First flight testing for Scouts Jamboree

Motor gliders will be providing up to 1000 introductory flights to Scouts during the national Jamboree which will be held in the Murraylands

On the weekend, the Murray Bridge Gliding Club joined the Scout Gliding Club on its first trials on The Bend airstrip, getting ready for the thousands of Scouts who will attend the national Jamboree in January 2019.

The purpose of the June 9 and 10 excursion was 'proof of concept' to use the existing 1.4 kilometre bitumen and adjoining skid pan as an airfield which would cater for about 10 motor gliders providing up to 1000 introductory flights to Scouts during the Jamboree. 

The flights will extend to the Lower Lakes river mouth, the Wellington marina, where Scout water activities will be conducted, and the motorsport track where vehicle-based activities will occur.

The weekend flights used the benign weather with light winds and moderate temperatures to trial take-offs and landings in both available directions, and the formation and radio protocols to maintain separation and fit in with aircraft more generally transiting the area. 

Protocols will include observing the clearances to the highway intersection and the service station which the existing airstrip thresholds face.

Six motorgliders and a dozen pilots participated in the proof of concept period, to be followed later in the year with more complete rehearsals.

The 10-day Jamboree will be one of the biggest events to be held at the track in its short history, with about 10,000 Scouts creating their own ‘city’.