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Serpentine Air Race fly-in

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Serpentine Air Race Fly-in
Serpentine Air Race Fly-in
By Andrew Gellert
Posted: 2022-03-20T08:38:10Z

Hi Members, and readers.

Point Cook Flying Club Members had the opportunity to attend the Serpentine Air Race event, hosted by Paul Bennet Airshows at the temporary airfield, Serpentine, located about one kilometer south of Yarrayne Cemetery.

We got four planes off the ground Sunday morning and headed out with ten people. That was a great number to distribute pax and have a little room to spare for our folding chairs and baggage.

Tracking direct, we all took off in intervals that would allow natural separation as the flight continued, using the performance and speed to spread us out. Flying up to Serpentine was generally uneventful as the morning air was very smooth and time to chat in the cabin was easy and relaxing.

On approach to the field, things started to get going with the “head on a swivel” requirement with several aircraft all approaching at once, not including us. We (in EAV) tuned the comms to hear TBL and XLR join to land and three other aircraft all approaching from the ten-mile point SE of the field.

Well, so were we. Our position was more like 10 Nm to the SSE, so we announced that, and expected to be overtaken by the other higher performance aircraft. Not exactly, so that meant some decisions to get some seperation.

About 2 miles out we spot a RV scooting in on the oblique, so we conduct a left-hand orbit. Coming out of the orbit and tracking for the early downwind, we see another plane on the oblique, so we go left hand orbit again. Lucky we were looking, I'm not sure they saw us after all!

Anyway, after touch down and taxi, marshallers were guiding all the planes to parking and we got the club planes more-or-less grouped and displaying club logo A3 posters in our windows. Arrival into the show arena was surprising. Lots of people were streaming in and the car park was rapidly filling. It got further surprising over the next hour, as the show patrons kept on coming and there was just a mass of people all over the grounds. Stalls and vendors were there providing food, coffee, information and other sundries. After a few moments, it was quickly found that these vendors were by far, not nearly enough in number to cope with the amount of show patrons. The lines to wait for coffee or food were about 30-45 minutes waiting! No one was complaining though, orderly lines and some chit-chat were sufficent fillers.

The airshow got underway with a parachute drop of a jumper with the Aussie flag and the Wolf-Pitts flying rings around the parachute. This was about when the heat of the day kicked in. A big hat and sunscreen was most useful!

More airshow events included the various displays, routines, flybys, the Air race itself, and the RAAF Roulettes. We hung out , watched, ate/drank, and walked the grounds. I would have to say I was very parched, so next time it will be advisable to save some cargo room and bring a cooler bag with goodies/cold drinks.

A quick chat to the airshow event coordinator enabled us to get a departure slot around 2.30pm, so we formed a little line of planes and taxied past the crowds to the holding point. I must say, the mowed paddock runway was highly noticeable on takeoff as the grass did not want to let go of the undercarriage during the long takeoff roll, even though we were lighter that when we left YBSS.

So, returning to YBSS and and refurbishment of the club planes in our parking area was the end to the afternoon. Hope to see you on the next fly-away!


Andrew Gellert

President PCFC.


Tagged as Fly away