In these days of (seemingly) ever-closing airfields, it’s great to hear of a new one opening – in this case just 14 kilometres to the north of Clare, in South Australia.
The airfield is the result of a 5-year (and probably longer) effort by the Clare Valley Flying Group, led by founding president Adrian Smith, to build an airfield ‘to connect Clare with Australia’. The main runway is 1200 metres, with a 600 metre cross strip and caters for a variety of different aviation activities, from crop spraying to charter, recreational to vintage.
The official opening day is on 1 November 2014. Why not fly in during the day and enjoy a very special dinner in the evening. If you are going, the Clare Valley Flying Group requests you pre-book your arrival and dinner ticket here: Official Clare Valley Aerodrome Opening.
The official opening ceremony will be performed around 2-3 pm by father and son pilots Peter & Richard Champion de Crespigny – if Richard’s name sounds familiar, he was flight captain on the ill-fated Airbus A380 Qantas flight QF32 which blew out an engine departing from Singapore airport. Although there were 5 qualified pilots and instructors on the flight, Richard was the captain responsible for getting the plane safely back on the ground – which as we all know, he successfully achieved.
I won’t be able to make the day myself, as it coincides with a very special date of my own – my 25th wedding anniversary – and I’ll be away in Queensland celebrating. But if you can get there – please go. It’s not often we get the chance to celebrate the opening of a new aerodrome!
There’s a very nice YouTube video about the aerodrome here: Clare Valley Aerodrome
PS – Rob Hatswell, responsible for Foxbat sales in South Australia will be there on 1 November – look for the ‘Foxbat Australia’ teardrop flags and go and say hello!