Fresh from an icy UK, Martin and Heather have been scouting the world for a tree-change opportunity. After looking at the USA, South Africa and other offerings in Oz, they have found their patch of paradise here at Gatton Airpark, committing to not one, but two lots. After a short holiday along the coast, they will return to England where they will plan the next stage of their lives. here in sunny Queensland. Welcome guys !
The airstrip in itself is quite unique, being around 200 feet above the surrounding valley floors. This means that we get gentle breezes all year round, no flooding and plenty of places to land in the event of an emergency. The strip is 750m long, very wide and has a central, all-weather grass/gravel runway, with smooth, all-grass runways either side if you prefer. The runways, taxiways, Common Property including our Park and two windsocks are all maintained by the Body Corporate, itself run by the residents, and all for about $1 per day, per Lot.
You might like to see the actual weather at our airpark, in real time…..
Check out http://myairportcams.com/ygas/
“This place is fantastic” says Sandra.
“We have a beautiful new home on a big 2300 sqm block, with a beautiful garden, chickens and an aeroplane in the hangar”.
Colin & Sandra, (both pilots), have a CTSW, an all-carbon fibre ultralight which cruises about 115kts.
Sandra originally came from the UK, while Colin is from Sydney. Sandra appreciates the lovely warm Queensland weather while Colin likes the escape from Sydney traffic, and the freedom to be able to jump into the aeroplane and go.
“I can’t imagine a better place to live for an aviation enthusiast”, says Colin.
“And we don’t hesitate for a second to recommend Gatton Airpark as a great place to live… for all the family”.
Marty Hone and partner Chris Gray first saw Keith's ad in Aviation Trader back in 2004. They were living in Victoria at the time and for many months had been searching for a suitable residential airfield to buy into.
Chris, Martin & Shayla. “Love at First Sight”
For Chris, it was love at first sight for both the airfield and the town of Gatton. She remembers telling Marty, “Just buy it! You can‟t go wrong!” At the time, the blocks were selling for $65,000. That‟s hard to believe now, but it‟s true. So they bought a Stage 1 block on the western side of the strip about halfway along.
Marty told me that in the past they spent many hours travelling to and from airfields in order to fly his aircraft. One and a half hours each way was not unusual. He says that it is a joy to simply stroll from the breakfast table a few metres out to the hangar and go flying. Moreover, he has no hangarage fees, no travelling time and associated costs, no club fees, no airfield usage fees, etc, and he can work on or tinker with his aircraft any time he likes, performing maintenance at his leisure. It all makes for a much more enjoyable and safer aviation experience.
Keith and Hazel Jackwitz are definitely not your everyday developers
In fact, the airpark is their one and only ever development venture, and they are in it first and foremost from a mutual love of aviation.
Keith and Hazel HOLIDAYING AT nearby MAGNETIC ISLAND
Keith earns his living by growing vegetables just 5 km down the road from the airpark and he has been a grower in the Lockyer Valley for all of his working life. Hazel manages a vegetable seedling business on the same farm.
Keith started flying back in the sixties at the age of seventeen at Toowoomba and did his theory via correspondence. Keith remembers that hiring a plane with an instructor back then cost $13.50 per hour. To Keith this was expensive, about ¼ of his weekly wage (actually about the same today). The aircraft were brand new Piper Cherokee 140 aircraft, and he gained his PPL in 1967.
In the years since, whether good farming years or bad, Keith has always been flying, the only break being a Tour of Duty in Vietnam.
Hazel is a pilot too and has held her PPL for about 25 years. Her interest was kindled by almost having an unplanned Trial Instructional Flight while holding the brake lever on Keith’s Piper Colt as he was hand starting it. It was decided at the time that Hazel would benefit from a few lessons and, from that moment on, she has never looked back. She did her early training in the Colt, then navigation training in the couple‟s Cessna 210, and finally finished with a twin-engine IFR rating. (And people say that Keith had the bug!).
They still have a half share in the original Colt but most of their flying is in their Vans RV7A, which they built in their garage over an 18 month period. The plane‟s first flight was in January 2007. Its GA registration is HGJ, which stands for “Hazel Grace Jackwitz”. The sporty little aircraft is painted in rather bright colours, perhaps not quite to Keith‟s choosing, but then, like most married men, he knows when to agree with his better half. The couple use the RV for travelling, and are planning to head north-west later this year, across the continent to the Kimberly’s, hopefully, according to Keith, avoiding the diamonds and pearl salesmen of that region while they are there.
Keith says that the development of the airpark was a real challenge for both of them. It is easy to see that they are extremely proud of their achievement, even though they are quick to credit the venture‟s success to the people who have committed to the concept and support the community.
Keith says that the development creates opportunity for the kind of aviation-oriented lifestyle that they all enjoy, where they can invest in a house and hangar with absolute confidence that they have full control over the airfield and its future.
If you would like to find out more, you can reach Keith or Hazel on 0408 716 643,