Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 6, 2017 13:41:09 GMT 12
Justin Harris in Australia has kindly sent me these photos from the Skyrace Tasmania Air Races back in 1994 and 1995 at Valleyfield. Some of the aeroplanes you'll recognise from the New Zealand scene. Hawker Sea Fury ZK-SFR was flown across the Tasman both years by Grant Biel and flown in the races by Robbie Booth. And the Strikemaster '72 now owned by Charles Davis is also seen here.
Thanks Dave for posting the photos. Skyrace Tasmania was a fantastic if not short lived event with so many aircraft 'crossing the ditch' to Valleyfield in central Tasmania. Valleyfield was a satellite training field during the war for 7EFTS Western Junction. The event began with a round Tasmania air race over two days followed by several days of pylon racing. Classes consisted of CT4, Formula One (cabin single), Beechcraft Bonanza, Piper Aerostar (cabin twin), T6, T28, Unlimited and Jet (World first). The course was laid out Reno style over 26km from memory. The range of aircraft present was incredible for the time. The 1994 and 95 events attracted - CT4, Wirraway, Tigers, Stearmans, T6, T28, Fiat G59, Sea Fury, P51, Spitfire VIII, Boomerang, Strikemaster, JP4 Provost, Grumman Albatross, Mig 15, Iskra, DC3/C47 and even the Southern Cross replica. This combined with many classic and vintage aircraft and a huge complement of GA. The highlight was certainly the trans Tasman dual between Sea Furies and the G59, along with the late Bob Hoovers amazing Aero Commander routine. Those with long memories may remember the globetrotting Albatross that headed to NZ (Wanaka 94?). A nice family holiday I believe.
I will try and post more photos as time permits and may even be able upload some videos.
Post by planecrazy on Jul 11, 2017 17:22:22 GMT 12
No pic’s of the participants in Tasmania but couple of two of that crossed the ditch for the event. The Sea Fury ferried by the then owner Grant Beil and the Cessna Dragonfly, sorry can’t remember who flew her? I do remember the pilot telling me they had to pull out, while leading, mid-race due to a coms failure. The reason a plug came loose. The Dragonfly also used all of the island's 3,000ft runway to land and take off!
Last Edit: Jul 11, 2017 20:38:48 GMT 12 by planecrazy
Dave: if/when you find T-28 shots, one of them crashed with the crew killed on the way home from the event. I think it may have been a Lao-schemed machine. I remember a "STOP PRESS" addendum or caption to a Classic Wings Downunder article on the race mentioning it.
Last Edit: Jul 24, 2017 12:20:56 GMT 12 by ZacYates
Hi Zac. I will send Dave the T28 shots next week. Got some good ones. The T28 that crashed belonged to Don Kendall. Low level aerobatic manoeuvre on take off from Launceston (roll from memory). Very upsetting end to a great week and it certainly shocked all involved. But as the saing goes - there are old pilots and bold pilots.....
It was quite a shock given the professionalism of the pilots and crews involved in the show. There were several other incidents in 94/95 including a Pitts S1 'landing' inverted after a balloon cut and a Cassut running out of go juice and deadsticking into a potato paddock.
Chris is a top guy and great pilot. The Pitts held together well and just glided to a halt! He got out a bit red faced but had a laugh afterwards. Having flown Pitts I'm sure that's a trick I'd never attempt. May have that on VHS. Try to dig it out when time permits.