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MAMEC members take to the skies

Posted by Sandon Dutt (Monash Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Club) on 12 October 2017

MAMEC members go behind the scenes to experience what the aviation industry is all about. 

A group of very lucky members of the Monash Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Club (MAMEC) got the opportunity to take to the skies, taking the controls of a Cessna 152 light aircraft. That was just the beginning, participants were given a personal tour of Kirkhope Aviation Facility by a former Monash Engineering graduate and finally the group also participated in a guided tour around the Australian National Aviation Museum.

The day commenced at 9am where the 16 participants were broken up into smaller groups. Flying instructors from the Royal Victorian Aero Club gave a mass briefing taking participants through basic theories of lift production and the effects of control.

Then it was time to fly! The first two groups walked out into the tarmac accompanied by qualified flying instructors ready to pilot an aircraft for the first time in their lives. The other groups made their way to Kirkhope Aviation Facility where Monash alumni and Kirkhope pilot Nick Stobie gave a very informative  and interesting tour of the aircraft owned by Kirkhope, taking students through Piper Navaho and Beechcraft King Air, touching on technical topics such as the workings of Turboprop and horizontally opposed piston aircraft engines, constant speed propellers, aerodynamic devices such as vortex generators, aircraft pressurisation and avionics, allowing many participants to relate to the theory they have learned in the aerospace engineering course.

The groups that went flying safely returned to Earth to tell the other group stories about the trilling adventure they had, from being allowed to conduct the take-off by themselves to conducting steep 60 degree turns, pulling 2G force while doing so. “It was a sensational felling conducting those steep turns, something I have never experienced before” said Alwin Wang a flight day participant.

The groups swapped, however the winds became much stronger making for a bumpier flight but nonetheless still very enjoyable.

The last activity for the day was a tour of the National Aviation Museum, guided by Tony who explained the significance of many historic and significant aircraft in Australian Aviation. Participants got to sit inside the cockpit and get up close with the McDonnell Douglas DC-9, Boeing 737, General Dynamics F-111, Lockheed Electra aircraft just to name a few.

All in all, it was a very successful day, all participants were very satisfied, throughly enjoyed the experience and learned many things that will help enhance their aerospace engineering studies.

The participants payed a highly subsided price of $85 for the whole experience which would normally cost in excess of $200.

MAMEC would like to sincerely thank MSA Clubs &Societies for providing a substantial financial grant, Nick Stobie for volunteering his time and National Aviation Museum for offering discounted tickets to our members.

Without the support of these parties Flight Day 2017 would not have been possible. 

Find out more about the Monash Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Club