Canberra Aero-Club aims to bring together people with a common interest in aviation in order to enjoy and experience the challenge and freedom of flight as safely as possible. The Club believes that sharing aviation with people from all walks of life not only makes us better pilots but better people too. So come down to the club and have a look at our aircraft, talk to our members or share a flight with one of our pilots.
Operating since 1938, the Canberra Aero-Club is one of the oldest Aero Clubs in Australia. We are situated at Canberra Airport and enjoy being able to fly in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace. We are less than an hour’s flight to the southern NSW coast and close by to the Snowy Mountain ski fields. Flying throughout the wide and scenic spaces of the Murray-Darling Basin is also enjoyed by our member pilots.
The club operates a growing fleet of aircraft available for hire. We try and maintain a fleet that caters across different pilot budgets. With over 100 members, extensive facilities, great location and an increasing fleet of aircraft, we create an ideal environment for members and visitors alike.
Last year a few members of the Club decided to form a syndicate to purchase a late model aircraft in the US.
Tom Flynn, who put the syndicate together, said: 'After lots of discussion we settled on a Cessna 182T because it has good range and excellent payload. We found a good aircraft in Illinois which was within our budget and met our criteria. We got a US LAME to inspect it. There were no problems with the aircraft so we bought it in early April.'
The syndicate decided to have the aircraft partially disassembled and shipped to Australia. Tom said: ‘We found it was a bit less expensive to ship compared to ferrying. We contracted the company in Kansas which holds the Cessna contract for the export of all shipped Cessnas. They did an excellent job disassembling, packing and shipping. We were very pleased with their work.'
Fergus McCowan, a syndicate member, said: 'We felt it was a good time to buy a plane from the States. We wanted to take advantage of the soft market in the US for light aircraft and a very favourable exchange rate. I also like having an aircraft with state-of-the-art nav/com systems.'
The aircraft was reassembled by Scott Pringles and his team in Bankstown. 'Scott came highly recommended and did an excellent job. Reassembling a C182 is a highly skilled job, especially fitting the wings, but Scott's LAMEs are very experienced and managed it very skilfully.' Tom said.
Syndicate member Martin Grabert said: 'I'm looking forward to flying our plane and taking my family to see lots of Australia. I've flown a lot in Europe and expect the remote parts of Australia will be a very different flying experience.'
Initially the aircraft will be tethered on the grass but the syndicate has put its name down for a hangar space and will relocate the aircraft whenever a space becomes available.
'Look out for our new baby on the grass', says Liz Hanna, another syndicate member, 'she has been rebirthed in Australia as "Papa-November-Papa". I am very excited and looking forward to flying her and especially in becoming proficient in operating the G1000 and the KAP 140 Autopilot.'
Peter Flemming recently rejoined the Club. He was a member in the eighties. He decided to join the syndicate and said: ‘It's great to be involved in this project and be associated with the final exciting stages.'
It will be good to have a new bird on the perch!