The Great Adventure!

Re-enactment of the first airmail flight in Australia
July 12-14 2014

Latest details of the flight: real-time updates : important if weather is a problem

Earlier newsletters  or just read on for the overall plans

Over the period from Saturday 12 July to Monday 14 July there will be a lot of activity among owners and pilots of light, historic and recreational aircraft at airfields between Essendon (Melbourne) and Bankstown (Sydney). As a result of this activity, a number of airmail cargoes will be carried over the route used by the French airman Maurice Guillaux in July 1914.

This is a grass-roots initiative by aviators, philatelists and historians. If you would like to take part, you are very welcome!

Media: this is an exciting event which will provide stunning video, audio, print and internet material. We seek to co-operate with you in every possible way.

Contact Tom Lockley 0403 615134 .

NB this information is current as at 7/07/2014 12:02 PM and is constantly subject to change and development. While a detailed timetable has been worked out  we are flying light aircraft under visual flight rules and bad weather may intrude ; on the other hand it is very likely that additional aircraft will join in the re-enactment as the date approaches.


General emails to or phone Tom Lockley 0403 615134

General aviation matters: Tony Coleiro or Judy Rainsford: Tony is technical consultant for the flight and will liaise with all participants. Judy is also looking after the fly-over of Sydney Harbour on 14 July

Essendon: possibly Antony Grage

Benalla: Terry Kay

Wangaratta: Terry Vaughn, Wangaratta Aero Club,

Albury: Dr Michael Thomas ,

Wagga:  Tony Middleton

Temora:  Ken Love

Harden: Lorraine Brown

Goulburn: John Ferrara,

Mittagong: Owen Zupp can forward your emails to the best person Owen Zupp

Bankstown: Paul Ewoldt,

Matters French:

Media enquiries: Paul Ewoldt

Philately: Christine Ewoldt 


Aircraft making the whole journey: *

Route *

Mail loads being carried: *

Late news: the Dragon Rapide joins the re-enactment *

Stage 1: Essendon to Mangalore *

Stage 2: Mangalore to Benalla: *

Stage 3 Benalla to Wangaratta *

Stage 4 Wangaratta to Albury *

Stage 5: Albury to Wagga *

Stage 6: Wagga to Temora *

Stage 7: Temora to Harden: *

Stage 8: Monday 14 July Harden to Goulburn *

Stage 9: Goulburn to Mittagong *

Stage 10: Mittagong to Bankstown *

Bankstown and the Harbour fly-over *

Final stage of mail delivery: reception at the Powerhouse museum *

A note on weather *

Timetable of flight prepared by Tony Coleiro *

Aerogrammes for the Powerhouse museum *

Aircraft making the whole journey:

  1. Jabiru 230 flown by Owen Zupp, carrying main replica mail and freight
  2. Cessna 182 VH-TZX flown by Aminta Hennessy, legendary light aircraft professional pilot carrying Judy Rainsford and Tony Coleiro  Aminta Hennessy General escort and IFR aircraft for bad weather operaiton
  3. Cessna 177B ... VH-WNM. Paul Mcguire and Matt Segafredo with Matt’s son Marco Matt Segafredo (0418 280 000) Matt Segafredo  Paul McGuire
  4. Jabiru flown by Jackie Milroy. Jackie is a senior instructor and owner of Osprey Aviation Services based at Teralgon.


The route is Essendon / Mangalore / Benalla / Wangaratta / Albury (overnight 12/13 July), Wagga Wagga / Temora / Harden (overnight 13/14 July) Goulburn / Mittagong / Bankstown (end of flying re-enactment). At most places, the local community has prepared special events to mark the event. The mail will be delivered to the Powerhouse Museum as centrepiece of a reception held to commemorate Bastille Day, conducted by the French Consul-General M Eric Berti.

