$500,000 to get club off ground
A FLOOD-ravaged aviation club has been grounded with a $500,000 damage bill hanging over its head.
The Lockyer Valley Flying Club had its hangar, several aircrafts, two hot air balloons and all of the club’s contents and memorabilia destroyed when a wall of water tore through Grantham on January 10.
Three aircraft built by club members were forced out of the hangar and were found up to a kilometre away in ruins.
The planes were full of grass, mud and silt.
Lockyer Valley Flying Club president Ross Evans said it was disheartening to see the destruction, but rebuilding was the club’s only option.
“Several of our members were extremely lucky to have survived and they all lost their homes and everything they own, so losing their aircraft is just another blow,” Mr Evans said.
The club had its hangar, equipment, building materials and some of its aircraft temporarily stored at Grantham while waiting for the region’s council to approve the new Lockyer Valley Airport at Lake Claredon.
“Storing all the club’s belongings at Grantham was only a temporary arrangement until council approved the new airport,” Mr Evans said.
“We never expected in a million years that all our belongings, let alone our aircraft would be floating in 1.5 metres of water.”
Mr Evans said it was going to take “big money” to replace or fix the club’s belongings.
“We’ve got one aircraft that’s going to cost $60,000 to repair, another at $25,000, mine has about $40,000 damage and there is another aircraft that will cost $20,000,” he said.
“We have a $250,000 hangar that has been completely destroyed, and on top of that we have lost all the club’s TVs we used for training, fridges, mowers. We’ve lost everything you can think of.”
Mr Evans said club members were remaining optimistic that, with the help of the community, they would be able to replace all of their belongings and move to the new airport when it is approved.
“The club would really like to talk with anyone who would be willing to offer services, materials or any assistance,” he said.
“The club is planning to make its new facilities at the Lockyer Valley airport a community venue.”
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said it was devastating what had happened to the region’s aviation club.
“Council is working towards making a decision on the airport application, and it’s hoped that it will be built in the not-too-distant future,” Cr Jones said.
If you would like to help out the Lockyer Valley Flying Club visit www.lvflyingclub.org or phone Ross Evans on 0408 762 332.