Well how good was the weather for our ride to Mt Barker Hill, perfect Iíd say. A good bunch of about 25 or more riders and some partners on various bikes gathered at Mercer Rd for a 10 oíclock briefing. It was then off via Millbrook Rd, left onto Albany Highway, right onto Redmond Hay River Road to the store where we regrouped waiting for stragglers and Ron Allen who was doing back-up with trailer.
From here we travelled about 5kms to Noel and Robyn Stoney's
farm. After introductions we were guided to a hanger where his
aeroplane is housed and we were all provided with snacks, tea
and coffee. Must be the only hanger in Australia with carpet!
Noel then gave a really good talk on his association with the flying industry and the building of this aeroplane. Here is some information for those air buffs in our club.
Noel is a member of the Sports Association of Australia which
has 35 chapters. He belongs to chapter 13 which has approx 40
members in the south coast. The SAAA members help and support
each other in the building of their type of aircraft.
and Robyn decided to build a RV9A. The project was started in
2004 when the first parts in kit form, arrived from USA. Some
2000 plus hours were put in before the first test flight took
place in 2007 at the Albany airport.
Would have been anxious moments! The aircraft is a 2 seater,
powered by a 160hp Lycoming engine and has a 4.5hrs endurance at
140knots. They fly between 2000-8000 ft looking for the
Luggage bit restricted like a bike, tooth brush and credit
card, learn to travel light. This aircraft has flown them both
to various parts of the state and eastern states. Trudy and I
caught up with them at Port Pirie, SA, 2010 while biking about.
We saw them take off one morning heading back to Albany. They
rang me at 4pm WA time to say they had arrived. Took us 3 days.
He has also started building a 4 seater and has only made a
scratch so far with just a few small bits being assembled. Robyn
tells me the 2 seater was an obsession, the 4 seater is a hobby
so itís probably going to take a lot longer to complete. Farming
also tends to get in the way.
Many thanks to Noel and Robyn for providing morning tea, their
time and sharing their experiences. Just after he finished his
talk a friend, Colin Coxal, who owns a similar aircraft, flew
from his farm over the hill (pre-arranged by Noel). He gave us
all a display of how these aeroplanes perform. Thanks to Colin
for taking the time as we all found it very entertaining.
From here we rode via Spencer Road- to Mt Barker, Denmark roads
via the BAKERY to pick up some snacks before we grouped on top
of Mt Barker hill for lunch. Ronnie and Antoinet joined us here
in their Patrol with a postie on the back. They were on their
way back from a postie bike gathering at Dumbleyung.
Note! Interesting to see Keith Offer with his or should I say
Chrisís new bike, a Spyder (Can Am), trike or bike making it at
least 3 in the club now. It was good to see some members who
havenít been on a ride for a while, and just generally catching
up with old and new friends.
Thanks to Ron Allen for going backup.