Busselton Fly-In Weekend

The Club’s annual fly-in to the South West was another successful RACWA event attracting 20 aircraft with a helicopter joining in too, and all flying in from Jandakot, Serpentine and even Esperance.

Perfect flying conditions provided spectacular views along the coast en-route prior to landing at the busy Busselton Margaret River Airport. A valuable new experience for some pilots included mixing arrivals with a return Jetstar flight from Melbourne, Coachwatch Challenger jet aircraft and a host of helicopters and other fixed wing aircraft.

The majority chose accommodation at the Esplanade Hotel Busselton, conveniently only a short walk to the Shelter Brewery and its Function Floor-the stunning venue for the Pilots and Partners Dinner.

The function floor at Shelter with its spectacular views across Geographe Bay from its alfresco deck became the perfect setting for the pre-dinner drinks as the sun set across the Bay prior to sitting down to dinner. The dinner menu served down long banquet tables “feasting style”was followed by selections of Millers Ice-cream from Cowaramup. Naturally a range of Shelter beers and Margaret River wines were the feature beverages included.

MC Vaughan Emery introduced RACWA President Ray Challen to welcome the 60 guests followed by Zeb Packard-Hair, President of the Busselton Aero Club-and coincidently, part owner of Shelter Brewery! Presentations of door prizes and surprise birthday gifts was followed by a special acknowledgment to member and private pilot Russell Philip, owner of twin Comanche VH-TXC who recently surpassed 1000 hours in his log book. Congratulations Russell!

Earlier Vaughan had surprised guests with breaking news that Ray Challen earlier that afternoon had been nominated by Qantas for the inaugural “ Alan Joyce Award” for carrying the biggest pax load (5 POB) to the Busselton fly-in and all this achieved with Ray’s GA8 Airvan arriving on time-with no turn backs–and no lost luggage! Ray’s “award” all a hoax of course.

Sunday morning dawned, another perfect day with some opting for a swim, a stroll, or an early morning coffee on the beautiful Busselton foreshore. The coach transfers back to the airport arrived on time for all to join the Busselton Aero Club for their popular monthly cooked breakfast. After breakfast some elected to stay on and enjoy Busselton, while other pilots and passengers departed at leisure across the morning to conclude a fabulous weekend of flying, fellowship and fun.