HISTORY OF TEMORA AERO CLUB
The Temora Aero Club was formed in 1946 after the closure of the No.10 EFTS, RAAF establishment after world war two was successfully concluded. A group of mainly RAAF pilots who had trained at the No.10 Unit at Temora and had gone on to fly Spitfires and other sophisticated aircraft during their wartime service, plus a few other locals anxious to learn to fly the great skyways, embarked on the formation of the club.
A public meeting was convened by Mr W J Porter at the Temora Council Chambers on 9th September 1946 to gauge the interest in forming an aero club. Those attending were, W.J. Porter, L.C. Littler, 0, Donaldson, H. McMasters, J. Coleman, H. Barbey, H. Nicholson, R.H. Webster, C.J. Wellingham, J. Farrell. T. Cummings, A Bradley, Dr. Parry and a Mr Thomas. The meeting obviously created the necessary interest and on the motion of R.H. Webster, supported by H. McMasters it was decided that the Temora Aero Club be formed, in association with the Australian Aero Club.
After some discussion, following the decision to form a club, it was decided that two Tiger Moth aircraft be purchased. (Tiger Moths were fairly inexpensive to acquire during this period.)
At a following meeting on 7th October 1946 an election of officers took place and resulted in Dr. Parry becoming Patron, President W.J. Porter, Secretary, R.H. Webster and T. Cummings, Treasurer. Annual membership was set at two guineas. for flying members and one guinea for non flying with half a guinea for ladies.
The two Tiger Moth aircraft were tested at Temora for air worthiness for 3 pounds ($6) and certificates of air worthiness were issued at a cost of one hundred and thirty pounds ($260) by Marshalls Airways,
The registration number of the Club’s first Tiger Moth was VH-AIL. The flying instructor with the Club up to 1950 was A. Hayes, with H. Nicholson as assistant.
The Bellman Hangar, with attached copper working shop, was the only one of the six hangars left at the airfield and allocated for the use of the Aero Club. Since then the Copper shop has been extensively upgraded to form very comfortable clubrooms, as well as an upstairs lounge and observation deck.
A number of Aero Club members have become involved in homebuilt aircraft construction and include Rodney Lovering, Robert Maslin, Simon Pike, Sam & Carol Richards and Greg & Ingrid Wootton. Peter Carlson set up a glider construction and service facility some years ago. A large number of owner-pilots have their aircraft hangared at the airport with many of them having their own hangars. David Lowy was a member of the Temora Aero Club when he was doing his aerobatic training leading up to his success in becoming Australian Aerobatic Champion in 1998, prior to his establishment of the Temora Aviation Museum.
The Temora Aero Club Limited has evolved into a thriving association with around 300 members, a large number commuting to Temora from other areas, including Canberra and Sydney, some having their own aircraft hangared, more or less permanently at the airport. The Aero Club has an attached training operation, Temora Flight Training, which operates from the club facilities. They operate with Tecnam Sierra low wing aircraft and offer Ra-Aus ab-initio training, RA-Aus instructor raining, and conversions for GA and glider pilots. The club operates the refuelling outlet, and is licensed, with bar and catering facilities.
The Club encompasses many types of aviation activities, which include general aviation, recreational aircraft, gliding and flying training. Gliding is very popular during the summer months and State and National gliding competitions are regularly held. Aerobatic state titles are held once a year and occasionally balloon flights are carried out from the airfield, by some Club members.
Other activities throughout the year include Natfly during the Easter long weekend, organised by Recreational Aviation Australia, specific fly-ins by aviation organizations such as the Sports Aircraft Association of Australia, and Antique Aircraft Association of Australia, just to mention a few.
The future for the Aero Club looks very promising, with unprecedented growth occurring at the airport that could see a major upgrading of the Club in coming years.