Geelong Aero Club

    
Club website

        The history of the Club  

The Geelong Aero and Gliding Club first formed in 1914 on the Belmont Common, and is believed to be the oldest Aero Club in Australia. The site was known as “Geelong Aerodrome” and not long after it was formed the Club was conducting flying lessons and membership, considered very prestigious, reached a healthy 130. After the 1914-18 War, membership numbers decreased because of the relatively high cost of flying and because a number of accidents depleted the Club’s training aircraft. At the moment, the Club has no record of the first types of aircraft used for training, or who the flying instructors were.

During the 1920s and 30s many famous aviators such as Captain Bert Hinkler, Amy Johnson and Charles Kingsford-Smith visited Geelong and Belmont Common, the latter providing joy flights for many locals.

The Club finally folded sometime in the 1930s and it was not until after WWII that the Club reformed. Wing Commander John Meehan formed the new Club at the Belmont Common in 1946-48. The Club’s first aircraft were a Ryan Trainer and two De Havilland Tiger Moths. Many Geelong identities became involved but unfortunately, its revival was short lived and once again economics forced the Club to close its doors, and it remained inactive until its present re-birth in 1978.

The Belmont Common was still used as an airfield on a small scale until the mid 1960s when building development in the area put an end to its operational viability.

The re-birth of the Club in 1978 was at Connewarre on a site then known as “Polley’s Paddock” or “Polley’s Field”, but now known as Barwon Heads Airport. In the 1980s the Club purchased its own premises/clubroom (a former church) on the corner of Barwon Heads Road and the then Lake Road (now Stacys Road) Connewarre next to the Airport. Since purchasing the clubrooms, the Club has not looked back and a lot of work has been undertaken to improve the building and its amenity to members. 

The work is on-going as finances permit, and the membership, while not as high as it originally was, is still a healthy 70-80. The Club caters for pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts in the Greater Geelong region and beyond. In February 2005 the Club was host to “The Great Air Rally 2005” and a large number of aircraft of various types flew in for an evening dinner and overnight stop. GAC has also participated in the International Avalon Airshow held every two years. The Club also organises “Fly Away Weekends” to such places as Echuca, Temora and Kangaroo Island.

Over the last four years Club activities have centered on the construction of a Club Hangar at Barwon Heads and the rebuilding of a Skyfox aircraft. The intention is that upon its return to airworthiness the Skyfox will be sold to enable the purchase of a Club owned modern aircraft. The hangar will be rented out until a Club aircraft is purchased when it will house the Club’s aircraft. The hangar is now complete and the story of its construction is on the Club website.

If aviation is your passion and interest we welcome your membership and company.

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Early days

    
2010


2013 toy run


Toy run late arrivals  2013