Tooraweenah aviation event soars with Inland Rail support
More than 500 aviation enthusiasts flocked to Tooraweenah Aerodrome in May for the inaugural ‘Winging it Down the Castlereagh’ event organised by the Arthur Butler Aviation Museum. The occasion saw pilots test their flying skills and event goers learn about aviation’s important contribution to the region.
Partly funded by Inland Rail’s Community Sponsorships and Donations program, the day featured a navigation race from Tooraweenah Aerodrome, along the Castlereagh River and back to Tooraweenah which attracted 12 participating pilots. Another 19 planes flew in just to spectate.
Young pilot, Max Philips from Coonabarabran, took home the inaugural Arthur Butler Trophy, completing the course in an hour and twenty minutes.
Back on the ground, a ‘village fair’ surrounding the air strip enabled local associations and businesses, including our Narrabri to Narromine Stakeholder Engagement team, to stay in touch with show-goers and share their latest developments.
Arthur Butler Aviation Museum President, Mark Pitts, welcomed Inland Rail’s support and said the Museum and Tooraweenah Aerodrome can now look forward to attracting new visitors and sharing the unique history of aviation in the region.
“Inland Rail, though its financial support of our event, has contributed to the long-term well-being, prosperity, and sustainability of the village of Tooraweenah,” Mr Pitts said.
“Our vision is to not only preserve history of the region but also encourage the use of Tooraweenah Aerodrome for recreational flying and as a portal to the tourist attractions of the region.
“Additionally, by maintaining the Aerodrome operational year-round, the Museum can contribute to the agricultural wealth of the district.”
During last year’s extended rain event, Tooraweenah Aerodrome supported several crop-dusting jobs which were at risk because farm air strips were flooded. A local farmer was also supported by a mechanic who was able to fly into Tooraweenah and fix a broken harvester during the hectic harvest season.
The Aerodrome can also be used as a rest site for fatigued pilots, a base for bushfire or flood emergency operations, or as a medical evacuation centre if a major transport incident on the nearby Newell Highway occurs.
TOP IMAGE: Crowds gather to listen to Arthur Butler Aviation Museum President Mark Pitts during the day’s formal presentations.
BOTTOM IMAGE: One of the small planes that flew in for the event
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