The Bathurst Aero Club is one of the oldest in the country and has played a significant role in the community since its inception.
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Founded in 1938, the club has seen a lot of changes in its time, but one constant that hasn't faltered is the club's goal of promoting aviation in the community.
Bringing flying enthusiasts together has always been at the core of the Bathurst Aero Club and secretary Jock Crossing said it's a terrific social hub for like-minded people.
"It's great to share any sort of social network with people who have a common interest," Mr Crossing said.
"General aviation is very much something that you do for the love of it.
"We share a common interest in not only flying but developing aviation skills and interest throughout the community."
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When the club first began, all social functions were held at venues in town.
This has changed over the years as the premises has grown and facilities have improved.
Developing the grounds wasn't always easy with the club being a not-for-profit organisation.
But through various fundraisers and generous donations, new additions to the grounds have been made possible.
Now members enjoy events in the clubhouse, park their planes in the hangar, and the club was even able to purchase its own aircraft.
In the early days flight training was provided by the club, with over 5000 people gaining their pilot licence during this time.
Hundreds of whom went on to have professional careers in aviation; some with big airlines and others in the military.
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Today all training is done by the flying schools located at the airport - WardAir, Learn2Fly and Panair.
"We have very strong relationships with the flight training schools that are on the field," club president Ian Johnson said.
"A lot of the flight instructors from various schools are also members. We try and have this collegiate feel about everything."
One of the biggest challenges the Bathurst Aero Club has faced in recent years is attracting new members to join.
With general aviation booming in the 70s, a lot of the members have grown up with the club but are now of an age where they no longer fly.
However many are still involved in the social aspect of the club and can provide any newcomers with essential tips when it comes to flying.
With people as young as 15 able to fly solo, the club encourages community members of all ages with an interest in airplanes to enquire.
"We support those who wish to become involved in aviation. Anybody from 15 years old right through to 70-year-olds," Mr Johnson said.
"It doesn't matter, we're here to support and guide people."
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The club continues to think of new ways of getting involved with the community and educating Bathurst residents on aviation.
Modernising how the club operates and keeping up with the times has been a work in progress over recent years, and the club was recently awarded for its innovative efforts.
The Bathurst Aero Club made the most of the challenges COVID brought and introduced online seminars and meetings to maintain momentum.
This saw it named the 2021 CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) / Wings club of the year.
While continuing to honour and cherish its history, Mr Johnson and Mr Crossing are looking forward to seeing how the club progresses in the future.
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