For as long as Doug Toppazzini can remember flying and planes has been his passion.
His earliest memories are that of being fascinated by planes and wanting to learn all about the crafts that fly in the sky.
“Flying was something I had always been interested in. From the actual flying to the aerodynamics of getting a plane in the sky to all the engineering that goes into a plane,” Doug said.
“It was – and still is – all so interesting and I think for me it is a passion that keeps growing. I love the freedom flying gives you.
“Before I moved to Port Macquarie I worked in aircraft maintenance and worked with the Royal Australian Air Force for more than 12 years.
“I was stationed all over Australia and it was great to be able to work on such important and interesting planes for a living.”
As well as flyable planes Doug also has a number of model planes which he also takes out to fly.
“When I was little I had a number of model planes that I loved to fly and I think that was really my first introduction to planes and flying,” he said.
“It was the next best thing to actually flying and even today I have a number of bigger model planes that I still take flying and get a lot of enjoyment from.
“As well as working on planes for a living, five or six years ago I started making a plane as a hobby.
“During that process I found a plane that needed to be fixed up and for the same price as an engine for the first place I could buy the whole plane.
“So I bought the second plane and spent about a year working on that and fixing it up to be able to fly it. During this time I was also learning to fly and so flying has something I guess I have been working towards for a while.”
“I have been flying my own plane for nearly three years and when I moved to Port Macquarie with my family at the beginning of the year and have slipped right in at the flying club.
“As well as my own plane and am currently building a second plane while helping some of my fellow club members build their own plane which is a fun process.
“The club is really great and we are all really friendly and encouraging people who just love planes and love flying.
“So I would definitely encourage anyone if they have any thoughts about wanting to fly come along to the open day and have a chat to us because we would love to hear from you.
“Even if you have never flown a plane or don’t own your own plane we can point you in the right direction and help you along the way.”
He said at the open day people will be able to ask questions and get up close and personal with the planes.
“We will have lots of planes to have a look at as well as a range of model planes and weather permitting we will be having some joy rides as well.
“So come to the airport and have a look around from 9am.”
The Hastings District Flying Club open day is on Sunday, October 14 at the club’s Port Macquarie Airport facility from 9am.