Labour Day Yarrawonga BBQ

LFC’s BBQ on Monday 13 March was a huge success, thanks to some great weather, good organising and hard work from Angela and Tony, and an enthusiasm combining aviation with socialising.

Twelve aeroplanes departed Lilydale for the run to Angela and Tony’s hangar at Yarrawonga Airport, more than ready for a sausage or two. Those aeroplanes carried 21 people, and three more were already at YYWG to bring the afternoon’s total to 24 LFC people, one LFC dog and a few local blow-ins also partial to a good feed.

The meat was spectacular, as were the vegie burgers, salad and dessert cakes that Ange and Tony organised. It was a spread for the ages.

With tables to sit around and lounges to lounge in, Hangar 16 was the perfect place to get together and catch up with people.

To top off the day, P&M Aviation at Yarrawonga donated a flight bag as a raffle prize that was carried off, after a couple of false starts, by Doreen and Gary from RV VH-OEM.

Jenny and Sonya didn’t waste time catching up.
After the eating was done, there was still the talking.
Tony and Michelle, no doubt discussing Victa things.
Neville, the world’s best (and worst) hangar car.
Ange and Tony’s Hangar 16 protects some Victa-type things.
Lounging in the soft seats. L-R: Graham, Glenda, Louise, Theresa and Ange.
Michelle gets the VIP treatment as she taxis CT4 VH-PTM Mango.
Mark, Gabby and Carmel catching up whilst the BBQ is under way.
Ange and Tony put on a spread for the ages. And brilliantly cooked it was!
The perfect place for an LFC day trip. Thanks, Ange and Tony!
Rob and Theresa flew to YYWG in Archer DDM.

The Wedgetail Flyer 2023

LFC has created a newsletter to keep members up to speed with what’s happening with the club. Packed with good stuff about news, activities and developments, it aims to be a key form of communication about all things LFC. The first issue, February 2023, is now ready for your eyes. Click on the link below and get started.

The Wedgetail Flyer February 2023

Portland Fly-away Weekend

The destination for the March long weekend fly-away has been settled, and it’s Portland in the far west of Victoria!

Historic Portland is more than just cement and smelters as the link below will prove. It’s a vibrant town full of all sorts of interesting stuff and great things to do.

We’ve set aside accommodation for 20 people (10 doubles) at the Mariner Hotel. Portland also has a good airport and plenty of car hire that we can collect at the airport!

The flight for an Archer-type is about two hours and can be via the coast or direct depending on your desires on the day.

If you’re up for a flying adventure, contact Steve Hitchen with your name and numbers.

Come on, LFC, let’s go!

Saturday 6 to Monday 8 March 2021.


Club member Anthony James is selling his classic 1961 N35 V-tail Bonanza. This is a short-tail with four seats; a nice little sportster to get around the sky.

M35 Bonanza VH-MNO
M35 Bonanza VH-MNO


160kts @ 52 lph

5 hours fuel plus reserve

TTIS 5394 Engine/Prop 1074 HTR

IO-470N 260-hp engine with Millennium barrels

New battery

New tyres

Cygnet  Dual controls


 Map Table

Garmin GPS 100

New paint scheme

Lambswool seat covers

Door steward

Inertia reel seat belts

$110,000  ono


Phone: 0418 124 302

Farewell Wedgetail Leader

Within minutes of meeting Bob Irvine for the first time you knew you’d met a larger-than-life bloke; one of those rare people that embraced their life and was proud of most of the things they’d done. You could tell by the way he told stories.

Bob Irvine died last night after fighting cancer. His loss will be felt by everyone at Lilydale Flying School and Lilydale Flying Club, but most of all by his family and his partner Lou (Linda).

He might have been your flying instructor. He might have been your formation leader. He might have been someone you encountered on a taxiway somewhere. No matter who he was to you, you were something to him.

Bob was an aviator from a long way back, the early 1970s to be precise. His involvement in aviation started in Wagga Wagga in 1965 at the RAAF School of Technical Training (RSTT). Bob was an airframe engineer, a course he chose because it gave him a wider involvement with the whole aircraft than a more specialised field such as a sumpie (engines) a gunny (armourer) or an avionics engineer.

From the beginning, Bob wanted to fly. He befriended the Knuckleheads (pilots), a natural thing for him, and got rides in everything from Neptunes to Canberras, “Goonies” (Dakotas) and most proudly of all, Mirages. He’d be quite happy to share these experiences over a beer anytime you asked.

Same for Butterworth. It was during his first tour at Butterworth that he completed his PPL at the Penang Flying Club. He always thought that put him in the good books with the Knuckleheads and scored him a lot of rides. In those days, the Vietnam War had Butterworth in a war zone and Bob was ready to go with the rest of 75 Sqn. They were never called; but they were always ready.

His 20 years in blue included time with the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) at Laverton/Avalon, with some deployments to Woomera, 3 Sqn back in Butterworth and his final posting to 482 Sqn (Maintenance) at Amberley. There he found trouble. 482 was an F-111 squadron and Bob got involved with the fuel tank deseal/reseal project. Flt. Sgt Irvine wanted protective equipment for him and his team. It had him marked as a trouble-maker when the RAAF refused and ordered the men into the tanks. A later inquiry confirmed that the chemicals used were the cause of many cancers among the team. Disillusioned, Bob put in for his discharge after 20 years.

