|Wedderburn Airstrip (not an airport!)|
|Owner||NSW Sport Aircraft Club|
|Serves||Campbelltown, New South Wales, Greater Western Sydney|
|Location||Wedderburn, New South Wales|
|Elevation AMSL||850 ft / 259 m|
Wedderburn Airport (ICAO: YWBN) is an unlicensed private airfield located in Wedderburn, New South Wales, and outer rural suburb of Sydney Australia. The airfield caters mostly to recreational aircraft owners and pilots, most of whom are members of the New South Wales Sport Aircraft Club.
The airfield was established to provide club members with a low cost option for parking and operating their aircraft. The operating costs of the airfield are paid through club membership fees and leasing of hangar space. The grounds are maintained by a caretaker who resides on site. It is reported that the annual operating cost under this model is approximately $65,000. The airfield has become more popular with recreational flyers following the closure of Hoxton Park Airport in 2008. Upgrades to airport facilities have been completed progressively as funds permit and include the sealing of the entire length of runway 17/35 in 2008 and ongoing works to seal the apron and taxiway areas.
In addition to regular flying club events, Wedderburn holds and annual open day and fly-in, an event that includes displays of a variety of home-built, ultralight, historic and military aircraft as well a barbecue and family friendly activities. The event is intended to be a social gathering for club members and an opportunity for interested members of the community to look around the facilities. In previous years, money raised has been donated to organisations such as CareFlight.
Wedderburn airport has a single runway, 17/35 measuring approximately 950 m (3,120 ft) long. The strip has been progressively upgraded using funding from club members and regular users of the airport and was sealed to full length in 2008. There is currently no night lighting available, limiting the airport to daytime visual flight rules operation only. As Wedderburn caters mostly to small recreational and general aviation category aircraft, the current facilities are limited to use by aircraft not exceeding 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) maximum takeoff weight.
There is no control tower at the airport, so pilots are required to coordinate takeoff and landings using a discrete Common Traffic Advisory Frequency. Weather information is available from nearby Camden Airport. Fuel (Avgas) is available and the site provides close to 100 hangars for the storage of resident aircraft.
Accidents and incidents
- On 2 May 1992 a Jodel D11 aircraft, registration VH-CKY suffered an engine failure shortly after becoming airborne at Wedderburn. The pilot attempted a left turn back towards the runway, but had insufficient height or speed to control the aircraft, which crashed nose down into trees. The pilot was killed in the accident and was the only person on board at the time.
- On 22 June 2003 a Cessna 172 registration VH-TUR operating a private flight to Bankstown Airport in Sydney with four people on board rolled to the right and crashed shortly after takeoff at Wedderburn. All those on board were killed in the accident. A subsequent investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau found the aircraft entered an aerodynamic stall condition that the pilot was unable to recover from. Contributing factors were the wind conditions at the time, the aircraft being overweight and flown out of balance.