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Great Ocean Air

The Bellarine Peninsular offers a wealth of great attractions and things to do for all visitors. From the quaint village of Queenscliff
Saturday, 09 January 2016 11:34

Flying over the Grampians

There was 1300 foot cloud cover above Barwon Heads recently. We headed over to blue skies around the Grampians.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 11:26

December 30 at Ocean Grove

Crowds at Ocean Grove Main Beach
Monday, 23 March 2015 00:00

Aerial Photography from the GA8 Airvan

One of the things that our Airvan does very well, is provide a stable and economical platform for aerial photography. With the huge door open in flight, with nearby seats, we are able to do aerial photography work very easily.

The Airvan provides fast transit times, long range and then can slow down for the door to be opened. With the door open and the photographer still in their seat with a three point lap/sash belt, a panorama opens up permitting photography or video work with few restrictions.

The designers intentionally placed the wing high and the stabiliser clear of the door so as to allow forklift access to the rear door - yes it will take a pallet! This is a bonus for photography as it provides a large unrestricted arc. Need an aerial photography platform - talk to us !

ABOVE: Our Airvan being used for aerial photography work

ABOVE: Our GA8 Airvan, pictured here with the door open.
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 00:00

Barwon Heads Airport's Sealed Runway

Barwon Heads Airport's new tarmac runway has been finished!

In October 2014, the Minister for Aviation, Gordon Rich-Phillips, announced that Barwon Heads Airport is to receive funds from the State Government as part of the Regional Aviation Fund to assist the re-build of the 50 year old runway. The existing runway often caused the airport to be closed, mainly due to water logging.

Works on the new runway began in late November. Huge drainage works, new levelling, new PAL wiring and a thick structural base are all hidden under the beautiful smooth new tarmac runway.

This will permit safer operations, be quieter for our neighbours and allow us to take bookings with confidence, even in winter, which is a great time to see the Ship Wreck Coast !

ABOVE: Finished Runway

ABOVE: Construction Works

ABOVE: Construction Works

ABOVE: Construction Works

ABOVE: Runway Annocement


Elite riders in the women's race going past Barwon Heads Airport on January 31st.

Thursday, 22 January 2015 00:00

Lake Corangamite Wirraway

In late 1950 23 year old pilot Vance Drummond was flying a low level navigation exercise as part of his 4FTS Course from Pt Cook when he was forced to ditch his Wirraway near the western edge of Lake Corangamite, a little north of Stoneyford. Vance exited the aircraft unharmed and was helped ashore.

For the last 65 years the Wirraway has sat where it came to rest that day hidden under the very salty waters of Lake Corangamite and a stack of mud, as a silent reminder of this great Kiwi.

On a regular basis after extended dry spells the top half of the aircraft is visible as the lake water level drops. It reveals an intact airframe that was ditched successfully, it is remarkable that after so long in such a harsh environment it is still all together as an airframe.

Vance was a remarkable pilot who went on to have a distinguished career. Serving in Korea from 1951 to 1953. He was awarded the United States Air Medal for his “courage, aggressiveness, and tactical skills in the face of superior numbers of enemy high performance jet aircraft….” After been shot down in December 1951 by a Chinese flying a MIG15 he was taken as prisoner until the end of the war, receiving punishment for an escape bid on Good Friday 1952.

By December 1961 he was Flight Commander of No.75 Squadron, and shortly thereafter became Squadron Leader. By October he was in charge of the RAAF “Black Diamonds” aerobatic team flying the Sabre Jets.

He later served as a Forward Air Controller with the US Air Force in Vietnam. On 24th July 1966 as an FAC in a Cessna “Bird Dog” he and his pilot went to the aid of an army company who were pinned down by Viet Cong troops. In the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire they flew low into the fight dropping flares to illuminate the enemy while calling in the helicopter gunships and fighter bombers. After having flow for 5 hours earlier during daylight, this night time action saw them fly for a further 11 hours over 4 sorties. By the morning of the 25th July the army company had been saved. For this bravery Vance was to receive the DFC.

Tragically before he received the DFC he was killed in 1967 when his Mirage jet crashed into the sea off Newcastle NSW during Air Combat Maneuvering. At the time he was acting CO of Number 3 Squadron. His wife, Margaret and his 9 year old son, David, travelled to Government House in Canberra on the 5th of April 1968 to receive Vance’s DFC.

His service record includes:

Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Force Cross, New Zealand War Service Medal, Korea Medal, United Nations Service Medal for Korea, Australian Vietnam Medal, United States Air Medal, South Vietnam Government Medal and South Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star.

You can get near the site by road, Pomborneit Foxhow Rd runs right past. Travel approx 2 k’s north of Bullarook Rd. a few hundred meters off shore to your east.

Vance Drummond 1927 to 1967. Lest We Forget.

Thursday, 15 January 2015 00:00

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race

On the 31st January & 1st Februrary the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race will be held. This event will start and finish in Geelong,
Thursday, 15 January 2015 00:00

Warbird Air Adventures Formation Flight

Recently our GA8 Airvan flew in formation with Warbird Air Adventures' Nanchang CJ-6A, providing spectators with a unique perspective of the Warbird Flight.

Image credit: Warbird Air Adventures 


Warbird Air Adventures offers aerobatic flights out of Barwon Heads in a WW2 type fighter aircraft. Click here to visit their website. 

Sunday, 28 December 2014 00:00

Camperdown Clock Tower



A hidden gem in the “Lakes and Craters” country of Western Victoria is the quaint town of Camperdown. Easily to reach by good roads or by air into Cobden Airport, it is just in land – north – of the Great Ocean Road.

There are 101 good reasons to enjoy a visit to this town – here is one:

Camperdown features a most beautiful Clocktower. A striking and elegant gothic  structure proudly standing tall in the main Elm tree lined street. The proportions of the tower are magnificent and fit well with the streetscape.

The tower stands at 103 feet, an internal staircase provides visitors with a healthy climb to the mechanical clockwork mechanism, which is the same as used in that other well known clocktower - Big Ben.

Built in 1897 as per instructions of the late Mr Manifold, the tower was designed by local architect Michael McCabe, while the flat bed turret clock mechanism was built by Fritz Ziegeler in Little Collins St, Melbourne. The three beautiful sounding bells were cast at the Whitehall Foundry, London by Mears and Stainbank. They have a richness of tone which is a result of the silver added during the casting process.

The clock is powered by gravity. Three separate drive trains each have their own weights suspended on steel cables – requiring a person to ascend the tower every seven days to “wind the clock” this is to actually winch the weights back up the central shaft.  The three drums suspending these three cables and weights form the “gear trains” that power the Quarter Hour Chime; the Hour Chime and the actual Time Keeping mechanism.  Each is wound separately. Over the next 7 days or so the weights descend 60 feet. The three sets of weights have a mass of 279 kilograms. 279 kilos x 20 meters is a simple energy equation for those so inclined….!

The time keeping train is regulated by a large pendulum, via a double 3 legged gravity escapement. This design was created 30 years earlier specifically for Big Ben. Today 117 years after starting, it still runs perfectly, keeping accurate time for all to see and to hear.

However for me the two striking parts to this wonderful part of Camperdown are the actual building – it is so beautiful – and the cogs, gears and mechanical wonder of the mechanism inside.

Do yourself a favour – spend an afternoon wandering around Camperdown.

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PO Box 1080 Barwon Heads, Vic, 3227
Phone: 0418 643 401