It seemed so long ago that 5 years service was not in sight but now as we approach 10 years I look back over the multitude of things we have covered and am amazed at what can be done in ten years.
I remember my first photos were taken at Aldinga and my first video was of a Singapore 747 freight flight being pushed back at Adelaide.
Another highlight was getting the Antonov 124 back in 2010 from airside within metres of the runway. I remember the pilot wheel barrowed it two thirds of the length of the runway before engaging the lift dumpers and dropping the back end onto the runway like a brick. The plane was full on gear for the military including explosives.
I could go on about the hundreds of things we have covered but the most important thing to me is the people we have met and the friends we have made. Without the people, aviation would not be so interesting and those that have helped us out over the years have been responsible for the amazing footage and photos we get.
2018 is a milestone in the history of fiveDME. Other aviation sites have come and gone but fiveDME is still there and growing more than ever. We have introduced new team members last year including Neal & Susan Billet plus, we have Lucianne Van Gelder as one of our on location reporters. Combine all this with the original team of Me, David Hales, David Wilkie & Graham Wilkie and we have one of the best crews I could hope for to cover aviation events.
At fiveDME we a so grateful to all those that have helped us in the past and we look forward to a long future with old friends and new.
Due to other priorities this site was not updated in 2017. Now, things are back on the boil and we look forward to a great year. There has been a separation of the two sites we run and fiveDME (www.5dme.net) although still owned by Aviation Media will be run independently for enthusiasts. Whereas this site will cover more commercial material.
Anyway, call back during 2018 for some interesting aviation news.
Each year the team at Adelaide Biplanes down at Aldinga put on a Christmas Event for children (and adults). Father Christmas flys in to the aerodrome to hand out presents to the children. We are always there to record the occasion.
CHRIS SPEROU (OAM) 13 TIMES NATIONAL AEROBATIC CHAMPION
A ‘True Blue’ South Australian, born in Thevenard on the West Coast and started my working life as a hand line fisherman. Became interested in aeroplanes at an early stage in life and paid the price whenever I ‘wagged’ school in between classes to cycle out to the Ceduna aerodrome to catch a glimpse of military aircraft staging through Ceduna which was a fuel stop. Those were the days that a ‘good’ caning from the Head Master really did do some good – we grew up to respect authority, but hey it was worth it! Look at me today ..I CAN FLY !
My parents refused to allow me to join the airforce so at the true adult age of 21 I was free to pursue my passion and immediately joined the Royal Aero Club of South Australia. The trainer in those days was the DH 1 DeHavilland Chipmunk, which were used in the past to train Military Pilots. I went solo in only a few hours and quickly engaged in ‘unusual attitudes’ -AEROBATICS! In fact I won my first National title before anyone cottoned onto the fact that I was never endorsed to fly aerobatics. Later inlife I put that straight when a very good friend of mine, who was a Chief Flying Instructor and ex-airforce pilot, asked me to show him a few of the more unusual manoeuvres that I had developed over the years after which he stamped my Pilot Log Book as aerobatic rated. They were the good old days when the guy in the tower would greet you with some wise crack and you could respond without getting blown away with ‘authoritism’. I could go on…
I represented the South Australian Aero Club in a three man formation team, winning and assisting to win the National title nine (9) times, the National Aerobatic & Unlimited title 13 times as well as representing Australia in the World Aerobatic titles. We did not posses competitive aircraft to match those used by other more liberal countries but our team did manageto win a bronze medal in the USA in 1980. Over the years I have perfected an unlimited routine of low level aerobatics down to 50 feet in my Super Pitts Special Bi-Plane. My aircraft is equipped with a smoke generator and I fly all my routines trailing smoke. I was the first pilot in Australia approved to carry out the “Inverted Ribbon Cut” which involves rolling upside down at 30 ft above the ground and descending to 25 ft. above the ground inverted to cut a ribbon stretched between two poles, with my propeller. I also roll around another aircraft whilst in formation withthe highlight being when I roll upside down and fly “ mirror image” only a few feet from the top of the other aircraft. The other spectacular routine is to spiral around a parachutist trailing an extremely large Australia flag or that of a sponsor.
Some may recall my fly-past at the Adelaide 500 race with two FA18A fighters formating on each wing tip. Quite spectacular ! During the Formula 1 races I formated with a DC3 and a single FA18A. I also flew a routine at one of the last few Formula 1 races in a Hawker Sea Fury one of the fastest piston driven aircraft in the world. At one time I was around 410 knots. Boy was that hot – I was pulling contrails off my wing tips in the pull up.
I have worked on a number of movies as a stunt pilot:
The Fire In The Stone – 1984
Run Chrissie Run – 1986
The Blue Lightning – 1991
Until The End Of The World – 1991
Kangaroo Jack – 2002
Greg Chappell’s World (documentary)
Chris set an Australian Altitude Record, 23 Feb 1985 in VH-CEX, S1-S Pitts Special at 27,650 feet over, SA.
He is Patron for the Australian Air League, Parafield Airport.
In October 2013 Chris was awarded theAustralian Bi-Centennial Award by the The Guild of Air Pilots & Air Navigators (GAPAN)
During 2016 Aviation Media will be looking to produce aviation footage on local aerodromes in SA. If you are from a local club/aerodrome, give us a yell as we’d love to do a story about your aviation community.
The FiveDME web site has undergone a major upgrade and we are still in the process of retrieving data from the old site. Some 1000 pages of data as accumulated on the old site over the years. The task of sorting and copying that information to the new site will be a slow process.
Keep watching as the process is underway and new material is added during 2015.