Lachlan Barnsley of Modanville with City of Lismore RSL Sub-branch president Cec Harris (right) and vice president of the Northern Rivers Aero Club Allan Fry.
Lachlan Barnsley of Modanville with City of Lismore RSL Sub-branch president Cec Harris (right) and vice president of the Northern Rivers Aero Club Allan Fry. Cathy Adams

He's write for take off

FLYING an old war bird on Anzac Day is something most kids only dream about but Lachlan Barnsley, 12, will get to do exactly that.

The Modanville resident won the Northern Rivers Aero Club's Anzac Day story competition and his prize is a flight over Lismore in a Cessna 0-2 control plane tomorrow.

Northern Rivers Aero Club chief pilot Bill Kiernan will do most of the flying but Lachlan will be allowed to take the controls for a few minutes once they're airborne.

"I've showed him the controls because he'll have a little fly of it while we're waiting in the air for the (Anzac Day) march," Mr Kiernan said.

"I've already given him a thorough safety briefing and he'll get another one before we go up."

Lachlan wasn't fazed by the prospect of flying a war plane.

"I'm just looking forward to going over the Anzac march and seeing it," he said.

Judges of the competition were blown away by Lachlan's heart-warming Anzac Day story, which earned him a score of 14.9 out of 15.

"I had a lump in my throat when I read it," Northern Rivers Aero Club vice president Allan Fry said.

"This young man of 12 years of age looked up his great grandfather's war history, which he didn't know existed, and wrote about him from the heart. How many 12-year-olds do you know who would do that?"

Lachlan entered the competition because his great great grandfather's nephew died fighting on the Western Front during the First World War and his uncle was in the Vietnam War.

The Cessna 0-2 war bird was used to co-ordinate fighter-bomber attacks in the Vietnam War and has been kept in its original condition.

Mr Kiernan said the Anzac Day flight will be "a salute to all the men who fought and are no longer here".



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