Roulettes reduced to three by flu
By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au
IT HAS happened again ? the Roulettes have been forced to reduce the size of their aerobatic team in the Old Station Fly-in and Air Show.
A spokesman for the group said the flu had struck a number of the pilots so only three members of the team would arrive for the event this weekend.
Last year a fuel problem reduced the team to two, but the pair were still able to thrill watchers at the annual event. The spokesman said the decision to reduce the team was much regretted but could not be helped.
The three PC/9A Roulette aircraft, in their familiar red, white and blue colour scheme will arrive today at 4.30pm. Flight Lieutenant Mark Ellis, Roulette 4, will separate from the formation for a solo aerobatic display.
The Roulettes will perform as a team tomorrow then depart together at 1.45pm. This time Flight Lieutenant John Tausche, Roulette 3, will separate for the solo display.
Air show spokesman and host, George Creed, said the Roulettes were an important part of the annual event, but they were not the only attraction.
He said planes from all over Australia began to fly in to Old Station on Thursday and Friday, but the bulk of the arrivals would occur today.
'We have a T28 Trojan and Mig 15 Jet for those who like noise, and several Yak 52 and Yak 9 aerobatic aircraft will perform a Pearl Harbour dogfight with smoke,' he said.
The pilot of the T28 Trojan, Kim Rolph-Smith, said his plane had the distinction of being one of four aircraft flown by rebel Philippine forces that attacked Marcos' palace.
It passed through many hands since then. Mr Rolph-Smith bought the plane about 10 years ago and has spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars restoring it.