There was a fantastic display by the Jindbyne Aero Club as it came of age on the weekend when they celebrated the 21st anniversary of the Randall Community Airfield.
The expected crowd numbers were down due to the blustery weather on Saturday and the cold of Sunday but many people turned out to take advantage of the scenic and trial instructional flights on offer as well as enjoy the various displays of aviation wizardry in the jet and skill of the war birds, planes and helicopters.
On the Saturday, weather conditions dawned cold and windy with rain squalls threatening early in the day but this burned off to an extent to allow some limited flying activities although flying conditions were a little on the rough side.
Crowds attending were treated to the arrival of a Siai Marchetti S211 jet trainer which arrived from Mangalore, Victoria, flown by Stephen Gale, a board member of the Australian Warbirds Association. This aircraft returned later in the day to perform a series of spectacular aerobatic manoeuvres including a low pass at slow speed with the landing gear extended, allowing a really good view of the aircraft.
The Royal Australian Navy also attended complete with three squirrel helicopters which allowed people to see first-hand the application of technology in the military context. Their presence was very much appreciated as they showed some pretty snappy handling of a helicopter.
Seen flying high at the auction-raising dinner at Rydges Horizons Resort on Saturday night were members and friends of the Jindabyne Aero Club as they enjoyed an excellent dinner to celebrate the aero club's birthday. This was followed up by much amusement and frivolity when JAC Vice President, Paul Duncan, swapped his warbird helmet for the auctioneer's hammer and proceeded to cajole bidders to unleash their purse strings and put loot on the table.
High quality items such as two five-day lift passes from Thredbo resort; 12 bottles of Shiraz from Lerida Winery at Lake George; a fantastic steel barbeque stove; a Thalgo treatment with Spa by the Lake, and an airborne experience with Green Machine Adventure Flight were just a few things among the great array of wonderful products to bid for.
Sunday dawned overcast with barely a breath of wind but cold. By mid-morning the cloud had thinned and risen enough to allow for joyflights and flying displays. The day presented enough good conditions to allow a steady trickle of people onto the airfield and their visit was further encouraged by good coffee, and food thanks to the Lions Club, the CWA and the like.
The two Open Days weekend at the Jindabyne Randall Community Airfield was overall a resounding success and attracted considerable visitors into the snowy mountains for people to experience something other than just snowsports. There are many people to thank and without the efforts of Greg Daley, Phil Bollard and David Favelle for their organisational prowess, this event would not have happened.