Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Adventure Flight?
An Adventure Flight is conducted under a Civil Aviation Regulation that allows approved operators of ex-military aircraft to take the public for flights for payment. This allows enthusiasts to keep these aircraft flying by covering some of the costs of operating them. The Adventure Flight scheme makes Australia one of the very few countries in the world where the general public has the opportunity to fly in ex-military aircraft easily and affordably.
Adventure Flight operators must be approved by the Australian Warbirds Association Limited (AWAL), and are regularly audited for compliance with government regulations and AWAL requirements. Pilots of these flights must hold at least a Commercial Pilot's Licence, with a current medical certificate.
What happens on an Adventure Flight? What's the difference from a 'Joy' or 'Scenic' Flight?
As these are ex-military aircraft, regulations state that these flights have to be referred to as Adventure Flights. The flight must also take off and land at the same airfield. On an Adventure Flight with us, the passenger will experience great views of the Benalla area, Winton Wetlands, the mountains to the south and the town of Glenrowan, where the Ned Kelly siege took place. In the Nanchang and Winjeel, military-style manoeuvres and gentle aerobatics can be carried out if the passenger wishes.
Aerobatics are not carried out in the Moth 'Minor'. Wearing the traditional scarf and leather helmet, the passenger enjoys the outstanding views and experiences the nostalgia of the open cockpit during a gentle cruise around the area.
How long does an Adventure Flight go for?
Normally, an Adventure Flight from Benalla goes for twenty minutes from takeoff to landing. The whole experience, which includes paperwork, equipment fitting, safety briefing, start, taxy, engine checks and the flight itself, takes about forty minutes.
Do age limits apply? What about mobility issues?
Mark has flown a 100 year old World War Two veteran pilot in the Winjeel, and a 92 year-old veteran in the Moth 'Minor'. Children as young as 10 years can fly however, for passengers under 15 years, a parent or legal guardian must sign the Waiver of Liability form (see DISCLAIMER).
Provided that the passenger is capable of exiting the aircraft unassisted, almost anyone can fly. Passengers must not be severely visually impaired, and they must understand English.
Persons of very large stature may be unable to fly in the Moth Minor due to the small size of its cockpit, and aircraft weight limitations.
Must I sign a waiver of liability?
Yes. As these are ex-military aircraft flying civiian passengers, it is an Australian Government requirement that a Compulsory Passenger Warning be read, understood and signed by each passenger (please refer to the DISCLAIMER). A Company waiver of liability must also be signed. If attending the airfield alone, the passenger must also provide contact details of a family member, partner or friend.
What if the weather is unsuitable or the aircraft has a problem?
Your Adventure Flight is meant to be an enjoyable, and above all safe, experience. Your pilot reserves the right to cancel, delay or postpone your flight if the forecast or actual weather is unsuitable, or an unexpected maintenance requirement for the aircraft arises. This can sometimes happen at short notice, including just prior to engine start or take-off. Of course, your money will be refunded and every attempt will be made to reschedule your flight to fit in with you at another time.
These are old aircraft. Are they safe to fly in?
They are as safe as we can make them. They were all refurbished before being put into operation at Benalla, and they are maintained in accordance with CASA and Australian Warbirds Association Limited requirements. The Moth 'Minor' was totally rebuilt over a six year period incorporating as many modern materials as possible, and is considered 'better than new'.
Your pilot will have carefully inspected the aircraft prior to start, and a thorough engine and systems check will be carried out just before takeoff.
Annually, each aircraft is withdrawn from service and undergoes a meticulous inspection and check over a period of several days by Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineers. The Moth 'Minor' and the Nanchang are maintained by Border Aerospace Fabrication at Wangaratta Airport.
Can I see the aircraft before I decide whether to fly in one?
Of course! The Winjeel, Nanchang and Moth 'Minor' are on display in the Benalla Aviation Museum , except when an aircraft is under heavy maintenance or annual inspection. The Museum is open to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays, and Museum volunteers will be available to show you these beautiful machines close up and answer any questions you may have. Your pilots will also be there if their airline rosters permit.
What should I wear on an Adventure Flight?
Long sleeves and long trousers (such as jeans) are preferred. However, we can provide a flight suit if you wish (and you will look more like a 'top gun')! Please wear or bring enclosed footwear.
You will be fitted with a helmet or head set prior to your flight.