Tuesday, April 07, 2015

A fantastic morning flying with Dave See - Theodore, Central Queensland

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 aboard and prepare for a local flight.

Of interest, Theodore Aerodrome is located nearly seven kilometers from the township with an approximate 1 100m (length) sealed runway aligned in the 17/35 direction providing ample landing and take-off 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 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 devouring almost half the jar of biscuits as I had not had 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 aboard 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 208B Grand Caravan VH-LYT.

On a final note, not only would I like to sincerely thank Liz and Dave for thier kind hospitality, delicious cookies and informative chat, but also for the thoroughly enjoyable morning of flying.

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%).


Taking a rest between flights at Liz and Dave's property, Frog's Hollow, Theodore.