Where Your Future Flying Career Begins
© Darling Downs Sport Aircraft Inc operating as ‘Lone Eagle Flying School’                 ABN:47 865 769 573
This was the Log entry of Bessie Bange's solo flight- October 26th 1935. Pilot = Mrs. J.J Bange. Distance 42yds. Altitude 12ft. Landing good. Wind 5mph. Remarks = A first Solo. Excellent for first solo. Best done yet out of three first solos on this ship. A faint sideslip during flight. Highly commended flight. Instructor J.J Bange.  Aviadell Gliding club Instructor. His third student that went solo was John Bange's son Keith. He had previously been on flights with his father as a passenger, including one history making flight. Now at the age of 13 Keith was about to make his own piece of history- August 17th 1948- Pilot J.J Bange. Distance 100yds. Height 80ft. Landing good. Wind 10mph. Remarks- Testing cord and wind prior to a first solo being carried out. - further cord and wind checks before first solo. The wind is west and very true to direction and generally all is excellent to carry out early solos. August 17th 1948- Pilot-  Keith J.D Bange. Distance 30yds. Height 4ft. Landing Good. Wind 7mph. Remarks- A first solo.(instructor J.J Bange). Pupil aged 13yrs. Best first solo carried out on this ship to date. Very good handling. The Azure Star Z.B.1 and Z.B.11 were at times quite a handful in the air under different conditions, even though his initial test flights and all the first solo flights were very successful. Throughout his logs he did report incidents that did occur and the conditions in which they occurred. These incidents though, failed to dampen his enthusiasm, he affected repairs and in some cases the down time also availed him the opportunity to make adjustments and make slight changes to the design to the craft. Nothing certainly remained a constant at Aviadell. Out of his logs I have chosen a select few of the highlights of some of his flights. All flights conducted in the Z.B.1 unless specified- May 7th 1939- J.J Bange. Distance 250 yds . Altitude 100ft. Landing wing down. Special Remarks- nice flight. Came in to land drifting. Banked over and failed  to get wing up soon enough and hit wing tip skid on ground. Broke both spars. This flight proved to be the last flight he made in over a six year period. The duration of World War II. August 19th 1945- Pilot J.J Bange (145th flight in this ship). Distance 200yds. Altitude 50ft. Landing perfect. Special Remarks- A nice flight. First time off the ground since above flight. Flying indicated lack of practice during past 6 ¼ years. All during the period of World War II. The first glider flight in Queensland since war. September 12th 1946- Pilot J.J Bange. Distance 20yds. Altitude 5ft. Landing-heavy. Wind 6mph. Remarks- First night flight for pilot and ship. Believed first ever in Queensland and definitely first since WWII in Queensland by a glider/and/or glider pilot. John and Bessie had a second son Raymond. This was the record flight with Raymond and his Father- September 15th 1946- Pilot J.J Bange. Distance 60 yds. Height 25 ft. Landing good. Wind 25mph. Remarks- Wind now very strong. Machine nearly 'kites'. First passenger carried in this ship and in Queensland since WWII. Passengers name- Raymond Fabian Bange, aged 7 years. Weight 45lbs. First flight in his life July 29th 1947. Pilot J.J Bange. Distance 50yds. Height 25 ft. Landing good. Wind 12mph. Remarks- Record. First time in Queensland that glider pilot wore parachute. . The pilot thus creates new record. Owned his own chute. July 29th 1947. Pilot J.J Bange. Distance 50 yds. Height 30ft. landing perfect. Wind 16mph. Remarks- Another record flight. First lady passenger carried in any glider in Queensland since WWII and first in this ship. Passenger's name= Miss Rene Hornung. This pilot creates new record by carrying first lady passenger. I mentioned earlier about Keith and a history making flight with his father John Bange. Here is the log of that flight- September 26th 1947. Pilot J.J Bange. Distance 80yds. Height 20ft. landing good. Wind 12mph. Remarks- History making flight, Keith JD Bange, carried as passenger being the
