Alan Wood

Over a hundred friends and family said their final goodbyes to Alan Wood who made his 'last flight' on 13 May 2019. Alan was 96 years old. The chapel was packed with standing room only as we celebrated his 80 years plus in aviation and almost 77 years as a loving husband and family man.

 

Alan's life in aviation commenced prior to World War 2 and while still a teenager he built two full sized gliders in his back yard. His first aviation job was with Adastra Airways at Mascot Aerodrome. In WW2 he raised his age to enlist in the RAAF. While wanting to fly, his technical skills were quickly recognised and he was trained as an airframe technician.

Post WW2 Alan joined Butler Air Transport, initially converting military C47s into civilian DC3s.

Alan joined Victa in 1960, originally working on the Victa R2 before being made the Deputy Service Manager. In this role he often released the new aircraft for their first flight but also visited the users around the country as a trouble shooter. His practical approach to solving problems led Henry Millicer to refer to him as his “Chief Re-designer”. Alan remained with Victa until aircraft production ceased.

After some time at Hawker Pacific and later the Hoxton Park Flying School he went out on his own with Hoxton Park Aviation.

Although officially retiring in the 1990s he continued to maintain a select group of aircraft including the sole example of the Victa Aircruiser, currently owned by Des Heffernan. When Hoxton Park was closed due to encroaching housing Al was forced to move to Wedderburn.

Within the Airtourer community Alan is best known for his great depth of knowledge of the aeroplane as well as his willingness to share that knowledge. He served on the board of the Airtourer Co-operative for 36 years in addition to providing the day to day support.

It's not possible to do Alan justice is a short article so I will rely on the presentation his son Graham made to the 2017 Airtourer Association Convention in Broken Hill.

You will be greatly missed Alan but the continued operation of the Airtourer fleet is due in no small part to your contributions and will serve as your legacy.

View the presentation on the life of Alan Wood.