Queensland Gliding 

in the 50's, 60's and 70's


Compiled by Kevin Rodda based on photos, notes, letters and log book entries provided by 

Max Howland, ex WWII pilot and instructor ... a pioneer of gliding in Queensland.


North Coast Gliding & Soaring Club





 Christopher McDonnell located this photo and the following text amongst the on-line archives of Sunshine Coast Libraries.

The image above is for research purposes only and must not be reproduced for other purposes without the prior permission of Sunshine Coast Libraries.


Main Title: Glider used by the Aero Club, Mooloolaba       

Summary: The airstrip was established one mile inland from the Mooloolaba Township. It was a private operation, being merely a clear area where a gliding club operated. The glider was launched by a motorised winch mounted on a trailer and stationed at the extreme end of the runway. When the required altitude was reached, the cable was released. A motor vehicle was then used to tow the cable back to the launch site ready for the next flight.



1) "Flying begins at Mooloolaba" - Sep'58 issue of "Australian Gliding" magazine.  

2) Click here to view "The Early Days - North Coast Gliding & Soaring Club".  


Some background based mainly on information provided by Ian Aspland ...


Prior to the introduction of the nomenclature "Sunshine Coast" in 1960, the district immediately above Brisbane (centered around the Maroochy Shire with headquarters at Nambour) was known as the "North Coast" or the "Near North Coast". Similarly, the "Gold Coast" had been known as the "South Coast" until around 1954.     


The North Coast Gliding & Soaring Club was formed around 1956 ... however there were some two years of fundraising before the first flights in 1958.


The original group that formed the club mostly lived around Nambour and meetings were held in Geoff Raph's Optometry Rooms in Howard Street, Nambour.  


Originally the flying operations were based at Mooloolaba, however the the group held weekend flying camps at Evans Head and Kingaroy. 


In 1962, upon returning from an 18 month gliding and working holiday in UK and Canada, Ian (who had spent the first 21 years of his life in Nambour) settled in Kingaroy as the club had moved opererations there permanently, he was a new Instructor, and he was still single.        


The Kooka (which had a silver dope finish) was painted red and white and the club was renamed as Kingaroy Soaring Club.  



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