing to ferry one of its Cessna 172s to the Wings Over Illawarra Airshow and set it up as a static display. The plan, as usual, had to be changed from Saturday to a Friday morning departure, due to forecast early morning fog threatening our arrival. Fortunately, on Friday morning, the weather was sunny and winds light, which made for a pleasant trip from Camden Airport to Shellharbour, a short 26 nautical miles away.
After touching down, I pulled off the active runway onto the cross strip in search of the allocated parking spot. Carefully taxiing our little Cessna past the parked DC3 and other large historic aircraft, I received a signal to shut down the engine just a few short metres from where I needed to go. The Airshow ground staff were kind enough to help me tow the aircraft into position and with the help of my colleagues, we tied down and secured the aircraft for its overnight stay. We enjoyed taking in the sights of some beautiful old flying machines and stopped to have a chat with some of the RAAF pilots from the No. 100 Squadron as we walked back to another parked aeroplane taking us home.
The next day was again beautiful and sunny, as my 10 year old daughter, Grace, and I drove to the first day of the Airshow. As it was specifically a Scout Air Activity Centre (AAC) display we were attending, Grace was dressed in casual gear, but a promise of an ice cream at the Airshow was enough of a bribe to get her to don her Cub Scout uniform.
The traffic into the airport on Airshow Day was its usual slow crawl, and we eventually were cleared to drive right along the (inactive) cross runway strip to unload at our parked Cessna.
Not having grown up as a Scout, I was relieved to find that Kevin, a fellow leader from the AAC had arrived ahead of me and was in the process of setting up the site (I can fly an aeroplane, but I’m clueless when it comes to putting up marquees, tents and the like). Fortunately, Grace was with me to lend a useful hand to Kevin.
After some shuffling of the aircraft’s position, we finally finished setting up our stall. A collaboration with Garmin had been arranged to display our G1000 electronic flight instrument system (“glass cockpit”). We plugged a ground supply unit into the aircraft (this bypasses the aircraft battery), connected to a generator provided by Garmin.
We settled into our camp chairs for the day and had a steady stream of visitors stop by our stall for a chat. Many kids and their parents were interested in learning more about joining Scouts, but most visitors were Scouts, past and present, many with a story or two to share of their experiences. We sent many Scouts home with a brochure and message for their leader to organise to visit us for a flying day at the Air Activity Centre.
The Airshow geared up and the mix of defence, historic and civil flying displays were incredible! Grace and I agreed that our favourite displays were the opening, featuring the RAAF Roulettes aerobatic display team (always a crowd favourite), and the literally ground shaking (and deafening) F35 Lightning II grand finale, complete with simulated bomb explosions!
Grace enjoyed her ice cream and we both, along with other members of the AAC team, thoroughly enjoyed the day showcasing our Cessna 172 Scout aeroplane to the public and providing awareness of what we do at the Air Activity Centre for the Scouts NSW community.
Activity Leader Air – Activity Pilot
To learn more about Flying Activity Days at the Scouts NSW Air Activity Centre, visit https://air.nsw.scouts.com.au.
Visit: https://wingsoverillawarra.com.au/ to learn more about the Illawara Air Show.