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Old 10-18-2018, 01:03 PM   #296
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,158
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

The Bellbrook Hotel

In 73 and 74 I was flying a Fletcher at Guyra in the New England high country. It was powered by a 400hp normally aspirated engine but lost power with increasing altitude. Guyra area was between 4200 and 4600 feet above sea level and thrust the engine delivered only about 310hp.
I was sent to do a job at Bellbrook which is on the Macleay River and less than 100 feet above sea level. The airstrip was miserably short and the climb to spread this fertilizer was long and arduous. First load a small 18cwt, second 1 ton and thereafter full cans which is 24cwt. The performance of the aeroplane surprised me when it delivered full power. The miserably short airstrip turned into out adequate. That night we were to stay at the Bellbrook Hotel. To get there I was to land on an airstrip over the river, take a Landrover to the river where a boat would be tied up, steam to the opposite side where we were to be driven to the hotel.
It was a Sunday and in those days in order to drink at a pub one had to be a bonifidi traveller. A silly law, much abused and mostly overlooked by police especially in a country town.
I flew over the hotel and saw those coloured round tables that were once fashionable with patrons sitting around enjoying cold beer. Well I was overcome with this big raging fire down my neck and decided not to take those complex travel arrangements that were provided. Opposite the pub was a pasture paddock and that was adequate. I landed, Ray Edwards, my loader driver, and I extracted ourselves and immediately was surrounded by every kid in town. (I looked up on line and see today Bellbrook has a population of 272). This bloke appeared and had a go at me. He said his wife was cutting his hair and I damned near knocked the scissors out of her hand. How come I fly over town so low, it can’t be legal. Obviously he was the policeman. I explained briefly that in order to takeoff or land one has no choice. Look at Sydney I said. He accepted that, I quickly departed to address that raging fire down my neck.
What a great country hotel. River view out the back. Only 13 miles away was the town of Taylors Arm. Today’s (2016 censes) population is 149. The place where Australia’s popular and well known folk singer “Slim Dusty” was born. Well the pub played Slim all night. Hospitable hosts and after cold ol Guyra was a warm evening. We stayed 2 nights and kept the fires quelled well. Both my work buddie Ray and I enjoyed ourselves. That was 44 years ago and neither of us has forgotten. Bet the policeman hasn’t either.

The picture is a Fletcher from the internet and has New Zealand registration.

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I know many things,
But I don't know everything,
Sometimes I forget things.

And there are times when I have a long memory.

Last edited by; 10-18-2018 at 01:09 PM. is offline   Reply With Quote