Airborne at the Elmore Field Days

From up in the air the Elmore Field Days site is a silver jewel sitting amid a patchwork of green and yellow paddocks.

That is the view that greets those who choose to fly, rather than drive, to the agriculture event.

Neville Boyle is chief flying instructor at Comfly, a recreational aviation school based in Bendigo. He often flew in for the field days.

“That’s with weather permitting, of course. Last year the airstrip was too wet to be used,” he said.

This year weather conditions were perfect.

“You can see on a good day that there are plenty of planes and we’ve been talking to people who have flown in from central New South Wales today,” he said.

“They got out of bed this morning and got in a plane. They will be back home tonight to milk the cows.”

Brett Anderson owned Anderson Aviation, which had a stall at the field days. 

For him the event provided a chance to uncover a market of people who did not read aviation magazines or otherwise have a chance to see his products.

“There are a lot of people who go ‘oh wow, I didn’t realise something like that existed’. It (the field days) just puts it out there,” he said.

Mr Anderson said people bought his planes for a variety of reasons. About 30 per cent had gone to flight schools, 30 per cent were ex-Air Force pilots and 30 per cent were other private owners.

“I have a lot of owners who buy them just to do trips. I have two owners in particular who are constantly trying to organise trips around Australia,” he said.

For these pilots aviation was a passion.

Mr Boyle originally started flying when his wife bought him a lesson for Valentines Day.

“I think it’s cost her more money than she originally thought," he said.

At the time he had 70 people working for him and flying was an escape.

“I had to concentrate completely on what I was doing when flying and I had little time for thinking about any other problems,” Mr Boyle said.

Since that first lesson he had sold his business, built his own aircraft and taken up flight training.

The Anderson Aviation stall is in 10th Avenue at the Elmore Field Days. To find out more about the company’s planes visit andersonaviation.com.au

To find out more about lessons with Comfly call Mr Boyle on 0419 319 219 or visit comfly.com.au