Friday, May 7, 2010

Spot the airfield: Casino

Birds do it. Bees do it. Even pilots with over 10,000 hours do it! Let's play spot the airfield again. This time on a flight from Sydney to Brisbane in a Qantas Boeing 767-300. Our track took us right over the town of Casino in Northern NSW, just south of the Queensland border.

The horseshoe-shaped lake on the right-hand side of the airport is called Horseshoe Lagoon. Casino being about 30 nautical miles from the ocean, I reckon calling this pond a lagoon is a stretch of the imagination. Global warming may prove them right eventually though.

The main runway is 10/28, with a strip for gliders right next to it. I mean, not a parallel grass runway, the glider strip is adjacent to the runway and form part of the same runway surface, the limit of which is marked by just one set of gable markers.

Casino is named after its sister city of Cassino in Italy. No significant gambling activities there, which didn't prevent a facetious person at Airservices Australia from assigning the name GAMBL to a nearby IFR waypoint.

The airfield being uncertified it does not receive any RPT traffic, the locals go to nearby Lismore to catch up a Rex flight to Sydney.

The Casino region is a big cattle farming area. With the Casino Beef Week only a few weeks away, this is as good a reason as any other for a cross-country flight. For a very tasty $100+ burger, straight from the producer!


Jeremy said...

Why does a lagoon have to be near an ocean?

But looking at the overall geography I agree it looks more like a former channel of the river - i.e. an "oxbow" lake or billabong.

I've been to Casino but not by air; I flew from Lismore on Rex as you suggested.

sylvia said...

I love it when the IFR waypoints are connected to the locations. It's like an inside joke. The one near Mannheim is called MANNEM (which is Mannheim as pronounced in the local dialect) which had me laughing out loud.

Julien said...

@Jeremy: Not being a specialist at all I was going by the Wikipedia definition which describes a lagoon as a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. This lagoon looked too far from the sea for me to qualify, but then again maybe sea has retreated since the lagoon was created.

@Sylvia: amazing that you mention this, my wife grew up on the other side of the river from Mannheim, her dialect however is closer to Pfälzisch. I never flew in or out of Mannheim airport, but I can recommend the beergarden neat the car park!

sylvia said...

How funny! But which river? I'm going to guess she's from Ludwigshafen. :D

I can recommend the airfield, they are friendly and professional (OK, except for the helpful guy doing the fuel). They have car rental so you can come in and head straight to your destination. My uncle lives in Neuostheim, just a few stops away on the street car, so it's incredibly convenient for me.

Julien said...

Yes, Ludwigshafen, across the big river. I had forgotten about that other river called Neckar :-)

Your story about the fuel guy is fantastic. This guy sounds like he embodies the expression Ordnung muss sein.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys!!
By chance my family lives right on Horseshoe Lagoon so after reading the post i just had to comment! I must say i dont think any of us really thought about the definitions of a lagoon & that being said i dont know when it was named. But seeing as im already on a history of casino hunt im gonna try and find out!! Our property is between the Coraki Rd (right of the airfield) & Hartley street (stops bout the middle of the lagoon) everything west of the lagoon till u hit town. Wow i feel special right now lol.