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Come and Get It Trophy

Denis Vanzella's and Geoff Bell's high country flights


August 29, 2006

Rev. 3 November 4, 2006



Flight details: Denis Vanzella initially collected the trophy from Dog Plain and flew it back to Point Hut (near Canberra). However, that journey doesn't score the necessary 100 nautical miles so after returning to Dog Plain to join up with Geoff Bell he then carried it to Snowy Plain.

Geoff left Cherryton, west of Goulburn, joined with Denis at Dog Plain. After off-loading some fuel for weight reduction they climbed up to Snowy Plain to establish an elevation record for the trophy, and probably the record for the most difficult hand-over site. Snowy Plain is a rough and very short 'strip' with 20% slope at 4800 feet amsl, basically STOL fodder – both aircraft used were Slepcev Storches. After the hand-over ceremony and photographing the trophy in situ, Geoff loaded it into his aircraft and returned to Dog Plain to reload the fuel then flew the trophy home to Cherryton. Geoff's round trip was 244 nm, flight time 4.1 hours and fuel consumed 68.3 litres.

Geoff and Denis have placed a single plaque on the trophy sharing the trip, which reads:

Geoff Bell-Denis Vanzella
'Cherryton', NSW
3441.1'S 149 32.8'E
August 2006.
bell_1926 Dog plain International
Denis collected the CAGI trophy at Dog Plain International – Claire and Paul Middleton's Bunny Farm in the Yaouk Valley south of Canberra. Elevation 3500 feet, strip length 350 metres sloping; might be considered marginal but has good approaches from either end so OK for both-way operations.
bell_1945 Trophy  at Snowy Plain bell_1956 CAGI Trophy at Snowy Plain
Denis then lifted the trophy to the record elevation of 4800 feet at Snowy Plain, S36 09.9' E148 28.9'. Note the slope, contributing to a minimal take-off run in a taildragger STOL like the Slepcev Storch. The Snowy Plain strip is surrounded by the magnificent, high-country Kosciusko National Park and is definitely a 'no passenger' and 'mind the density altitude' field.
vanzella_sny_pln  Snowy Plain strip
Denis: "My first flight into Snowy Plain was a leg shaker but I've got it pretty pat now – touch wood. The one-way strip is about 70 metres long with 20% slope at an elevation around 4850 feet. Best conditions are in southerly winds below 10 knots. West to north-west winds around 10 knots become vicious, with a big roll off the main range that not even the Storch can outclimb at low levels. Turbo Rotax would be nice."
bell_1943 ASICs at Snowy Plain
Denis and Geoff and the Slepcev Storch Muster at Snowy Plain — a tough chromium-molybdenum taildragger is needed for Denis's line of work – and probably wise to have ASICs on display; you never know where 'airport security' may pop up.
bell_1936a Snowy Plain bell_1896 Waiting for visibility to improve
The Slepcev Storch STOL aircraft, 19-3694 [kit-built] and 24-4120 [factory-built]. Geoff and 19-3694 waiting for the visibility to improve before departing Cherryton.
vanzella_09_1  Handover at Snowy Plain strip
The formal Trophy handover ceremony at Snowy Plain (or perhaps Denis was congratulating Geoff on landing at Snowy Plain without running over a stump or two?)
bell_1998 Murrumbidgee River near Dog Plain bell_2028 Baroomba rock climbing area south of Canberra
The Murrumbidgee River near Dog Plain Baroomba rock climbing area south of Canberra


bell_2077 Come and Get It at Cherryton
If you want it, come and get it
— but beware of the Storch.
"Cherryton"

Pooleys Rd, Mummel NSW

Latitude S3441.13' Longitude E14932.78'

Contact: Geoff Bell
Telephone: 02 4829 2141
Fax:02 4829 2120
Mobile: 0428 691 289
Email: gbell3@bigpond.com

Airfield notes: See the aerial photograph below. Please note the wind measuring tower marked at lower centre. It is almost invisible, and reaches 180 meters off the top of the ridge. Strip will have sheep and stones on it so please ring for local knowledge.


bell_cherryton Cherryton hazards

Pictures and text by Geoff Bell and Denis Vanzella