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New blood at historic airfield


On Sunday 23 April Patrick Mudd became the youngest pilot in Australia when he completed his first solo at Bindoon airfield at the age of fifteen years and 9 hours.

As fifteen is the earliest a student pilot can solo in Australia he was lucky enough to be a member of an exclusive club when he managed to achieve the first flight on his birthday. Patrick had completed a total of 18 hours prior but was waiting for the time he could solo.

The chance to fly at any age is a unique one and the pilot will not be passed to fly unless deemed fit by his instructor and then checked again by the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI). With a forecast of thunderstorms for the weekend the chances did not look good at first, however the conditions held off long enough for him to be given the Ok from
the instructors at the “Topfun Aviation” flight school.

Bindoon airfield was constructed as an alternate for the larger Middle Swan airbase in World War II. The famous “Black Cats” Catalina flying boats marked Bindoon airfield on their maps
as they returned from sorties as far away as Sri Lanka – should there be poor weather or fuel problems on the way back to home. Today the Super Light Aircraft club of WA operates there
on weekends and public holidays.

Walking back to the hanger Jack Donsen, the CFI, pointed out that the last solo he oversaw the weekend before had been with a 56 year old. You’re never too old or young to fly.

Top Fun aviation runs its flying school from Bindoon airfield. The Super Light Aircraft Club of W.A. welcomes visitors on weekends.