Lifestyle

Airshow's own Mr Fix-it

Aircraft maintenance and restoration specialist David Kingshott.
Aircraft maintenance and restoration specialist David Kingshott. Darryn Smith

AVIATION engineer David Kingshott has spent the bulk of his 32 years restoring and maintaining aircraft two-to-three times his age.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that the Sussex man, who now calls Bundaberg home, has been quivering with excitement in the lead-up to the Wide Bay Australia International Airshow.

“My passion is these old planes, the history of it, the character and the smell of each plane,” he said while tinkering with a 1948 Chipmunk.

His expertise has led him to some interesting locations, not least the French Pyrenees on set for James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.

“I was working on a L39 jet and they asked if I wanted to be an Afghani rebel, so I agreed ... plus I've been into (Pink Floyd guitarist) Dave Gilmour's private hangar and worked on his aircraft, that was amazing,” he said.

His wide knowledge of the 60-plus aircraft at the airshow renders him invaluable to the operation.

“We have almost $20 million worth of aircraft and he has the skill to step across each one and know them intricately,” ground operations manager Matt Fisher said.

“I couldn't count the number of times we have wished to have someone like David on board for our airshows.”

When he does not have an airshow to prepare for, the enthusiast fixes local planes and general aviation craft, but his goal is clear.

“I want to expand the vintage aircraft maintenance, and people are beginning to send their planes to me here in Bundaberg and that side of things is increasing,” he said.

He started his business 18 months ago, but the former chief engineer of Air Atlantique in England has a world-class reputation that is beginning to catch up with him.

“I had it easy in England, everyone knew me and I'm only just starting to get recognised in Australia now, but there aren't many vintage maintenance companies in Australia,” Mr Kingshott said.

The one-man-band is up to his ears in restoration duties ahead of Friday's opening day, but no amount of work can take the smile off his face.

“My wife knows when I've been fixing the older planes, because I come home at the end of the day and I'm way too happy,” he joked.

Airshow Information

• Friday-Sunday

• 8.30am-4.30pm at Bundaberg Airport

• Discounted tickets online, $5 extra at the gate

• Parking and shuttle bus available at Kendalls Road

Read more...

Wide Bay Australia International Airshow




Flowers still fighting cancer after 30 years

FULL OF FLOWERS: Angela Childs, Mary Leahy and Jill Chegwidden are ready for Daffodil Day at the Cancer Council office in Bundaberg.

Buy a bunch for cancer council

Give way failure at Takalvan St crash

CRASH: The accident scene on Takalvan St. Photo: Eliza Goetze / NewsMail

Two cars collided on Takalvan St about 11.30am today.

Latest deals and offers

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.