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Seaplanes visit Grafton

cvi The Clarence River at Grafton came to life on Saturday with several amphibious aircraft performing landings and take offs in from of the Crown Hotel. Grafton Aero Club was host to the Sea Planes Pilots Association who visited Grafton on the weekend for their annual Christmas get together. President of the Sea Planes Pilots Association, Malcolm Burns, has been a pilot for 35 years and a member of the association for five years. “We decided to visit Grafton as there is a lot of (seaplane) history here and was a very important flying boat town,” said Mr Burns. “Back in the 1950’s Trans Oceanic Airways had Short Sunderland flying boats which often flew from the river outside the Crown Hotel. There were 10 amphibian aircraft which travelled from as far away as Melbourne, Gympie and everywhere in between for the joint Christmas party with the Grafton Aero Club. President of the Grafton Aero Club Inc. Kevin Wilson said that it was a fantastic weekend and the Sea Planes Association of Australia (SPAA) had a wonderful time. “One of their parting comments was that they are looking forward to coming back a couple of times a year,” said Mr Wilson. “Grafton is a great base for them as it’s a central location for those from Queensland and NSW.”