THE president of the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia, former Taree resident Marj Davis Gillespie, has presented Brian Bignell a Federation Award, it's highest honour, for his distinguished service to the aero club movement.
It cites Brian's continued service to the Manning River Aero Club for more than 50 years and recognises his significant efforts in the construction of the club house and hangar in the early 1960s.
A pilot with more than 2500 hours logged Brian has flown his Mooney aircraft all over Australia and did regularly fly this aircraft to the Gold Coast on the weekends for many years.
He purchased a severely damaged DH 82 Tiger Moth ( pictured) which he restored meticulously and now very much enjoys flying.
For over 50 years the Manning River Aero Club, due to its excellent training facilities has been responsible for many life time commercial and military flying careers, along with the licensing of many private pilots who fly just for the sheer joy of it, an opportunity available to interested citizens young and old of the Manning Valley.