Sunshine Coast celebrates 50 years of aviation history
  • Friday 14 August 2009

Today, Sunshine Coast Airport and the Maroochy Aero Club jointly celebrated 50 years of aviation history on the Sunshine Coast with historic aircraft flying into the airport, including a YAK 52 Russian Trainer aircraft representative of the aircraft of the era of the first flight.

Maroochy Aero Club President Tom Juospaitis said the club has a rich and rewarding history on the Sunshine Coast with strong links with the local community through its support of charities as well as providing affordable recreation flying.

“We’ve organised an open day and members were invited to fly in and display their historic aircraft,” Tom Juospaitis said.

“We are lucky to have present at our celebrations two people who were present 50 years ago: Roy Kassulke who was the fist pilot to land an aircraft on the airstrip and Stan Letchford, a retired pilot who flew to Marcoola for the opening of the airstrip in 1959. It was Stan who came forward to remind us that 50 years had passed!”

Division 8 Councillor Debbie Blumel said the Maroochy Aero Club is part of the fabric of aviation history on the Sunshine Coast.

“Over the years, their presence at this location has contributed towards the strong aviation industry centred at the Sunshine Coast Airport,” Councillor Blumel said.

Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said that apart from joining them today in this celebration, the airport is also using the occasion to launch a public drive for memorabilia of the airport that opened two years later in 1961,” Peter Pallot said.

“This means that in 2011 when the Airport celebrates its 50th, we will be able to draw from an extensive range of items for a complete history over the years.”