Hopes fly for rescue service at annual aviation spectacular
IT HAS been one of the biggest fundraisers to help health in Central Queensland, and it's on again this month.
We're talking, of course, about The Old Station Fly In and Heritage Show.
Organised by the Creed family, plus a multitude of volunteers, the event over the years has raised more than $230,000 - initially for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and, more recently, towards the creation and continued operation of the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service.
This year's event will be held on May 24-25, and it's going to be jam-packed with demonstrations, exhibitions, joy rides and a spectacular show of all manner of aircraft and machinery.
Held at the Creed property, The Old Station, Langmorn Rd near Raglan, this year's special guest will be Australia's Red Bull Air Racing champion, Matt Hall, a previous Roulette pilot who is passionate about aircraft.
His appearance has been sponsored by Bechtel.
Mr Hall will arrive at the property on Friday afternoon and will be keynote speaker on Friday night, after dinner.
He will also perform aerobatic displays on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday is the main day, and during that day it's expected that about 250 aircraft will arrive and create a massive air show of light planes.
Other activities during the day will include a heritage tractor pulling event, incorporating a 10m long sled which will challenge the tractors' pulling power until a winner is found.
The sled was largely sponsored and built by Ashton Engineering of Rockhampton, with added sponsorship for various materials used in its construction.
As in previous years, there will be a show of heritage trucks and tractors, plus a multitude of other machinery - some old, some not so old.
Saturday evening will see the presentation of the George Creed Memorial Trophies for the winners of the tractor pulling and truck shows, and the Clyde Cameron Band will entertain.
In true country style, people are welcome to stay over for the weekend.
There is a large campsite for those who wish to camp, and there are hot showers and loads of toilets.
You can expect a bumper breakfast on Sunday morning, presented by the Boyne Island Lions Club. There will be further displays during the morning. It's expected that most aircraft will leave after lunch on Sunday.
HOW TO GET THERE
Travelling from the south, turn left onto Gentle Annie Rd, near Ambrose; then turn left into Langmorn Rd (a gravel road in good condition) until you reach The Old Station, then follow the signs.
If you're coming from the north, turn right into Gentle Annie Rd, near Raglan, and then right again into Langmorn Rd.
Evening: Dinner, 5-7pm, with guest speaker Matt Hall. Limited tickets available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
All day: Heritage truck show, with judging by the public. Joy flights. Tractor pull competition. Stalls, demonstrations.
3pm-4.45pm: First air display featuring Matt Hall and a solo Roulette, a P51 Mustang, float plane and many war birds.
Evening: Whip cracking, post splitting and sawing. Presentation of the George Creed Memorial trophies to the winners of the tractor pull, the truck show, the pilot who has flown the greatest distance to be at the event, and the plane of the day. Entertainment by the Clyde Cameron Band.
All day: Joy rides.
10am: Final air display.
Afternoon: Fly out after lunch.
IT ALL started way back in 1989, when the late George Creed created The Old Station Flying Club on the Creed family cattle property, The Old Station, near Raglan.
The club grew from relatively humble beginnings, and 15 very successful Fly Ins and air shows were held.
It was these shows which raised the funds for the RFDS and Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service.
Mr Creed's wife, Leonie, was so passionate about the service that could be provided to rural central Queensland, that she became one of the first honorary directors of the CHRS board, and she remained a board member for 16 years.
Over the years The Old Station Fly In has attracted some big names and supporters, including, in 2007, a visit by Dick Smith who, with 'Macca' and Lee, transmitted their radio show Australia All Over from The Old Station.
Then Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vale and his wife Wendy were also at the event that year.
The RAAF Roulettes have been regular features at most air shows, and this year a solo Roulette will attend and perform.
Mr Creed (the driving force behind the Fly Ins along with Leonie) died at the end of 2010.
In his memory the family decided to change the format and encourage more interest by still holding the Fly In, but also incorporating the truck show, tractor pulling and other heritage activities.
This year's event will be the fourth under the new format, which has proved to be very popular.