first passenger ever carried on the Darling Downs in a CLOSED machine and first in Queensland since WWII(in a closed machine). This pilot also makes the historic first passenger carrying flight in a closed machine as set out above in the single seat Z.B.11 machine with the pair crammed in together. September 7th 1948 proved to be the last flight for some period until the 13th of March 1957. This date marked the 25th Anniversary of the first flight conducted of the Primary Glider. The same date, same time, same place and being towed by the same car, Mr Bange did a re-enactment of the first flight. To also witness the event that were not there at the first flight was the young lad Keith, and also was John and Bessie's third son Trevor. Also present for this event was a representative of the Darling Downs Star, The regions local Newspaper, in fact the reporter headed the article "Hinkler would have loved it". How true. This is his log of that flight- March 13th 1957- Pilot J.J Bange. Distance 200yds. Height 150ft. Landing perfect. Wind 3mph. Remarks: Silver Jubilee Flight. After nine years of being idle. Great event. All past pilots present. Pilot wore original flying suit in which he test flew the machine 25 years ago, and flew over the same track in the same field, at about the same hour of the day as he did in 1932. This was a fantastic achievement. But a bigger achievement was yet to come. In 1982, and at the age of 75, Mr J.J Bange, possibly the oldest pilot in Australia at the time in the oldest flying glider in Australia took to the air to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the initial flight. On the 13th of March the same pilot who conceived, built the Primary Glider took to the air towed by the same Chevrolet vehicle, the same time from the same spot where he originally left the earth. On this day quite a number of people were present to witness this event. This 50th Anniversary flight of the Azure Star was a tribute to one man's dedication to aviation. The Azure Star might be a far cry from the aerodynamic lines of today's gliders, but this is a true testament to a design and quality of craftsmanship that has stood the test of time. The glider, after 1982 continued and a numbered more flights was recorded. Mr John Bange's youngest son Trevor soloed in the machine, and also Trevo's son James also soloed in the Azure Star, and in March of 1992, John, Trevor and James all flew the glider on the same day. Making three generations of the same family flying the same machine that was designed and built some 60yrs earlier by their father and Grandfather respectively, and which all occurred on the same property "Aviadell". That is a remarkable achievement indeed. Unfortunately Mr J.J Bange is no longer with us. However, during his aviation career he also purchased and flew other types of powered aircraft. He purchased a Ryan STM, a DH 82a Tiger Moth and another was an aircraft that had been previously owned by another great pioneer of flight and owner of his own very successful Airline Sir Reginald Ansett, the Porterfield aircraft. Today, Mr Banges legacy remains, and continuing that Legacy is Mr Trevor Bange, the son of Mr John Bange, who has also dedicated his life to aviation, and has become a respected aviator and Chief Flying Instructor in his own right. And John's Grandson James is also continuing in his Grandfather's footsteps flying both powered and glider aircraft. The glider, which John Bange made 246 flights, carried 21 passengers and soloed 3 students, was put on open static display during the Darling Downs Sport Aircraft Association and the Lone Eagle Flying Schoo's Annual Clifton Fly-in on the 11th March 2007 to mark the 75th Anniversary of Mr J.J Bange and his gliders first flight. Even though the Glider did not fly at this event, it still was a fitting tribute to one man's dedication to aviation. And an invitation has been extended to all, to come and enjoy a weekend of aviation history. To those that knew Mr J.J Bange, and knew of him, knew a man who was a son, husband father a brother and a friend. But he will always be best known as the "flying farmer", a designer, engineer, a dedicated, true pioneer of flight. He was an aviator. It would be remiss of me not to make special mention of Mr Trevor Bange and his wife Janet. For without their kindness and generosity I would not have been able to put this information together. Freely giving of information and giving of permission to use this information, some of it up until now, has been quite privileged information. Allowing me to use extracts from the Logs of Mr J.J Bange and writing about the history of one man's dedication to aviation has been a privilege.