History of Hastings District Flying Club (HDFC)
HDFC had 130 members. Flying Membership fee was only $5 per year while social membership fee was $2 per year.
Port Macquarie Air Pageant April 11 1971.
The Hastings District Aero Club organised this display and it followed the usual pattern with aerobatics, crop-dusting, gliding and skydiving. Trade demonstrations were made by Piper with PA-24C Comanche, Aztec and Cherokee Arrow, and Beech with a V35 Bonanza.
The AESL Airtourer 150 VH-EQA, flown by Barrie Abbott, performed on three occasions to make up for the limited trade attendance. Highlight of the afternoon was the aerobatic and gliding demonstration by Alex Oliver in his vintage Klemm Swallow VH-UUR. Among interesting visitors to the display were Auster J5 VH-ADS, early Cessna 150 VH-PUM, Cessna Agwaggons VH-KQF & KQH, DHA-3 Drover VH-EOO.
An interesting resident aircraft is the only Lockheed 60 in Australia, VH-ELI which does not appear to fly often because the cockpit was full of cobwebs."
A second east-west runway was first used.
Club Captain – Bob Armstrong
Club Pilot of the Year - Dr Norm Drummond. Presentation Dinner was held in July at the El Paso Restaurant.
June 1972 fly away, HDFC organised a Red Centre Aerial Tour.
The club extended another 10 feet, due to growing "pains" to include a room for gound briefing.
Official opening of the new clubhouse featuring a Hawaiian night complete with a piping hot roast pig.
Flight instruction classes increased by 500% over the next 12 months and it was rumoured that the credit went to the very good looks of Trudy White, a part time female flying instructor. Trudy encouraged more women to fly. At that time, HDFC charges $27 an hour for flight instruction.
Youngest boys who went solo were Peter Abbott (16), Cameron Russell (16) and Tony Neill (17) who obtained their pilot's licence before having their driving licence.
Vern Polley, an "overseas airline pilot" became a member of HDFC.
Pilot of the Year – Col Harvey
Student of the Year went to a female - June Drummond
November 1977, the Royal Aero Club of New South Wales flew in. That very hot, dry and smoky day attracted many flies, thus the headlines in Port Macquarie News read "Flyers and flies come in for a landing".
Pilot of the Year – Barry Cunning, Club Captain – Barry Cunning
In May 1978, Jim Munday, Allan Mettam, Richard Oakes and Ian Moss joined in an air-search for four missing divers. The missing men were spotted and picked up by a police boat from Forster at 9 pm.
Dr Kevin Alford learnt to fly under the instruction of Trudy White. The two with another three doctors, Peter Briscoe, Richard Chan and Peter Reed soon set up Port Macquarie Flying School in the number two hangar of Port Macquarie Airport, charging $30 an hour. This raised concerns from HDFC's then President, Vince Williams that such action would ruin the club, especially so when the club just bought a new Piper Tomahawk VH-TLA for $26,000.
Pilot of the year – Win Partridge
The Australian Government announced a levy for commercial and private aircraft based permanently at the airport, which caused a financial burden to the club.
The club transferred charter and training licences to Barrie Abbott who set up Barrie Abbott Aerial Services with a plane rented from Kevin Alford.
Flier from the 1970s