15 April, 2023
“Winging it down the Castlereagh” with novel Tooraweenah air rally!
Aerial skills, including landmark and vision-based navigation, are to come to the fore in an air rally being organised in late May at the Tooraweenah aerodrome.
Planes will be “winging it down the Castlereagh” for
this novel event, recently given the green light by the
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
The Arthur Butler Aviation Museum at Tooraweenah
is organising the “Winging it Down the
Castlereagh” flight that will take competitors along the
Castlereagh River from its headwaters near Coonabarabran,
to Coonamble, before returning to Tooraweenah.
Using mostly-lost landmark navigation and
dead-reckoning techniques that go way-back before the
days of radar and radio, the aeroplanes will fly-over the
communities of Binnaway, Mendooran, Gilgandra, and
Museum president, Mark Pitts, said that the rally
will return aviators to pre-1948 flying days when there
were none of the modern aids to navigation that pilots
enjoy today. “It will be a real test of basic navigation
skills which are being forgotten with the introduction of
GPS devices,” Mr Pitts said.
Mr Pitts added that local community organisations
in Tooraweenah are coming-together for the event to
create a village fair atmosphere on the aerodrome to add
to the entertainment.
“People will be able to get ‘up close and personal’
with the planes and their pilots, while sampling the wide
variety of produce and products from Tooraweenah,” he
There are hopes that the novel event, seeking to
recreate the romance and adventure of air travel from a
bygone era, will become a yearly and exciting feature of
the aviation calendar.
“It will introduce Tooraweenah and surrounds to a growing group of ‘grey nomads’ who fly over this wide land, instead of dragging their homes across it,” Mr Pitts said.