Of course, Bob’s built-in trademark was his booming radio voice. Honed at the Butterworth radio station, he later put it to good use as an auctioneer in Brisbane and PA announcer at the Lilydale air show. He was the voice of Lilydale Flying Club on many occasions. The man could speak.

He could also fly and teach flying. Bob mentored and nurtured plenty of students, always eager to that his charges should absorb his decades of experience. Even if you weren’t on his books, he had time for you. He was chosen to lead LFC’s formation team The Wedgetails and was a regular at every fly-away or day trip he could get to. If there was an LFC event on and Bob wasn’t there, something just seemed wrong.

Bob dove in and bought an aeroplane later in life: C177 Cardinal VH-DZP “Dizzy”. Having Dizzy enhanced his aviation career and with partner Lou they covered plenty of Australia. Bob would proudly tell people later how much of the flying Lou actually did. When Dizzy made the front cover of Australian Flying he positively glowed.

It’s not enough to say that Bob will be missed. LFC and the GA community is much worse off without him. It is people of his like that made general aviation worth being involved in.

LFC’s thoughts are with his family and his partner Lou, who will always be a part of the LFC family.

Goodbye Wedgetail Leader … and thank you for showing so many the way.

A Sunny Monday at LFC

Lilydale Flying Club came out of its COVID-enforced hibernation on Monday 8 June, re-opening the social calendar with a brilliant lunch at Fergusson Winery. That Monday was such a brilliant afternoon with several aviators taking advantage of superb weather to get in the air. With clear skies from here to Africa and a gentle, smooth sou’-wester, why would you not? Here are some image from the Cathedral Range, Rubicon Valley and Mount Buller, the preferred cruising route that day for Sonya and Steve in Archer DDM in company with Russ Grosvenor in Pioneer 4944.

The Cathedral Range
Looking back along the spine of the Cathedral Range.
Mountains as far as the eye can see.
Mount Buller village,
There was not a lot of snow for what should have been the opening of the ski season.
Not good for skiing, but great for a quick scenic from Lilydale.

Operation Tulla Bucket

Lilydale Flying Club has pulled off a coup! On Saturday, the Wedgetails formation team landed on runway 34 at Melbourne International Airport and was escorted to a parking place in front of the terminal building for a photo shoot. Although historians are yet to confirm, it is believed that this is the first time a formation flight has operated out of ML. The daring team was:

#1 Warrior MGV Graham Bunn and Glenda Smith

#2 Warrior CWW Steve Hitchen

#3 CT-4 PTM “Mango” Murray and Kerry Gerraty

#4 Airtourer FVV Tony Self and Angela Stevenson

#5 Decathlon KAR Jock Folan

This could not have been done without the enthusiastic co-operation from Melbourne Airport Corporation, Airservices Australia, the surface movement guys at Tulla, the tower controllers and photographer Victor Pody.

All of this was to recognise all those aviators out there suffering because of COVID-19 restrictions. We know what you’re going through and we are all in this together.

Special applause for leader Bunny for getting us in and out, Angela and Tony for putting it all together and Air Bosses Murray and Jock for keeping the formation straight and making sure it was all safe.

Have a look at the video below.

2020 Marjy Grosvenor Award

Download the criteria and nomination form below and submit your nomination as soon as possible.

Marjy Grosvenor Award Nomination Form

Marjy Grosvenor Award Criteria

LFC Photo Appreciation Night

Calling all isolated LFC Members

Join the Lilydale Flying Club Zoom Photo Appreciation Night

There’s not a lot of flying being done at the moment and the novelty of working at home is wearing off. Break the cycle of isolation with fellow LFC members with the Zoom Photo Appreciation Night.

Send in your favourite aviation photo that you took, log into the Zoom meeting and tell us all about your shot and talk about other people’s photos.

Photos need to be sent to Tony  Self, who will put them all together in a slide show. You will then be sent a link to Zoom. All you do on the night is click on the link and you’re in. You will need to make sure that you have a camera and microphone on your PC and have access to Zoom.

Tony is standing by to receive your photos and provide help to get you on Zoom. You can get him on

It’s all happening at 7.30 pm Thursday 16 April 2020. Go to the following meeting link:

We’re in this together, so let’s be together!

Earthrounder Ryan Campbell departs Frogs Hollow in Doug the Cub.
Blue sky with red and white plane in center
Tony and Angela off the wing of CT4 “Mango” during the trip to Inverloch.
Happy to be here! Julie exits 4944 under the brow of Rawnsley Bluff. (Sonya)
This pressurised P210 lives at Lilydale. A luxurious ride inside!
Yak on the Prowl out of Tyabb gets ready to go home.
LFC’s club shrinking violets Tony and Angela photobomb as Jock taxis to the holding point in the background.

Victor Harbour 2020

LFC conducted another successful fly-away in March this year, this time to Victor Harbour on the long weekend. Landing at Goolwa, the group toured the area taking all the delights on a private coach. One of the highlights was a side trip to the beautiful Aldinga Airport with its array of taildraggers and biplanes and a cafe with a view. Have a look at this selection of shots sent in by Doug Frazer.