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SFT’s Mark Kelly & HARS Commemorate Pioneer Lawrence Hargrave

Aeroplane of the HARS commemorative flight

Mark Kelly, our experienced flight instructor and examiner, is not only part of the team at Sydney Flight Training, he also flies as a Caribou DHC4 pilot and instructor at HARS (Historical Aircraft Restoration Society). Here, a team of experienced ex-military and airline pilots assist in keeping our aviation history alive. The HARS museum in Albion Park NSW displays and flies significant historical aircraft - forerunners to the modern aircraft that take to our skies today. A visit to the museum is a must for any aviation enthusiast.

View of the three flyover aircraft from HARS
DC3 VH-AES, followed by the Caribou VH-VBB and ex-Navy Tracker VH-NXV

Sunday 12th November saw the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society conduct a three aircraft flyover of Stanwell Park Beach south of Sydney. This flight commemorated the 129th anniversary of Lawrence Hargrave being the first person in aviation history to achieve a ‘vertical lift off’ in a heavier than air device. Hargrave had connected four box kites of his own design, added a seat, and flew 16 feet (4.8m) off the ground at Stanwell Park.

The HARS commemoration flyover consisted of three historical aircraft, led by DC3 VH-AES, followed by the Caribou VH-VBB, piloted by Mark, and an ex-Navy Tracker VH-NXV flown by an experienced ex-navy aviator.

Inside cockpit view from the Caribou on its commemorative Lawrnce Hargrave flyover
View from inside the Caribou piloted by Sydney Flight Training's very own Mark Kelly

They conducted wide orbits over the Stanwell Park Beach where the original feat had taken place exactly 129 years previously. Because of early pioneers like Lawrence Hargrave, we have the aviation industry of today.

Despite his many decades of experience, not all vintage aircraft appeal to Mark however, “I am just pleased that I’m not asked to fly 4 box kites tied together!”

To learn more about the fascinating and vital work that HARS do in the restoration and maintenance of their large fleet of historical aircraft, as well as supporting their dedicated team of volunteer groundcrew and pilots, take some time to visit their website and of course the museum itself.


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