Mail loads being carried:

Late news: the Dragon Rapide joins the re-enactment

Without a doubt the most exciting historical mail aircraft is John Lindsay’s beautiful Dragon Rapide of early 1930s vintage:

After a lot of negotiation, it will join the event at Benalla, fly to Wangaratta, Albury and Wagga and then return to its base in Tocumwal. It will carry the Australia Post mail from Wangaratta to Albury and Albury to Wagga. For more information contact Tom Lockley 0403 615 134

Stage 1: Essendon to Mangalore

Nominal departure time 0912 hrs, but actually we will probably be a bit later than this; arrival Manglore about 1000 on ground about 45 minutes

Additional aircraft: Pacific Aerospace CT-4 Australian-designed ex RAAF training aircraft, made in New Zealand, used by RAAF as trainer 1973-1993, flown by (Dr) Michele Schiffer, carrying Australia Post load to Mangalore and then flying on to Wagga Wagga (Sunday).

Orbit over Seymour. Arrival Mangalore appox 1000 hrs ;Landing of CT-4 and handover of Australia Post mail to Winjeel.; presentation to Mitchell Shire recognising the anniversary; Lynne Bradbury (03) 5796 2306 is the local organiser

We asked Michele to introduce herself.........

I have always wanted to fly like a bird, but for many years the prohibitive cost of learning to fly an aeroplane meant I never really considered it as an option.  When I was studying at University, I received a small sum of money and suddenly decided, what the heck, I’m going to use this money to learn how to fly. My training was a long process as I had to squeeze my flying lessons in between a very hectic PhD schedule, but I got there in the end. My first aeroplane was a Decathlon tail dragger which was a joint venture with a friend. It was in this plane that I received my aerobatics endorsement. However, I have a great passion for warbirds, and couldn’t resist the allure of the CT-4A when an ex-RAAF variant came up for sale. I had incidentally done much of my training in a Victa Airtourer and just loved the handling characteristics. I have been the proud custodian of CT-4A A19-049, otherwise fondly known as Mango, for almost 8 years now. Every time Mango and I go flying, I never lose the feeling that I am immensely lucky to be able to experience the joy of flying, especially in the highly capable and very nimble little CT-4.

Stage 2: Mangalore to Benalla:

Arrival at Mangalore about 1000, on ground about 30 minutes. Presentation to Shire rep of historic picture. Handover of mail to Winjeel VH-CZE, but both aircraft fly on to Benalla. These two aircraft were RAAF trainers from the 1950s to the 1990s, both of Australian origin. The aircraft will be joined at Benalla by Ken Broomhead’s Tiger Moth VH-SSK also another RAAF trainer for 1939 till replaced by the Winjeel.

Pilot of Winjeel: Mark Carr; Adventure Flights Benalla; Email:mark.carr@bigpond.comDeparture 1030 hrs Orbit over Euroa arrive Benalla 1110 approx

Terry Kay is the principal person involved in Benalla activities.

Benalla has a strong aviation museum. and the on-ground activities are being co-ordinated by Terry Kay, president of the museum The Museum is located in the historic home of the 11 EFTS, Wartime Training Unit which was stationed at Benalla from 1941 - 1945 and from where some 80 de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moths were operated. 

The Museum has a French ‘Flying Flea’ of 1931 and hopes to have it in taxying condition for the re-enactment.

Benalla is also a major centre for gliding activities, and is hosting the 2016 World Gliding Championships. Two gliders, pilots names yet to be announced, will carry mail cargoes to Wangaratta,Contact

 VH-UXZ will arrive at Benalla during the morning to join the flight until Wagga

Stage 3 Benalla to Wangaratta

The gliding group is to take the Australia Post mail to Wangaratta.. Mail will be carried in an ASK-21 (right) and in a French-built glider of the 1980s, (left) a Centrair Marianne.

The overall contact at Wangaratta is Terry Vaughan, 

Ken Broomhead will fly his Tiger Moth VH-SSK from Wangaratta to Benalla and then back to Wangaratta so at each place we will have three RAAF trainers covering about 79 years of history, all in trainer livery as the CT-4 and the Winjeel will also fly this section. Mark Carr’s Moth Minor may also be involved.

