News / Community / 2nd September 2020
Fly-in visitors praise airstrip
Two pilots had nothing but commendation for the condition of the Baradine airstrip when they flew in to do their bit to support the local economy.
Arthur Jamieson and Stephen Willett, from Moruya, flew into Baradine on Saturday, 1 August in their single-engine Tobago aircraft to stay a night on a seven-day visit to small towns in western NSW.
“We were both impressed with the Baradine airstrip; it is surprisingly good,” said Mr Jamieson, a veteran pilot of 40 years.
“It has good camber and is very long at 1.5km; rural runways are usually half that length. The landing was very quiet and smooth for an unsealed surface.
“It was great to find that the facility was secure enough for us to be able to leave the aircraft. It even has a toilet - many don’t!”
Rural communities in western NSW have been through a lot in past months, recovering from drought and then hit with CovId-19 restrictions. The plight of rural communities is the force behind the two travellers’ fly-in, fly-out visits to help rural economies.
“We visited the Temora aviation museum, then flew on to Cobar, Coonamble and Baradine,” Mr Jamieson added.
“We love to visit small communities, look at local attractions, stay at the local pub and have a meal.”
Over the past 18 months the two friends have done a few trips together.
“We flew over Lake Eyre last year and got a magnificent birds-eye view of the Marree Man,” Mr Willett said.
“It is wonderful to see the country beginning to recover from drought. The creeks are full of water, it is a patchwork of green and the Castlereagh River at Coonamble is flowing fast.
“We both love the bush and everyone is always very friendly. We have had a great time in Baradine - we were welcomed with smiling faces. We certainly plan to return.”
The two pilots took off into a cloudless sky for a 25-minute flight over the Pilliga Forest to land in Narrabri for a coffee on the final stage of their journey.