School's flying visit

By Nick Furmage

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A class photo in front of the club trainer planes.
A class photo in front of the club trainer planes.

Pupils from Room 6, Turuturu School came to visit the Stratford aerodrome on a sunny Tuesday, August 23.

Around 18 children, plus parents and staff arrived in time for morning tea in the clubhouse before we showed them around.

First on the agenda was a thorough safety briefing, which included identifying hazards to be aware of as well as showing what they were and why there were a risk - moving aircraft, propellers etc.

After the briefing, we set off to Hangar 1 where we have four aircraft stored.

From the Bantam, which most people recognise as being a microlite (nowadays they are called recreational aircraft), through to the most technically advanced aircraft we have on site, the Sting S4 which comes complete with television screens.

We talked about what the different parts of each aircraft were and how they work, which linked in with their class learning. We then went on to Hangar 2 where the Hawk, the only biplane at the aerodrome currently, is housed.

Pupils were able to explore another plane in the hangar up close, the Sadler Vampire, sitting in the cockpit to see what it feels like.

When we have visitors, we encourage them to sit in and touch the aircraft where they can as it enhances their experience.

Hangar 3 was next on the list, where the club trainer planes are parked, as well as the ever popular Mustang. Class photos were taken with the club trainers and the Mustang, after which pupils also had a chance to sit in the cockpit of the club trainers.

Parents didn't miss out, as they had the chance to sit in the pilot's seat of the Mustang.

Our CFI (Chief Flying Instructor) Wayne Richmond then arrived and gave an impromptu display in his aircraft the Sonarei.

This was very well received as he did loops, rolls and a fast run through.

The kids gave him a round of applause on his return.

The final part was to get everyone of the kids on the wing of the Mustang for their own photo, to say that was popular was an understatement.

Pupils from Turuturu school with the Mustang.
Pupils from Turuturu school with the Mustang.

We then retired back to the Club house for lunch and a surprise birthday presentation as one of kids was turning six, so a good round of Happy Birthday was sung. I presented him with a set of wings which he was quite stoked about.

Then we heard a plane arrive and it was Mark in the locally based Aerowork Cresco topdresser home for the day.

Once it had shut down we headed down to have a look. Mark as always was happy to show the kids around and a look in the cockpit was required, then around to the back to see what's in there.

After a good three hours of Aerodrome exploration it was time to head for home.

Thanks to the parents who provided escort duties as well as the class teacher and our team members who took the time to show the kids around.

Thanks to all members for allowing us access to the aircraft. You are welcome back anytime TuruTuru School!

We are a community organisation and are happy to host visits to the Stratford Aero Club Sport Flyers and the aerodrome.

We will be celebrating the Aerodrome's and the Stratford Aero Club Sport Flyers 85th birthday next January.

- Stratford Press

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