Home' Air Force News : April 11th 2013 Contents 14
April 11, 2013
or call today.
Ironfest, Lithgow, NSW.
April 14: Barossa
April 14: REDFest, Albury,
April 13-14: Australian
Antique Aircraft Association,
April 14: Maltese Australia
Association, Shrine of
April 18: Melbourne Legacy
Students' Service, Shrine of
April 14: George
Cross Award Day, Shrine of
April 19: SAW graduation,
RAAF Base East Sale.
April 21: Short Ride in
a Fast Machine, Iwaki
April 24: 1RTU graduation
parade, RAAF Base Wagga.
For the full list of coming
events, visit http://www.
CPL Nick Wiseman
AN 1800s era replica penny-farthing
bicycle is not what people who
attended the 100th anniversary of
Central Flying School (CFS) expect-
ed to see zooming down the flightline
at RAAF Base East Sale on March 8.
But it turned out to be one of the
Roulettes avionics technician CPL
Matthew Holland borrowed the bicy-
cle from a family member.
CPL Holland said he had previ-
ously mentioned riding the bicycle to
mates but they didn't believe him.
"So I rode in and peddled it down
the flightline to some astonished
looks," he said.
"The team loved it and thought it
was pretty funny."
Although not an original, the pen-
ny-farthing was a 52-inch wheel ret-
ro-made bicycle about 20 years old.
CPL Holland said it was a mas-
sive hit on the day.
"As you could imagine everybody
wanted to have a go," he said.
"I was more than happy to let
them, and some were better than oth-
ers, but everyone loved it."
Riding the bicycle into work ear-
lier that week he was asked by a col-
league to ride it back in for the anni-
CPL Holland said the best reac-
tion had easily been when he rode it
past the flightline window.
"The maintenance crew were get-
ting ready for the before flight ser-
vicing for the day -- they couldn't
believe their eyes when they saw
someone casually riding down the
flightline on a penny-farthing."
Two people willing to give it a go
were aircraft technician CPL Doug
Leckie, who became an expert in no
time, and CFS pilot FLTLT Bernie
Gleeson, who said the experience got
his heart rate up way beyond what he
had experienced flying a Roulette.
"It was beating out of my chest,"
FLTLT Gleeson said.
"I can't really explain why, if I
had to guess it would be the fear of
After donning a helmet and
receiving a comprehensive riding
lesson from CPL Holland, FLTLT
Gleeson jumped on the penny-far-
thing and took off -- well, sort of.
"I thought it was going to topple
over and realising how much it was
worth I continued straight, getting
further and further away from my
instructor," FLTLT Gleeson said.
"Later I felt shame when I wit-
nessed another first-time rider spin-
ning turns like a dare-devil in no less
than five metres of turn room."
When all the festivities were
over, CPL Holland decided to finish
the day with a leisurely ride home
through Sale, taking his afternoon
ride to almost 10km.
He said the bicycle was actually
quite comfortable for the long ride
"Once you get going it's a pretty
casual ride and unless it's hilly or
windy it's great," CPL Holland said.
"The kids loved it when I rode
through town and the locals tooted
their horns as I rode past."
ON A PENNY-FARTHING HIGH:
Everyone wanted a ride on
CPL Matthew Holland's penny-
farthing, pictured right with him
at the helm, at the CFS 100th
anniversary event, including CPL
Doug Leckie, above, who enjoyed
taking it for a spin around the
flightline. Photos: CPL Aaron Curran
Members of Central Flying School's Balloon Flight, including avionics technician CPL Matthew
Holland (pictured top on his penny-farthing) joined a host of national and international
balloonists taking part in the 2013 Canberra Balloon Spectacular from March 9-17. The Air Force
Balloon is pictured here on the lawns of Reconciliation Place.
Photo: CPL Guy Young
Blending in with the crowd
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