Women & Girls Take To The Skies
After providing an aircraft and Pilot to assist at the Bathurst event in 2015, Orange Flight Training decided we could offer the same opportunity to women and girls of the Orange region.
The involvement of Orange Aero Club was sought, because they have large new club premises right on the airport apron, and the capability to offer a first rate experience to women and girls.
Many of the aircraft owners and pilots involved, either in the flying component, or the static aircraft display, were current Aero Club members, however there were a few others who volunteered to contribute as individuals.
As well as Orange Flight Training, Thomas Aviation and City & Country Air Charters were both heavily involved. A last-minute unserviceability of a Warrior belonging to City & Country, resulted in them using a Cessna 210 at much greater cost to them.
The fleet on the day was made up of the C210, 2 Piper Arrows, a Piper Archer, 2 Piper Warriors, a Foxbat, 2 Jabiru 160, a Jabiru 230 and a Citabria. A couple of these aircraft were operated by 2 pilots alternately.
With two aircraft departing every 15 minutes, there were generally 4 aircraft in the air at a time, following a pre-determined route. Flight time was about 20 minutes.
Because Orange is a security-controlled airport, everybody going airside had to be escorted by someone with security clearance, but there were no issues at all compromising safety. The static display of aircraft, including an Air Ambulance, was well received by the women and girls, and the large number of friends and relatives accompanying them.
Aero club members were kept busy supplying morning & afternoon tea and lunch to those present at a nominal charge.
We were fortunate that weather conditions were near perfect, with light breezes and minimal turbulence. The forecast thunderstorms with 25 to 35 knot winds and moderate rain didn’t eventuate.