Magnificent men in their flying machines

ON THE WING: Pilots Mat Baker, Alf Morgan, Val Quinell, Ian Murray and Ross Pay at Scone airport contemplate the Mustang’s next mission.
ON THE WING: Pilots Mat Baker, Alf Morgan, Val Quinell, Ian Murray and Ross Pay at Scone airport contemplate the Mustang’s next mission.

The rumble of jet engines flying overhead is a familiar sound to most of us.

Airforce pilots train regularly up and down the Hunter and it’s hard not to glance skywards when they do to try and catch a glimpse of the high speed aircraft that will eventually pop out from the clouds.

But on Anzac Day, the sound of jet engines rolling across the Scone sky is some how more

ominous.

It serves as a reminder to us all to stop and remember the pilots and air service men and women that have risked life and limb to fight in wars past and present.

Scone RSL sub branch secretary, George Clementson said the Scone Anzac Day fly pass was particularly special this year.

“The fly pass is an aerial salute to show respect for the serving and ex-service men and women of our Australian defence force,” Mr Clementson said.

“It brings tears to your eyes because it brings back so many memories, especially for us older service men.

“There aren’t many of us, and there aren’t many of these

aircraft around anymore.

“It is also special because it is one of the only Anzac services in Australia to have a fly pass that includes so many ‘war birds’ of this calibre.”

A group of dedicated Scone pilots donated their time, planes and fuel to create this year’s memorable Anzac fly pass.

Pays Air Service managing director Ross Pay said the fly pass was a long standing tradition he was very happy to uphold.

“My father (Colin Pay) started the fly pass on Anzac Day across Scone more than twenty years ago.

“When he passed away in 2007, we were determined to keep the tradition alive,” Mr Pay said.

Colin Pay started his aviation business in 1959 with a Tiger Moth he bought in 1959.

Since then, the Pays have added several planes to their hangar collection including the Harvard, a World War II trainer plane, the Cessna Birddog, the Mustang and the Chipmunk.

The beautifully buffed and polished Harvard, Birddog and Chipmunk were all rolled out of the hangars last month to join a vintage UH1H helicopter owned by Mr Pay and a Tiger Moth owned by Peter Willard, for this year’s fly pass.

Scone pilots Ross Pay, Ian Murray, Mat Baker, Val Quinell, Alf Morgan and Hamish Henderson donated their time to fly the planes, while Pays Air Service donated the aviation fuel.

“We all have a passion for World War II aircraft and an appreciation for the pilots that flew them, that’s why we do it,” Mr Pay said.

Mr Clementson said the pilots and aircraft owners should be commended for their contribution.

“Anzac Day in Scone just wouldn’t be the same without the fly pass.

“It’s wonderful what they do, and we sincerely thank them for doing it,” Mr Clementson said.