From Terry Vaughan: We will be having a BBQ lunch for those that are around the field on the day.  Wangaratta Chronicle will be on hand and local radio EDGE FM will be reporting on the flight.
I also have a jabiru as well as a few others , so will also add to the numbers in the air. More information to come


above: VH-SSK; to tjhe right Dragon Rapide VH-UXZ owned by Maurice and Paige Rolfe and flown by John Williams. It will arrive early on the morning of Saturday 12 and fly exhibition circuits as required. It will then fly on to Wangaratta and eventually to Albury,

Stage 4 Wangaratta to Albury

The CT-4 will continue on to Albury.

Late news: the Dragon Rapide will carry the Australia Post mail on this stage and if time permits will make demonstration flights over Albury.

Aircraft will begin arriving at Albury about 1430 and will all arrive by 1600. Albury Aero Club is having a meeting and aircraft will be on display.

The Thurgoona Country Club has a bus which will pick aviators up from the airfield and take them to the motel where we are staying.

INVITATION: Anyone interested is welcome to come to the Thurgoona Club dining room to join the aviators for evening meal, choose your own variant meals from the bistro, $20-$30 range. 6 30 for 7 pm. Advise if you are coming so that the club sets aside a suitable area.

Motel +61 2 6043 1666 Club +61 2 6043 1411 Thurgoona Country Club & Resort 1 Evesham Place, Thurgoona NSW 2640 Australia

There is a possibility that we might visit the Albury Library / Museum which has an emphasis on matters aeronautical, namely the Robbins and Porter aircraft of 1914 and the DC-2 Uiver rescue of 1934

Stage 5: Albury to Wagga

Leave as early as feasible on Sunday 13 July. Arrival time approx 1000

Carrier of Australia Post load on VH-UXZ Dragon Rapide. The Rapide will be on show and will make some short flights before returning to its base in Tocumwal.

Report of flight on Australia All Over ABC radio - definite

At Wagga:

Tony Middleton 0269224990 home phone has taken on the co-ordination of the events in Wagga.

Aircraft from Wagga intend to fly out to meet the incoming aircraft. These include a Stinson and Peter Middleton’s Ercoupe VH-LDN (pictured) The Douglas hangar is available for use and will be fenced off. Aircraft owners are invited to bring their aircraft to the area in front of the hangar, and Wagga city council has approved the use of this area for public access, with supervision by volunteers who have ASIC security cards.

This means that the public can inspect the aircraft from close range, and Wagga has some very interesting old aircraft and this will be great to see. Michele Schiffer, carrying the Australia Post aircraft from Essendon to Mangalore, intends to fly on to Wagga with her CT-4 in its original RAAF livery, and she will join this display before returning to the aircraft’s home field at Lilydale, Melbourne. Catering for morning tea is being organised.

Chris Cabot of the Wagga Air Centre is a real flying mailman, and his aircraft deliver many postal loads. He is also involved in Wagga has a very active Alliance Francaise group and they are meeting with Tony to discuss their participation. Sue Savage, from Alliance, tells me that they have a very strong choir. Alliance Francasie contact details.....

Postal Address: PO BOX 1158, WAGGA WAGGA NSW 2650

Stage 6: Wagga to Temora

Wagga to Temora: Ryan STM-S2 VH-RSY – pilot not yet known. The Ryan is a pre-World War II trainer and this example came to Australia when the Netherlands East Indies fell to the Japanese in 1942. It has been beautifully restored to original condition.

Temora aviation Museum: Stopover about 1230 hrs, Avro Tutor to take relay mail, Piper Cub as backup


Temora:  Ken Love


Stage 7: Temora to Harden:

Avro Cadet (Avro Cadet, full title Avro 643 Mk II VH-AGH, flown by Clin Ashton-Martin (below): it is likely that he will carry ‘intermediate’ mail for Harden;

The Australia Post mail may be carried by a Piper Cub from the Temora Aviation Museum

Overnight at Harden, Carrington Hotel where Guillaux stayed two nights.

