Russell returns to perform at Deni

April 18, 2018

Russell Banks at the mini air show on Sunday.

When former local Russell Banks (pictured) heard there was going to be an air show in Deniliquin at the weekend, he knew he had to be involved.

Russell returned to Deniliquin from Canberra to participate in the weather delayed performance on Sunday.

Originally from Swan Hill, Russell lived and worked in Deniliquin for just over three years as an employee of Wettenhall Air Services.

And that start in the industry has led to big things for the pilot.

‘‘I wouldn’t be where I am without Nigel,’’ he said after his aerobatics performance on Sunday.

‘‘After leaving Deniliquin in 2008 I went to work for Brindabella (airlines) and now I work for Virgin flying domestic routes.’’

Competition flying is also still a key activity for Russell, who recently achieved a Victorian third place in the advanced class.

Show’s jump start

The wind was not the only set back for the planned air show, with one of the performance planes needing a little jump start before taking to the skies on Sunday morning.

A forgotten light in the Vans RV-7 aircraft left its battery out of juice.

Field Air came to the rescue, jumping the plane’s battery with its ute, and allowing the synchronised flying performance to go ahead.

Field Air kicked off the flying performances earlier in the morning, with a fire bombing demonstration for the crowd.

Tarmac circle work

As if his aerial acrobatics were not enough to wow the air show crowd on Sunday morning, Echuca-based pilot Adrian van der Sluys gave the crowd something a little extra after his flying performance.

Just before parking his plane on the tarmac, the pilot spun his wheels for a little bit of circle work.

Smoke covered his plane as the crowd cheered on.

Weather strikes

Inclement weather is confirmed as the cause of a power outage that affected Deniliquin and district on Saturday afternoon.

Network protection equipment activated around 3.15pm to isolate supply to the area after detecting a fault on the high voltage electricity network.

Local Essential Energy crews identified the weather conditions had caused the failure of a cross arm on the high voltage network supplying Deniliquin Zone Substation.

They secured the safety of the site, isolated the damaged section of powerline, re-routed power around the network and began back-feeding to progressively restore supply to all customers by 3.50pm.

The outage affected more than 6000 customers in Deniliquin, Mathoura, Bunnaloo, Booroorban, Conargo, Blighty, Caldwell Sheds and surrounds.

Local references

Despite being written and first performed in the early 1800s, the cast and crew from Co-Opera proved on Saturday night that The Barber of Seville can still translate to current times.

The performers delighted the crowd of almost 400 by weaving some localisms into the original transcript for the famed opera.

The one which received the most laughter and applause was a reference to the electricity failure early in the evening.

It was among the list of broken things listed when a crash and a bang are heard from behind the scenes.

Wind resistance

Wild weather wreaked havoc over the weekend’s sport, with wind speeds of up to 80km/h recorded across the district.

The struggle with the wind was reflected in the scores, particularly at Blighty.

Blighty hosted Tocumwal in a low scoring match, with winds causing some kicks to almost land back into the lap of the kicker.

The match saw wayward shooting from the Redeyes, scoring 5.12 (42) against Tocumwal’s 2.5 (17).

The Deni Rovers also struggled with the strong breeze in Berrigan, finishing with 8.12 (60) to Berrigan’s 5.7 (37), while the Deni Rams were caught behind all day due to the strong winds in Congupna.

The Road shot out of the blocks, kicking five goals with the wind behind them in the first quarter, a margin the Rams weren’t able to chase down.

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