Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield History Site - Significant Airfield Events
 
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2011

Brisbane River Flood 26 January

During the week previous to the disasterious floods that occured in Brisbane, Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield received over 400 mm of rain in a week. This lead to some flash flooding about the airfield, but nothing too serious. The short video below gives impression of the situation at the airfield. The success of the airfield drainage system shows the soundness of the design (by Ross Stenhouse, Gus De Laat and Tony Hayes).

Mid-week prior to the week of the floods the followiing video was shot. It was becomming apparent that there was going to be a big flood. At this stage, the flooding was more beautiful than threating. The video shows scenes at Fernvale, College's Crossing, Ipswich and Jindalee boat ramp, Brisbane.

Two days after the flood, the following vides was shot from a aircraft based at Watts Bridge. The video shows the extensive errosion of the Brisbane River water course at and about Harlin (north of the Watts Bridge Airfield.. An interesting and informative video.

2010

UAV Operations - Aviation Press Briefing Day

On 20th May 2010, a Boeing owned company called Insitu leased a building on the airfield and has been using it as a base to fly UAV's. One day in May 2010, a presentation was made to the Australian Aviation Press. The UAV is called a ScanEagle.

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In the photo below , the ScanEagle can be seen on the capapult, the launch is quite spectactular, but no as great as the capture. In the capture the UAV flies into a vertical wire and and the wire strikes the wing and slides to the wing tip where a small clasp gets a firm hold on the wire and the bird is "plucked" from the air. See the video for more detail.

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Australian aviation videographer, Ross Stenhouse, made the short video below of the event. The UAV in the video is a ScanEagle.

 

Fire and Rescue

Late in September, The Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority conducted aerial operations at the airfield. Recently the Authority and identified the airfield as being strategically important for use as a base in the event of large fires during the fire season. The fire season is generally regarded as lasting 84 days in Queensland.

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The field of operation from the airfield for fire fighting operations is 25 nautical miles and fixed wing aircraft would generally have a 20 minute rotation. Other aeroplanes that those shown in the photos below are used, air observation generally uses a Cessna C182.

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A nice photo showing the fireman under training at Watts Bridge Airfield on 25 September 2010

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The photo above shows water being pumped into the AT802. It shows just what a big aeroplane this aircraft is.

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In the photo above the two of the aircraft used by Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority, the Air Tractor 802 fixed wing and the Squirel helicopter.

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The photo above shows the AT802 doing a dump of water to demonstrate to the firemen being trained how fire fighting with aerial assets works. The AT802 is the largest capacity firebombing fixed wing aircraft currently under contract in Australia. The AT802 is built in America and carries 320 litres of water, fire retardant solution or foam solution. Powered by a 1400 horse-power Pratt and Whitney PT6 turbine engine, the aeroplane has a 160 knot cruise speed.

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The photo above shows the helicopter pumping up a 1200 litres load of water for a demonstration flight.as shown in the photo below.

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2009

During 2008, two prominant Queensland vintage aviation indentities, Barry Hempel and Shane Winter were killed on consecutive days, the loss was deeply felt by people at Watts Bridge.

In tribute, Bart Stenhouse, a Brisbane based jazz musician composed and performed the very moving song 'Wings Immortal' to honour their memories.

Australian aviation videographer, Ross Stenhouse edited the video below from an earlier project that he and Shane winter had made during 1992. The video features two other prominant Queensland aviation identities, Bob Copas and Lace Maxwell who had been killed in the crash of Bob's Tiger Moth.


The video below was shot in order to show what happens prior to flight. The owner of the T6, Mark Shipton preflights the aeroplane together with the help of his father Mal.

Flying WW1 replicas can end up with exciting times

 

 

While it can be fun, it can be also nearly tragic

On 12th of April Bruce had a prang with his Nieuport Type 12 replica. Posst the prang Bruce reports that he feels that the aeroplane did not have enough rudder authority, the wings had the plane in the air before the rudder was able to counter the torque of the engine. Fortunately Bruce made a complete recovery and is back building another WW1 replica.

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Below is the video of a flight made from Kilcoy Airfield to Watts Bridgeby Mal Shipton and Ross Stenhouse in Ross' Tiger Moth. Its an interesting short video giving a good impression of what can be seen as a passenger in the front seat in a Tiger Moth.

 

 


   
         

 

To provide further information, corrections or feedback please email:Historian@wattsbridgehistory.com