Big deal at fly-in muster

A LARGE bright yellow aeroplane greeted visitors to Casino Aerodrome on Saturday afternoon.

It was the Russian-built Antonov 2 – the world’s biggest single engine bi-plane – and was one of 29 that arrived during the day’s Fly-In Muster, organised by the Casino Aero Club as a Beef Week attraction.

While one plane did loop-the-loop and other spectacular stunts in the sky, the Antonov was joined by a squat and noisy Trojan T28, a World War II vet and US Air Force favourite.

The Trojan was hosting joy flights for the crowd, as were two choppers owned by Air T&G of Ballina, giving punters a bird’s eye view of the Beef Week festivities as they hovered over the town.

The weekend’s Fly-In Muster is the first in Casino since 1995, said Aero Club president Russell Kennedy.

“We are hoping to establish it as an annual event.”

The weather, which has been clear all week, started to cloud over on Saturday, creating a problem for the light planes they had hoped would arrive, Mr Kennedy said.

Only one of the planes was instrument regulated to fly in such cloudy conditions, he said.

But the measure of the fly-in’s success would be the number of planes that were on display for the public to see.

They included two “Yaks” – the Yakovlev-52 Soviet training aircraft which first flew in 1976 and a Winjeel, which was introduced by the RAAF as a basic trainer to replace the Tiger Moth about 1950.

Some of the joy flights were as cheap as $30, Mr Kennedy said.

A raffle for a ride in one of the aeroplanes had raised more than $600 for Windara, he said.

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