Sixty years ago the Coorabel was the site of an historic record breaking flight, when intrepid aviator Ted Parr cracked the magic 5 hour mark in his primary glider, Pegasus. Aboard as passenger was Gordon Coles of Coorabel, aged 12.
The flight was re-enacted by members of the club in three MotorFalke motor gliders. Pilots included Greg Keegan, Brian Marshall, Dr Giles Taylor, Genzan Kosaka and Ian McPhee.
Although unavailable on the day, Gordon Coles had been flown along the ridge in one of the club’s gliders prior to the re-enactment.
On the same day in 1937, Doug Henderson established an Australian solo endurance record of 3 hours and 15 minutes. He was forced to land due to cramp in his right arm. Ted Parr’s record was 5 hours and 1 minute.
Club Captain Mr E. Parr went aloft in a dual seater glider with Gordon Coles of Coorabel as the passenger … travelling 150 miles from a point-to-point range of nine miles taking in Montecollum, Coorabel … and Hayter’s Hill.The Mullumbimby Star, January 5th 1937
Gliding has come quite a way since those early days, and a new solo pilot is required to make a 5 hour flight as part of the training sylabus.
A sailplane soaring Mt Warning, within glide of the Coorabel Ridge