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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 10:40

With so many members with interesting pasts, here is a little information about some of our comittee and members.


Mike Burns - Life Member

Caproni Mike right GCM

Mike, left hand seat in the jet Caproni.

Mike soloed in a Primary glider at age 14 as an ATC cadet and has been involved in gliding ever since as pilot, instructor and engineer. He was a founding member of a number of clubs including the Bathurst Soaring Club in the late sixties. Mike has worked as a Design Engineer in a number of industries but primarily Aviation, initially agricultural aircraft design and development, then from 1980 onwards specialising in Sport Aviation. From 1980 to 1990 Mike worked for the Gliding Federation of Australia as Chief Technical Officer Airworthiness, a period during which many changes took place improving the overall safety of Australian Gliding. Since 1990 Mike and his wife Gloria have run a small business on Tocumwal Aerodrome carrying out some innovative projects such as the conversion of a Caproni A21S glider to jet power, the fitment of Jabiru engines into Motorfalke powered sailplanes, conversion of 2 seat gliders to paraplegic control etc. Current projects apart from routine repair and maintenance, include the development of an Australian small jet engine for self launching applications and work in the Experimental Category on Spitfire and Mustang warbird 90% scale replicas.

With full GFA Airworthiness qualifications, Reg 35 design Authority and RAA Level 2 maintenance authority Mike is responsible for all airworthiness aspects of the SRGC operations including Daily Inspector endorsements.

Memorable events: Designing, building and flying the first Ragollo flexible wing in Australia which led to introducing Bill Moyes (the Australian hang gliding guru) to the flexible wing and later selling Bill Moyes his first hang glider . Completing the design, development and 204 hour flight test program of the Autotug Pawnee / Automotive Ford V6 conversion, aimed at providing Australian gliding clubs with low cost launching.


Ingo Renner - SRGC CFI

ingoIngo lives on a small farm with his wife Judy close to the Murray River and the Tocumwal Aerodrome. Their daughter, Vicky, and her three sons share the house and the farm duties. Ingo s first love is gliding, but he is pretty good at handling and caring for horses and the other animals on the property.

He owns a Discus A, XX, and has flown it in many competitions - state, national and international. He now has over 36,000 gliding hours and believe it or not still thoroughly enjoys his sport, flying whenever possible. He has four World Championships to his credit and has won 19 National Championships.

Ingo was presented the Order of Australia Medal and the Otto Lilienthal Award for Gliding. Other honours include being awarded the Prince Phillip Grand Masters Medal of the League for Air Navigators and Air Pilots, and he has also been inducted into the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame.

His aim is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to experience the beauty of gliding and works tirelessly to make this possible.

Ingo was previously employed by the Oerlinghausen Gliding School in Germany where he worked during the Australian autumn and winter months. In spring and summer he instructed in Tocumwal at Sportavia, which was established by Bill Riley. Now he has retired from professional instructing he no longer has to make the annual trip to Europe and has more time to focus on club activities and coaching.

Judy Renner

judyI have been gliding since 1982 and did my initial training at Lake Keepit. It was a great place to fly and I was able to go solo on the winch and aerotow on the same day. It was a long drive from Port Macquarie, where I lived, over the Walcha Mountain to Lake Keepit, but it was well worth the effort and I have many happy memories from these early days.

When I moved to Broken Hill I decided to buy my first glider, the short winged Kookaburra, GZB, which used to belong to Lake Keepit. It was laying in pieces on a hangar floor in Kempsey so I drove to the coast, picked it up and towed it to Tocumwal where Mike Burns restored it and removed all the wasp s nests and mice droppings. It is still flying here in Toc and we have dubbed it the friendly glider as passengers are always smiling when they climb out. When Ingo and I got married we had our wedding flight in the Kooka so it has a special place in our family album.

Most of my gliding has been in the flat country and I have been lucky enough to get some experience in the European Alps and the Mountains in Spain. This is where I was able to practise wave flying and I now find that there are waves over Tocumwal on more occasions than I would have believed possible.

As a retired teacher doing the odd casual day I can enjoy gliding and the farm. Ingo and I live on eight acres of sand hills near the Murray River with our daughter and three grandsons. Life is never dull and we have ten horses, goats, dogs, cats, turkeys, chooks and Pig to care for. Breeding and training the young horses can be very rewarding.

I have an Level 1 Instructor rating, hold a PPL and have managed to achieve some Australian Women s Records. I have also competed in local competitions held in Tocumwal and found that they really improved my gliding and were a lot of fun. I look forward to flying with our new club members and enjoying some mini comps in the future.

Safe and happy flying


Ross Oehms

I came into Gliding late in life after spending most of my working life as an Airline Pilot.

My main interests are cross country flying and the associated navigational problems plus instructing.

Only interested in competing against myself and the FAI badges. Occasionally write for the Club

and the Gliding Magazine.


Mark Hunt

Mark Hunt has been and still is a keen aero modeller for the past 25 years and has won both state and national titles in model pylon racing. He no longer competes but has a vast array of models including many scales gliders such as a 1/4 scale Fox, 1/4 scale Blanik, 1/3 scale Discus and a 1/3 scale Salto.

Mark started full size gliding in January of 2010 and went solo in March 2010 under the guidance of Lothar, Ingo and Judy. Mark spent many a weekend in Tocumwal in his first year of gliding racking up a 100 flight s in that year. Mark has an Air Experience Instructor rating and is planning on doing many cross country flights in the 2011/12 season to make up for the big wet last year.

Mark Lives in Melbourne with his wife Alison and enjoys a nice red with dinner and friends. He has recently started playing Ice Hockey again after a break of 20 plus years.


Bernie Sizer

I grew up in Cobram, only 20km from the Tocumwal, but had never been to the airfield until my first day of training in September 2007.

I moved to Melbourne in 1982 to start an apprenticeship as a fitter & turner.

Flying RC aircraft has kept me busy for many years. I have various types of model gliders ranging from home built foam, slope, scale, hand launch & open thermal competition.

I have been flying open thermal competition since 2006 & am trying to keep the top guys honest. I also build the winches that are used to launch these models.

Learning to fly gliders was with Ingo Renner in a Bocian & I have recorded many hours of aerial videography with a head mounted camera.

I m always looking to go cross country & love flying with eagles.

I am currently engaging in fullsize competition flying.

I am a qualified mechanical engineer with my own home based business in Narre Warren, Melbourne.

My two kids enjoy flying with me, not so much my wife who likes to keep her feet on the ground.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 September 2015 14:43

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During the Second World War the town was the site of Royal Australian Air Force Station Tocumwal, which was a major Royal Australian Air Force training airfield and aircraft depot. Today, the airfield has grown to be a renowned gliding site.