Callide Dawson Flying Group

             Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035, Dave See

 
Manufactured by Howard Hughes Engineering / Aviation of Ballina, New South Wales and first registered on September 8, 1986 - LightWing Lw1 25-035 is reportedly airframe No.2 of this specific aircraft model however according to RA-Aus records, 25-035 was the first LightWing to be registered, 21 days before airframe No.1 which is said to be currently hangared somewhere in the Mackay / Proserpine area.
 

Newly built, “Papa 35” began it's flying career with an Mount Gambier based aeroclub in South Australia and was predominately used for flying training. However, it is believed the original powerplant fitted to Papa 35 (either a Rotax 447 or 503) was grossly underpowered for the required purpose leading to an unfortunate incident when the engine became unserviceable after being cooked or a fault leading to a seizure of the powerplant. Upon minor modifications, Papa 35 was retrofitted with a larger, more powerful Rotax 532.

After spending some time flying with the Mount Gambier based aeroclub, Papa 35 was eventually onward sold to become a resident at Parafield, South Australia. Sometime later, Roger Porter of South East Queensland who is associated with the aeroclub at Jacobs Well / Heck Field purchased Papa 35 and flew the aircraft to it's new home from South Australia. Apparently the then fitted Rotax 532 also ‘died’ (cause unknown) and replaced with a new ‘grey head’ Rotax 582.

Papa 35 then changed ownership yet again when Rex Koop of Theodore, Central Queensland purchased the LightWing in 1989. However, an engine failure caused an ‘outlanding’ resulting in substantial damage but was steadily rebuilt before being fitted with a ‘blue head’ oil injected Rotax 582 in 2008.

In May 2009, Papa 35 was purchased by Callide Dawson Flying Group member - David See - and flown to nearby Frogs Hollow which is a short 10nm hop from Theodore where to this day continues to live and fly regularly.

Of interest, the original registration was changed from P35 (hence "Papa 35") to 25-035 for the purpose of conforming with RA-Aus requirements.

Since taking ownership of LightWing 25-035, Dave reports he has thoroughly enjoyed a number of memorable flying adventures with the aircraft which include two trips each to South Grafton (NSW), Childers and Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island, three visits to Moonie aswell as hops to Emerald and the nearby community of Clermont.

Dave has also flown to a ‘Wings & Wheels’ event at Maryborough, visits the annual Old Station Fly-In at Raglan while very rarely missing any of the regular Callide Dawson Flying Group Fly-Ins and Hangar chats. Additionally, Dave proudly reports he was among the first to arrive and leave at both the 2010 and 2012 Monto Fly-Ins.

With just over 3100 hrs now recorded on the airframe and 530 hours on the current engine, Dave proudly reports 25-035 continues to fly beautifully. 

To learn more about the Callide-Dawson Flying Group and members aircraft already featured on CPS, click onto the following link : http://www.capricornplanespotting.com/211375540 

Please note : all original log books associated with "Papa 35" / 25-035 were lost in the Theodore flood of December 2010 along with much of the literature and files. What has been reported in this post is to the best of Dave's knowledge and the memory of previous owner, Rex Koop.

Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering Light Wing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035.

      A Fantastic Morning Flying With Dave See - Theodore, Central Qld

 

I thoroughly enjoyed a two-day road trek to the Central Queensland communities of Biloela / Thangool (taking in Smoky Creek Airfield) and Theodore in January 2014 for the purpose of not only meeting members of the Callide-Dawson Flying Group (CDFG) but learn more about aviation in the region.

After spending an entire day visiting Biloela / Thangool and surrounding area which included overnighting at a local motel, I was back on the road early next day for the one-hour drive to Theodore where I was fortunate to catch-up with local pilot and Callide-Dawson Flying Group member, Dave See.

Taking valuable time out-of-his day to not only familiarise me about the aviation industry / community in the region, Dave also kindly offered to take me for an aerial sightseeing tour of the local area in his much loved and proudly maintained Howard Hughes Engineering / Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035.

Prior to arriving at Theodore, Dave and I pre-arranged to meet at Theodore Airport where he flew into from his property (Frog's Hollow) only a short distance away. After enjoying an informative chat, I was invited to climb onboard and prepare for a local flight.

Of interest, Theodore Aerodrome is located nearly 7 kms from the township with an approximate 1 100m (length) sealed runway aligned in the 17/35 direction providing ample landing and takeoff real estate for small and moderate sized aircraft. However, as can be noted in two of the photo's, the runway is rather narrow.

Departing-off RWY 35, Dave wasted little time climbing to 1 000 ft allowing for a comfortable but safe height to take-in the truly spectacular sights of the local area which included the township of Theodore, Dawson Mine operation (North, Central and South pits) and local farming / grazing land which at-the-time were pleasantly green from recent rains.

After almost an hour buzzing around in the sky, Dave decided to land the smoothly running LightWing at his property so I could have a catch-up with his lovely wife - Liz - which also provided an opportunity for us all to enjoy a cup-of-tea and munch down some yummy homemade cookies.  

Actually, having mentioned that - I will take the opportunity to apologise to Liz for single handedly devouring almost half the jar of biscuits as I had yet to have anything to eat on the day and given the fact morning tucker was nothing-less-than delightful, I continuely found myself reaching back into the jar ... SORRY LIZ ! 

Nicely feed and feeling rather content, it was time for Dave and myself to climb back onboard 25-035 for the approximate 15 minute return flight to Theodore Aerodrome which allowed more time to appreciate a birds-eye view of Theodore and surrounding area before touching-down on RWY 17 and taxiing to a parking bay adjacent to Seair Pacific Cessna Caravan 208 VH-LYT (previously featured).

