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Aerial Antiques

Story: Redcliffe Guide
Mar 27, 2018
Aerial Antiques
Warwick Woinarski has spent much of his adult life up in the air. As a kid he built model aircraft; he left home at 16 years old to chase his dream of flying and started by washing aeroplanes in hangars. Warwick became an aircraft engineer early and got his pilot’s license when he was nineteen. He bought his beloved Tiger Moth in 1973 at the age of 23, and he’s flown it ever since.

“Aeroplanes are just good fun,” Warwick said. “The Tiger Moth is a lot of fun but it does take a lot of skill because it’s an old aeroplane. When I became a pilot for the airlines I would bring my pilot buddies along on the weekend for a go and often they couldn’t fly it.”

“It’s a bit like taking someone who can drive a modern car and asking them to operate a Model T Ford; it’s just a different machine.”

After 42 years of flying and maintaining the Tiger Moth, Warwick knows it inside out and upside down. In fact, being one of the country’s most experienced aerobatic pilots, he really does know this plane upside down! Warwick conducts joy-flights from Redcliffe Aerodrome, and tells me that many of his customers are keen for an adrenaline rush!

“ Eight out of ten joy-flights, people want aerobatics,” Warwick says. “I’m probably one of the most current aerobatic pilots in the world, because every single weekend I do it, and have been doing that for years. Nothing too spectacular, just loops and rolls, maybe a Cuban Eight which is a sort of backwards loop, and then finish off with a stall-turn where you go straight up and then stall it, one wing flips over and then you come back down. That’s usually enough for most people, but I never get any complaints!”

Everything is original in the Tiger Moth, but the engine is reconditioned regularly. Warwick is a licensed aircraft engineer and CASA has given him the required approval to over-hall Gypsy engines, which his plane carries.

“I love flying, but I really enjoy the mechanical side too,” he tells us.

Warwick is a true devotee of the air; there’s not too many people who discover their passion in their teenage years and are still doing it for a living into their sixties.

So if you feel like a high-flying adventure one weekend, pop out and see Warwick and his wonderful antique Tiger Moth. He may just turn you head over heels!