Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published September 7th 2013
Learn to fly, watch the planes or visit the air show
With a little boy obsessed with aircraft Tyabb is the perfect place to get an up close look at planes. You can get to within an arm's reach of the planes in the parking bay, and it's a great vantage point to see the pilots go through their pre flight checks on the aircraft before taxiing out on to the run way. With loud speakers on the outside of the airport building you can listen to the pilots radio into the control room so you know when aircraft are expected to land and depart.
When we last visited students were taking to the sky and practising landing and take off's, so with planes coming and going every few minutes the children were kept thoroughly amused. Though the children are only toddlers I am sure older kids would enjoy the novelty too.
Alongside the runway is a grassy picnic area with tables and chairs along with a small playground.
We got dad a gift voucher on the trial aerobatic flight hoping to make him feel sick after he made fun of me being sick on a commercial aircraft. I have to say he completed it remarkably well with nothing more than a huge grin on his face.
The trial introductory flight includes a Wingover, Loop, Aileron Roll, Barrel Roll and a stall turn in a Cessna 152 Aerobat and costs $127.
I quite like the idea of the joy flights they offer, the scenery over the Mornington Peninsula, French and Phillip Island would be sensational from the sky. If you can get 3 friends together it works out to be fairly cost effective when it's divided up.
It's totally up to you where you would like to go for a joy flight, some of the suggestions are Mornington, Frankston, Arthurs Seat, Phillip Island, The Heads, French Island, Safety Beach and so on. Joy flights are priced at $148 - 30 minutes (up to 3 passengers) and 1 hour flights for $295 ( up to 3 passengers).
The staff and pilots are very friendly and are happy to accommodate your needs and discuss different flight options available. This could mean organising a special flight to propose to your partner or flying over your favourite spot, whatever it is, they will be happy to assist you.
Tyabb's biggest attraction apart from the Antiques is the Tyabb Air show, which is only held every 2 years with the next one being on March 9th 2014. Tickets for the event cost $30 for adults, $10 for children aged 6 - 14 years and $70 for a family ticket. The last air show was extremely popular and the crowd was kept thoroughly entertained despite a few Tiger moths being unable to attend due to inclement weather. For pictures of the 2012 air show have a look here.
Also a part of the Mornington Peninsula Airport is The Old Aeroplane Company directed and owned by Judy Pay. Judy first piloted a Tiger Moth at 16 and fell in love with aircraft and started a restoration business with a mechanic friend.
Judy's Hanger is home to the largest collection of airworthy historic aircraft in Australia which includes a Kittyhawk, Mustang, Trojan, Havard, Vampire and Tigermoth with plenty of others under restoration.
Volunteers here are happy to show you around so long as you call ahead of time to arrange a day/ time. Phone 59773355 and entry to the hanger is off Mornington Tyabb Road.
T-6 Texan Harvard (as an example, image from Wikipedia)
So whether you want to have a picnic on the grass and watch the planes for free, look at the historic Australian Warbirds, learn to fly a Cessna or attend the biannual air show, it's a great country airport that makes flying accessible and fun for all.