Maroochy Aero Club and Sunshine Coast Airport celebrate this Saturday
  • Thursday 13 August 2009

What: Sunshine Coast Airport and Maroochy Aero Club will jointly celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first flight to Sunshine Coast Airport and the formation of the Maroochy Aero Club.

When: Saturday 15 August 2009
8.45 am for 9.00 am airside

(Please bring photo id and allow time for your ID to be issued for airside access)

Where: Maroochy Aero Club
16 Friendship Avenue
Sunshine Coast Airport
Marcoola

Parking: As street parking is limited, we recommend parking in the long term car park. Bring your parking docket with you to the Maroochy Aero Club.

Sunshine Coast Airport is proud to partner with the Maroochy Aero Club to celebrate this milestone in Sunshine Coast aviation.

SCA is also using the day to launch a call to the public for memorabilia to celebrate in 2011, 50 years since the opening of the Airport in August 1961.

Maroochy Aero Club have organised an open day and have invited all their members to attend. Those with historic aircraft are invited to fly in and display their aircraft.

To kick off celebrations, SCA has arranged for the arrival of a YAK 52 Russian Trainer aircraft followed by morning tea. The YAK is representative of the aircraft of the era of the first flight.

The plane will arrive at 0915 with special guest Stan Letchford onboard.

Special Guests:

  • Councillor Blumel
  • Stan Letchford & Family
  • Roy Kassulke & Family

Speakers:

  • Peter Pallot (MC)
  • Councillor Blumel
  • Tom Juospaitis (President, Maroochy Aero Club)

Background information

  • Stan Letchford is a retired pilot who flew to Marcoola for the opening celebrations of its airstrip in 1959. Stan flew for Dawson Valley Airways. Mr Letchford contacted SCA in July to advise of the upcoming 50th anniversary.
  • Roy Kassulke was the very first pilot to land an aircraft on the airstrip. The aircraft was a HT-2 Hindustani Trainer on loan to Airwork Co (Mr Kassulke was Manager of Airwork Co) from the Indian Government.
  • The event is a precursor to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the opening of the Sunshine Coast Airport terminal to be held in August 2011.
  • The first landing was actually only witnessed by a handful of council officials and their families as a test flight prior to the official celebrations which took place on Sunday 16 August 1959. The official opening of the Airstrip was attended by several thousand people and took place on the same date as the David Low Bridge at Bli Bli was officially declared open.
  • The airstrip was provided by Pacific Paradise Developments Pty Ltd on land made available to the Maroochy Shire Council by the Queensland Government. In the early days it was used fortnightly by the Maroochy Aero Club and Queensland Parachute Club.