Hastings District Flying Club (HDFC) officially unveiled its new hangar on 18th April 2021.
The hangar has faithfully served as home to many planes for the past 50 years. The newly furbished hangar was unveiled as part of Port Macquarie’s bicentenary 2021 celebrations. Leslie Williams MP, Member for Port Macquarie led the official opening of the hangar. She had the help of a boy from the audience who was more than delighted to lead the countdown in unveiling the new hangar! This boy did not expect this day to be historical when he woke up that morning. He is now recorded in HDFC’s history!
Granted a Home
The New South Wales Government contributed $27,000 as part of a Community Building Partnership grant for the refurbishment of the hangar. The subsidy helped to make this new home come true for HDFC's planes. HDFC has a 63-year long aviation history and is a much-loved element of the community. It is great fun spotting planes in the sky from the HDFC family of planes.
Leslie Williams MP has been wonderfully supportive from the start, and she was delighted to drop by HDFC to share the good news when it was first made official that they were successful in gaining the grant for the refurbishment of the hangar. That was an important day for HDFC. Leslie Williams MP shared in the excitement and was thrilled to get into one of the red Slings on the ground to have a feel of what it is like to be in the pilot seat!
BJ Crowley Plumbing was awarded the contract for the refurbishment of the hangar. The Crowley's young boy, Billy Crowley is also a pilot. Billy received three awards in 2019. He obtained his Pilot Certificate on 21.2.19; (2) Variable Pitch Propeller Endorsement (Constant Speed) on 26.4.19 and (3) Passenger Endorsement on 7.5.19.
All About Planes
It turned out to be a gorgeous day for the opening of HDFC’s new hangar.
It was a bustling day under beautiful blue skies as families and friends mingled at the club house and outdoors. There were lots to do and there was something for everyone to be interested in.
Members proudly showed off their aircraft and clusters of people grouped around the planes to talk with the owners and sometimes even with the person who built the actual plane. In another area, there were queues to sign up for flights on HDFC’s Sling2 aircraft. There were many eager to take to the skies in the 30-minute discovery flights.
Inside the club house and hangar, visitors viewed historical presentations, radio control models, and plastic aircraft models. Tim Hitchins showed off his drones while others had their model aircraft there. There were many questions from young and old on these amazing flying machines.
Many were also interested in getting information on flying training. CFI Ray Lind presented information on learning to fly and he even met up with his flying students past and present, like Chaitanya Randive and Jack Kalchbauer. You never know who your future flying students may be, and HDFC’s event could well be fertile ground for budding pilots in the making, such as four and a half year old Henri who has set his sights high and wants to be a pilot! He was already very comfortable being in the pilot seat that day!
Home for Flying Dreams
HDFC has been significant in promoting aviation, especially to the youths of the Hastings District. HDFC’s history dates back to 1958 and since then it has been a flying club and Recreational Aviation flying school. It has its own hangar and club house at the airport. HDFC has a range of social and flying activities that bring everyone together, whether they be pilots, families or friends, everyone is welcome. Activities such as Pilot Proficiency Day, Tri Club Competition, Fly and Spy, Sausage Sizzles, Restaurant Nights etc. make HDFC a warm and friendly place for people to gather and share their flying dreams.
Many youths have trained at HDFC, confidently and proudly flown their first solo and gone on to receive scholarships to pursue their career in aviation. Some such as Jayden Barker and Harry Freudenstein were not old enough to drive a car but they totally conquered their first solo flight as part of their training with HDFC. Dior Toppazzini is an example of how deep HDFC’s roots run. Her grandfather was an aircraft engineer on DC10s and her dad Doug is also a member of HDFC, maintaining HDFC’s aircraft and built his own aircraft. There is a growing group of young people who are keen to learn, train and fly, the contagion just spreads and HDFC fulfils the key role of providing a professional, supportive space for youths to believe in themselves and go beyond their dreams.
Treats for the Day
No event is complete without music, and visitors were thrilled to meet Z-Chords and singer-songwriter Pam Hata who got people up dancing and singing to her new music release WILD.
Another treat for the day was the Roulettes Aerial Display. Everyone gathered on the Town Green with bated breath to see these amazing pilots take to the skies and perform jaw-dropping aerobatics. Read more and see the Roulettes Aerial Display here: www.brilliant-online.com/amp/raaf-roulettes-fly-over-port-macquarie-at-dusk
Keep Looking Up
Everyone who came together to make HDFC’s event come true all went home feeling wonderful and satisfied. It was a great turnout to celebrate the opening of the new hangar and it brought many people together in the community to share their passion, curiosity and interest in aviation.
Keep looking up! You never know when you may know the pilot up there personally and can give a friendly wave from down below!
We are delighted that HDFC’s new hangar is here to house many planes and breed pilots of all ages and backgrounds who share a genuine passion for the freedom of the skies.
Tel: +61 (02) 6583 1695
Flying training in Port Macquarie: www.hdfc.com.au/flying-training-in-port-macquarie
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