Airfield History

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In 1977…

Luskintyre Aviation was formed by a group of vintage aircraft enthusiasts from the Royal Newcastle Aero Club in Maitland, New South Wales.

They needed an aerodrome from which they could fly de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft without the problem of interference from the increasingly busy commercial airport at Rutherford. Tiger Moths were not suited for operation at commercial airfields because, at the time, the didn’t have radios. To this day, many still don’t!

The Foundation

 

Jim Wall, one of the original members, found a suitable property on Pywells Road, near Lochinvar in the Hunter Valley. It was 220 acres of dairy farm in an area settled by Scottish immigrants in the early 1800’s

The Syndicate

 

A syndicate of 14 people was formed and 28 shares were issued.

  • Geoff Kubank
  • Frank Williams
  • Barney Riordan
  • Bill Duff
  • Alan Coulthard
  • Peter Mehan
  • Colin Philips
  • Dave Mitchell
  • Peter Mallon
  • Dr Herron
  • Trevor Blesing
  • Jimmy Wall
  • Alan Morris
  • Alan Wilson
  • Roy Jones

The property was paid for on the 24th Decmeber 1977.

Construction

 

Construction began on the first hanger in March 1980. This was to house the first ‘Tigers” kept at the property- BNI, ADW, & RIN.

The presence of an escarpment to the west of the river determined that the flight circuit pattern would be to the north-east of the filed. Many hours were then spent ploughing, digging and leveling until an airfield was born.

Early Days

 

Trevor Blesing made the first landing at Luskintyre on 7 May 1978, in his Tiger RIN.

In 1978 flares and barbecues were lit so the boys could fly until midnight, a time of wonderful freedom flying.

Members have come and gone. In the early 80’s several members wanted to leave. This left eight owners until 1985 when Kevin Weldon took up a ninth share, and erected a second hanger. Following the establishment of the WELWIND hangar, Ray Windred established a restoration workshop.

At that time the members were : Alan Coulthard, Jim Wall, Barney Riordan, Bill Duff, Trevor Blessing, Alan Wilson, Kevin Weldon, Frank Williams, and Geoff Kubank.

The Luskintyre Aviation Museum, as it is now known, has made a name for itself as the home of the Tiger Moth, and houses over 30 aircraft, many over 60 years old.

Current Shareholders

People who either own a share/s in the airfield, or who provide a regular contribution to the running of the airfield or museum.

As of September 2016 the Luskintyre Group are:

  • Keiran Balkin (Group President)
  • Geoff Kubank (Group Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Frank Williams
  • Barnett Riordan
  • Kevin Weldon
  • John Weymouth
  • Graeme Pirie
  • Jamie Campbell
  • Matt Webber
  • Brian Zeederberg
  • Niall Higgins
  • Col Slupik
  • Peter Davies

Geoff Kubank, Barney Riordan and Frank Williams were part of the original founding group, who have maintained continuous ownership in the airfield since establishment.

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