Hotel owner Trevor Callaway, and hotel number is (02) 6386 4574 is giving us free accommodation for 10-12 people. 1 Neil St, Harden NSW 2587

Les Sullivan of the Canberra Aero Club will lead a group from Canberra Aero Club which will arrive during the afternoon, stay overnight, and carry the mail to Goulburn the following day. Contact details on the next page.

Lorraine Brown is organiser of Sunday afternoon events, . This includes a Model Aircraft display and the Hawker travelling collection of memorabilia.

Lorraine's latest news:

Everything is in place in Harden for our event - we have put some safety measures in place for the day as the landing strip overruns the roadway leading into the venue. Craig Sargent will fly into Harden in the morning & we are asking all the pilots landing at Harden to radio into Craig before landing, so that he can relay this message to the 2 Council Lollypop men who will then stop traffic crossing the airstrip whilst the planes are landing or taking off.  One of our Historical Society members will sleep in his caravan overnight on Saturday & Sunday as security for the planes etc. that will be parked at the airstrip.  I have organized with the Carrington Hotel to have their Bus available to transport pilots & other support crew to & from the airstrip to the Carrington Hotel on both Saturday & Sunday.   On Monday morning before you all leave I have permissionn to take you to the site where the original Bleriot landed in 1914 which is now in the agricultural grounds at the Murrumburrah High School.   The cement circle is still there & visible.  

I spent this morning with Prime TV Wagga who will do a promo on what is happening here in Harden.  All our local radio stations have all been contacted as well.  


Evening meal at Carrington Hotel. All interested people are invited to come to evening meal at the Carrington Hotel, 6 30 for 7pm. Dine from the menu (Mains $15-$22) and meet the aviators. Email if you are coming so we can advise the hotel of likely numbers.

So far coming: 8 definite aviators, Ward (3) Brown (2)

Stage 8: Monday 14 July Harden to Goulburn

Indicative time of arrival 0930

This is being arranged by John Ferrara, who has recently purchased Goulburn airport, and has a number of interesting aircraft to choose from. The choice will be made depending on weather and timetable considerations. A Skyfox Gazelle, another Australian-designed and Australian made light aircraft is a front runner to join the Jabiru..John has big plans for the airport, which has been neglected of recent years. The website gives an indication of this.

Canberra to Goulburn: three aircraft of the Formation Group of the Canberra Aero Club plus camera plane: the final details are not known, but the group is flying to Harden on the Sunday and joining in the celebrations there, leaving for Goulburn early on Monday.

Canberra group:

Les Sullivan
Rob Terzi <>,
Phil Allen : 

Brian Olson <>,

Stage 9: Goulburn to Mittagong

Being arranged by John Ferrara. If time permits the Australia Post package will be flown by a Skyfox Gazelle, Australian made sports aircraft but otherwise may be flown by faster aircraft.

In the original flight, the plan was for Guillaux to make a landing at Moss Vale, and all preparations had been made. At Sutton Forest on July 19 the Badgery Flier, an Australian-made aircraft, flew successfully. It had a 40-45hp 6 cykinder Anzani engine, for which Delfosse Badgery was the Australian agent.

Guillaux did not land at Moss Vale. He said that he was unable to find the landing ground, in spite of flying to a height of 18000 feet to search for it. This altitude would seem to be impossible in his aircraft; this is one of several very dodgy claims reported for Guillaux.


Stage 10: Mittagong to Bankstown

:Several aircraft have indicated their intention to participate, and the Australia Post mail will be carried by an Aero 145 VH-DUH described in an earlier bulletin:




Sy Alsepp is flying his DHC-2 Beaver VH-SYS on this stage

Mittagong Airfield was constructed in 1944 by the Royal Australian Airforce as part of the defence of Australia. It is now operated by the Berrima District Aero Club to service the aviation needs of the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.


Bankstown and the Harbour fly-over

The re-enactment aircraft will arrive at Bankstown at about 1330 hrs and the aviators are invited to the Austrlain Aviation Museum Bankstown for lunch. This is being organised by Paul and Christine Ewoldt, with help from AAMB people.

Bankstown airport has a wonderful history.

