Guy Bowering, Adam Butcher, Colin Dabinett, Justin Applebee and Kirsty Aldridge with their family and friends – plus Ben Anderson (far left), owner of the ’54 Dodge (parked in front). The Yak 52 Fighter is in the background.
Story and photos by Kendrea Rhodes.
Loop, barrel roll and stall turn – sounds like something a gymnast might perform, perhaps a little more elegantly than the words suggest though. However, these stunts will indeed be performed elegantly; in the sky and with passengers, by a Russian Yak 52 Fighter.
To become a passenger, you are not required to drive to Adelaide or beyond – you may participate right here in the Hills with True Aviators. They’re an adventure aviation company who’ve set up headquarters within the Yangoora Estate Cellar Door in Lenswood.
The Yak 52 has an all metal, high strength airframe, designed to operate from rough airstrips and is a renowned aerobatic aircraft.
It’s housed at Parafield Airport and is flown up to Woodside in only 10 minutes from its hangar. But, be in no doubt, True Aviators is a local business, owned and operated from the Hills by Adam Butcher and Jana Fitzpatrick.
It’s been said that Adam could fly before he could drive, a fact that he doesn’t deny! He grew up in Masterton, New Zealand and has always had a passion for Classic, Vintage and Warbird Aircraft.
He began taking lessons at the age of 14 and his first solo flight was at the age of 16. Now, he has over 500 hours flying experience in a Pitts Special biplane, and has also flown a Tiger Moth, Champ, Nanchang, Beech 18, Citabria, Stearman and Piper Cub aircraft.
Jana’s passion with aircraft started when she was 8, attending air shows with her family. She grew up in the USA, just south of the Canadian border and attended corporate flight crew training in 2008. She met Adam while crewing on a flight to New Zealand in the Embraer Legacy Executive jet and they’re now pursuing their vision of sharing unique aviation experiences, together.
Adam and Jana have lived in Lobethal for the past few years and already love the hills. They’re passionate about contributing further to the atmosphere and activities available in their new homeland.
They’ve struck up a great partnership with Ben and Clare Anderson, proprietors of Yangoora Estate in Lenswood. This arrangement is a sweet mix of indulgent experiences that hit many a person’s ‘bucket list’. The package offered between the two businesses makes for an unforgettable occasion and gift for anyone with a liking for aviation and culinary delights.
Yangoora Estate Cellar Door is on Croft Road near Lenswood and was officially opened in May 2011. Ben and Clare planted the first vines in 1994 and have been producing quality grapes ever since, and now award-winning wine too.
They are open on weekends and public holidays, offering not only great wine, but home-made wood-fired pizza, cake and coffee – all to be enjoyed whilst taking in the wonderful views of the Adelaide Hills and the occasional aircraft aerobatics from the Yak 52.
On August the 18th a special occasion was organised by family and friends for guests from the local area. They met at the Yangoora Estate, where they received a briefing and were driven to the Woodside airfield in a fully restored 1954 Dogde, owned by Ben Anderson.
The four passengers enjoyed 20 minutes of individual aerobatic adventure flying over the Adelaide hills, including a fly-by of the Yangoora Estate, entertaining their watching friends and family.
Afterwards, they returned aboard the Dodge, to Yangoora Estate, where everyone enjoyed complimentary wood fired pizza and Yangoora Estates’ finest wines.
Kirsty, from Charleston, said of her experience, “it was exhilarating … I loved being up-side down … Adam’s a great pilot and we’ve already organised another visit to Yangoora Estates … their garlic and prawn pizza, with a glass of Pinot is fantastic”.
For the lead up to Christmas, True Aviators are offering their “Barnstormer’s Special” which includes the loop, barrel roll and stall turn that we began this story with, all for $350. You will also receive a True Aviators T-shirt and special gift.
To book with True Aviators, please phone 0416 460 866 and for more information, please visit their website www.trueaviators.com.
For more information on Yangoora Estate Cellar Door, please visit their website www.yangooraestate.com.au or phone 0407 070 295.