The Monduran Aero Club is hosting a high-tea fundraiser to build a new exam room with an eye to increasing its training capacity.
The club currently has 16 students and offers training on a 45-day permit, however a dedicated exam room is required to meet Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations.
President and patron of the club James Mullett said the group had been constantly fundraising towards this goal and hoped the community would support the high tea.
“It’s a great idea put on by the ladies of the aero club,” James said.
“We’re asking the community to support the club in bettering itself.
“We look forward to as much support as we can get.”
Instructor and James’ son Harry Mullett said by supporting the club, residents would be helping them to expand their training courses.
“We’ve got a whiteboard but we need to set up a proper room with air conditioning and a computer to make it a permanent base.
“It would be good to see the proper building here so we’ve got a main base and so we don’t have to keep getting 45 day permits.
“After I get my grade two I will be permanently here for people to come and learn to fly.”
Harry is the junior instructor working with senior instructor John McEvoy but said as he worked towards becoming a grade two instructor he was excited to offer more training.
Flying runs in the Mullett family
For both James and Harry, aviation has been a lifelong passion.
“My whole life has been around aviation,” James said.
“I started flying when I was seven. There was always an aeroplane on the property.”
He founded the Monduran Aero Club 30 years ago and it has now built to be the “biggest aeroplane group in Australia”.
“It’s been a great success.”
However his father, Boodie Mullett, established the property’s original airstrip in 1932 after he was inspired by the region’s pioneer solo aviator Bert Hinkler.
The property has been owned by the Mullett family since 1864.
“Around 1920 Bert Hinkler flew to Gin Gin and delivered a letter to my grandfather,” he said.
“My father was nine or 11 and was so taken with the flight.”
He was impressed enough to ask his dad to request a tour of Bert’s gliders, which was granted.
“He spent a day with Bert Hinkler.
“There’s a photo on the hill in Gin Gin with Bert Hinkler shaking my grandfather’s hand and giving him the letter with my father in the struts of the plane,” James said.
“He flew all his life.”
Support the Monduran Aero Club at high tea
The Monduran Aero Club’s elegant high tea will be held at the Gin Gin Showgrounds Hall from 2pm on Saturday, 15 June.
Adding to the “yesteryear ambience”, entertainment will include an ensemble and dancers. A cake and plant stall will also be available.
A continuous raffle will be held with lots of giveaway prizes. There will be lucky door prizes and a first to book prize.
RSVP to Eileen Betts on 0409 609 346 or [email protected]
Monduran Aero Club continues to grow facilities
Harry said the Monduran Aero Club was predominantly a social group.
“A group of pilots just come together,” he said.
“Once a month they come here for a barbecue and have a meeting. We do safari fly aways, we go all over the country.”
The airfield has a clubhouse and grass airstrip that is “pretty well going north south and 1100 meters long”.
He said the airfield could accommodate up to an eight seat plane.
Monduran Airfield has landing lights enabling rescue and fire planes to land at any time if the need arises.
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