SFC has a mission to support regional aero clubs in these challenging COVID times, and we have recently been attending a number of fly-ins with other clubs. Last Sunday, the 1st of November, SFC were invited to the Tumut Aero Club to attend their annual fly-in in the beautiful snowy mountains region.
Despite the challenging weather we departed Bankstown under IFR to make the 2 hour journey west, above Canberra, to Tumut Airfield tucked between the lake Blowering, Tumut river and the Snowy Mountains. More than 14 aircraft made the trip and we were greeted by a vibrant and enthusiastic aviation community. Tony from Tumut club gave us the royal tour and introduced us to a gaggle of interesting characters all brimming with aviation stories from flying in country Australia.
There were rows of aircraft lined up, proudly on display for people to examine and a large South African engineer, ex SAA, called Tiny, showing off his own aircraft he designed and built by hand. The Tumut Aero club has AVGAS and Jet A1 (Skyfuel) making it a great place to stop on your cross countries, plus it has a special relationship with SFC to allow our club pilots to come and stay in their accommodation as a fantastic home base for exploring the snowy mountain region or just a great place to rest between flights.
After enjoying a country BBQ and a nice cup of coffee in the glorious weather engulfing the region we refuelled and departed back east. As we climbed to 9,000 we enjoyed a strong tailwind on our back and marvelled at the beauty of cloud surfing as we crossed back over the blue mountains. As we passed over Canberra and Lake George, we heard a deafening wailing sound over the radio; we quickly identified that we were hearing an ELT on 121.5 MHz, and swiftly reported this to ATC. This event strongly reinforces the importance of always monitoring 121.5, as you could be the first aircraft to hear an ELT and pass over the area where the ELT is transmitting.The wet and windy weather had not moved from the basin so we had to make a full IFR approach into Bankstown via RAKSO in a congo line of other aircraft restricted to instrument approaches.
We look forward to returning the hospitality when the four representatives and two planes from the Tumut Aero Club join our SFC fly-in to Mulga Pub/Byrock on the 28th November.
Another magic day visiting a unique part of NSW and a great way to strengthen bonds between Tumut Aero Club and SFC.