Scouts take to the skies in Cootamundra
Published Tue 28 Nov 2023
Pilots from the Scouts NSW Air Activity Centre flew further afield last month, hosting a regional activity day at Cootamundra Airport.
Usually based at Camden Airport, the team of dedicated volunteers enjoy sharing their love of flying with others. The Activity Pilots, all volunteers, hold commercial pilot licenses, giving a greater range of knowledge to share with the youth members.
Activity Leader Air Leon Harris said the three pilots took one of Scouts NSW’s own Cessna 172 aircraft to give youth members from the Riverina District an introduction to the exciting world of aviation.
“We had 27 excited youth members, from Cub Scouts to Venturer Scouts, keen to fly on the day,” he said.
“The flights were over Cootamundra, departing and returning to Cootamundra Airport. All youth members were taken through a pre-flight inspection and safety briefing to help them understand what pilots are thinking about when things go amiss.
“Youth members wear headsets throughout the flight, listening to the pilot communicating with the control tower and providing plenty of opportunities to ask questions throughout the flight.”
Along with the flight, attendees to activity days – whether at Camden Airport or regionally – do aerodrome walks. This allows groups to walk around the active or live side of the site, visiting the Control Tower and seeing a variety of aircraft in the hangars.
When not in flight, youth members take part in ground activities put on by Leaders or learn to build gliders with AAC volunteers.
Mr Harris said flying was a passion for all the AAC pilots, including himself.
“We like imparting that knowledge, particularly to our youth members,” he said.
“We find the parents and adults who attend get as much or more out of it. It’s the only way they can go to an aircraft – touch it, feel it and hop in it.
“We’ve only got a finite number of active members who can put their time into the centre. But we have an incredible group of people who love doing it, some of whom travel two hours or more to do it.”
The Air Activity Centre team holds four regional activity days each year. To find out more about these weekends, click here.
For more information about the Scouts Air Activity Centre, click here.