To learn more about the Callide-Dawson Flying Group, click onto the following link :

http://www.capricornplanespotting.com/211375540

Howard Hughes Engineering / Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering / Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035.
Howard Hughes Engineering / Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035.
Departing-off RWY 35. Theodore Airport, Central Queensland.
Theodore, Central Queensland.
A spectacular view depicting the three pits (North, Central and South) of the Dawson Mine operation in the Dawson Valley (near Theodore) in Central Queensland. Research revealed the coal mining venture is owned by the Moura Joint Venture, comprising Anglo American Metallurgical Coal Pty Ltd (51%) and Mitsui Coal Holdings Pty Ltd (49%).
Dawson Mine operation near Theodore, Central Queensland.
Dawson Mine operation near Theodore, Central Queensland.
Dawson Mine operation near Theodore, Central Queensland.
Farming / grazing land near Theodore, Central Queensland.
Farming / grazing land near Theodore, Central Queensland.
Farming / grazing land near Theodore, Central Queensland.
Flying over Frog's Hollow before making a landing at the property. Theodore, Central Queensland.
Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035 taking a rest between flights at Liz and Dave's property, Frog's Hollow, Theodore.
Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035, Frog's Hollow.
Departing Frog's Hollow.
Howard Hughes Engineering / Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035.
Farming / grazing land near Theodore, Central Queensland.
Howard Hughes Engineering / Australian LightWing (Lw1) 25-035.
Theodore, Central Queensland.
Theodore, Central Queensland.
Approaching Theodore Airport, Central Queensland.
Dave's LightWing (25-035) parked next to a regular visitor to Theodore Aerodrome, Seair Pacific Cessna Caravan 208 VH-LYT. As previously featured, Seair operate almost daily Fly-in / Fly-out (FIFO) flights to the region on behalf of Cracow Mine (Evolution Mining).

                American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA, John Rasmussen

The following transcript (below) was written by the owner of this much loved and cherished aircraft, John Rasmussen, and Capricorn Plane Spotting woud like to sincerely thank John for his time and effort for bringing us the informative yet entertaining reading about a beautifully restored and presented aeroplane.

 


 

I was visiting my brother and his family in the province of Alberta, Canada in 1994. My brother left D.K. (Danish Kingdom) in 1956. I also called in at Gary Hillman’s Hangar at Penhold – Red Deer Industrial Airport – where I spotted this beautifully restored 1956 Aeronca Champion 7FC - Tritraveller (American Champion Aircraft Corp - serial no 118).

She was sitting there – spic and span – on the clean and heated hangar floor, with 2 ft of snow outside. I asked Gary if I might be allowed to sit in the front (tandem seats) of this registered C-FLIA, and do some dreaming ?

A little while later, Gary came over and spoke through the port sliding window:  “She’s for sale, you know”

I then discovered that this delightful airplane - we are still in Canada - belonged to an elderly gentleman by the name of John Wittwer, Gary’s father-in-law and former crop sprayer (lingo also Canadian) pilot from way back flying Stinsons and Ag-Cats.

I called in on this-true-gentleman at Stettler where he also had an immaculate Piper Super Cub sitting in his shed – very low hours, but not for sale.

John got excited when I showed interest in the old Champ, and he told me a few stories about her. She had hit a snow bank in Calgary one winter, and he had replaced the port wooden wing spar, fitted new fabric all over and finished off with a complete paint job.

We made a deal, where he actually offered to knock Can$1000 off the price, Can $18000.

He conceded that it would be an expense to me to ship it to Brisbane, Australia.

John himself did the packing of the aircraft into the container which I had organized through a shipping firm in Sydney. The trip went by rail across the Rocky Mountains (British Columbia) to Vancouver, then by Container Ship down through the Panama Canal to England – and onwards via the Suez Canal to Australia.

At Hawker Pacific who put it together again and ‘Australianized’ the old girl, I remember the Chief Engineer’s comment:

“Whoever packed this aircraft into the container must have loved her dearly, it was exceptionally, carefully done“.

I was endorsed on now VH-LIA at Gordon Jenkinson’s Sunland Aviation, Archerfield, and almost (feeling) taller than the cockpit allowed, I got in and flew her home to Smoky Creek Airfield, now in ERSA / ALA as YSMK. The date was August 21st 1995.

The Champ is powered by a Continental C90–16F engine, developing 95hp and driving a McCauley IB90 / CM7345 propeller. I use LL100 Av-Gas, adding a light dose of Penrite upper cylinder lube (40mm per 20L) and thereby overcame an earlier, slight, problem with a sticking exhaust valve.

The engine is fully approved for using MoGas (Petersen Aviation Inc, Calgary), I gave that type of fuel away.

She cruises - flight planning - at 78-80 kts and takes-off / lands at her maximum 658 kg. She is hard to stall, even at 42 kts / one person – power off.

I am still in touch with John Wittwer in Stettler, Alberta. I visited him in 2011 and he is now approaching the age of 90. 

 


 

Hangar friends at Smoky Creek Airfield, Karatoo J6 19-4396 & American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.

American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA.
Karatoo J6 19-4396 & American Aeronca Champion 7FC VH-LIA, Smoky Creek Airfield.

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Latest comments

20.10 | 18:25

Hi, I sent you emails they all bounced back. I want to know if u do oneway transfer from Heron Island to Gladstone Airport. Please email me. Thanks!

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02.09 | 23:10

I would like to enquire about Pilot instruction .Does Thangool airport have a pilot instructor ? I have one hours of flight instruction under my belt.

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15.06 | 18:24

Hi Len. Really lovely aircraft you have built for yourself. Thank you for writing up the story and pictures. I am currently looking for an aircraft project.

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21.01 | 22:17

Giday. Len
Thanks for a great building history and photos of your J6 aircraft
I have a property at Durong South and want to base a J 6 there for local flying

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