Romania to Australia by Motorglider

Bill Schoon, Bert Persson and Bill Reilly - 1980.


The following photo of Bill Schoon (deceased) has been provided by his daughter Lyn Whimpey. who was a foundation member of the Caboolture Gliding Club and its predecessor the Brisbane Valley Gliding Club. Bill was a tuggie as well as an instructor and was CFI in 1982 and 1983. He was also honoured as a Life Member of the Caboolture Gliding Club. Lyn has also provided a copy of an article written by her father about his epic flight from Romania to Australia by Motorglider (see hyperlink below). 




Bill Schoon, Bert Persson (life member at Alice Springs and Caboolture) and Bill Ryan (founder of Riley Aeronautics and the Sportavia Soaring Centre at Tocumwal) did the trip in May 1980 in three IS-28M2 motorgliders.


Why did they do it? ...  in Bill Schoon's words ... "Bill Riley, the importer of these machines, had been quoted $14,000 as the shipping cost for three motorgliders - so why not fly them out ourselves? By doing so we could have a working holiday, see many interesting sights, and prove the reliability of this type of aircraft".



( click on the above hyperlink to view in Bill Schoon's article "Free Flight" Apr/May 1981)




The Motor Lark IS-28M2 was a two-seater (side-by-side) motorglider developed from the two-seater (tandem) IS-28M1. The rear fuselage, tailplane and wings are similar to the IS-28B2 glider. Powered by a Limbach engine driving an adjustable pitch Hoffman fully-feathering propeller, it first flew in 1976.


Bill Riley, who was the importer of IS-28's had also been the importer of Blaniks. It is interesting therefore to contemplate just how many Australian glider pilots would have done at least some of their training in a two-seater club aircraft that was imported by Bill Riley!



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