Judy Rainsford is co-ordinator of another event for that day – a flight over Sydney Harbour by a number of historic and recreational aircraft. This is timed for the city lunchtime and the aviators are invited to land at Bankstown for the lunch.

More details to come

Paul Ewoldt

Christine Ewoldt


Final stage of mail delivery: reception at the Powerhouse museum

The mails will be carried in a convoy of French classic cars to the Powerhouse museum where they will arrive as the centrepiece of a reception to commemorate Bastille Day. The Lieutenant-governor of NSW and the French Ambassador are among many distinguished guests, sponsors , historians and aviators who have been involved in the event. The reception will be held on level 1 of the Powerhouse Museum, where the actual aircraft flown by Guillaux is on display as part of the spectacular transport exhibition.



A note on weather

The light aircraft involved are almost all flying under VFR rules which preclude flying in conditions of poor visibility. The weather patterns have been analysed and it has been calculated that, on the basis of past weather conditions, we have a bout a 75% chance of carrying out the flight without significant disruption due to weather. With minor variations, the probability rises to over 90%.. The all-weather escort aircraft flown by Aminta Hennessy will be able to handle all but the most extreme conditions, with the ultimate fall-back position of carrying the mail by road for a section or two if necessary because of catastrophic weather conditions. The flypast on 14 July could also be affected. As regards the weather for the various places en route the following is of interest:

Weather patterns for July, from

Days of rain >1mm

Mean max temp

mean wind speed (km/hr)





at 9am





at 9am





at 3pm





at 9am





at 9am





at 3pm





at 9am





at 3pm

(some data taken from the nearest weather station supplying that information, not the exact site)


Timetable of flight prepared by Tony Coleiro


Day 1 – Departure YMES for an overnight at YMAY





Depart YMES







Set course YMNG



Circuit YMNG






44 minutes

Depart YMNG







Set course YBLA



Circuit YBLA






61 minutes

Depart YBLA







Set course YWGT



Circuit YWGT






60 minutes

Depart YWGT







Set course YMAY



Circuit YMAY






14 minutes ahead of schedule



Timings are based on nil wind. To make up differences with actual conditions, vary time spent on the ground at the scheduled stops.

The route follows closely that of the 1914 flight which generally followed the railway line. A single orbit of points of historical interest to the flight has been included.

The orbit points allowed for are as follows: Euroa – Observed on Guillaux’s northward course. Glenrowan – time noted on Guillaux’s passing. Chiltern – large crowd watched him pass. Culcairn – Hoaxer made calls for Guillaux to land there. Henty - Hoaxer made calls for Guillaux to land there. Galong – Point from where Guillaux was forced back to YHAE due weather. YAS – major town enroute. Moss Vale – scheduled landing spot but it was unable to be located. TWRN – landed at Liverpool to share lunch with a Mr and Mrs Clarke. PIC - major town enroute.

Day 2 – Departure YMAY for an overnight at YHAE





Depart YMAY







Set course Henty







Set course YSWG



Circuit YSWG






74 minutes

Depart YSWG



Circuit YTEM






83 minutes

Depart YTEM



Circuit YHAE






4 minutes ahead of schedule




Day 3 – Departure YHAE for an arrival at YSBK





Depart YHAE







Set course YAS







Set course YGLB



Circuit YGLB






58 minutes

Depart YGLB



Moss Vale




Set course YMIG



Circuit YMIG






57 minutes

Depart YMIG







Set course TWRN







Set Course YSBK



Circuit YSBK






1 minute ahead of schedule

Aircraft: Jabiru J170 Speed: 90 knots TAS


Aerogrammes for the Powerhouse museum

These aerogrammes were produced by children at the open weekend at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre in June. At that event there were many events related to the airmail centenary. Curator Kerrie Dougherty spoke on the mail flight itself, and other speakers described such things as the association of airmail and QANTAS and the Anzani engine which was similar to that used in the Bleriot.

A ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the marvellous Sir Henry Barraclough engine collection was a delight to the many people who participated.

 Le Rhone rotary engine, 1918