Noeline’s birthday surprise recalls her flying days

By Benalla Ensign

Noeline Cosier's recent birthday was one to remember, as a surprise gift left her reminiscing on her piloting past.

Celebrating her 80th birthday last year on Sunday, December 29, Noeline’s two children Matthew and Janenne surprised their mother with an adventure flight and photo session at Benalla’s aviation museum.

Noeline first learned to fly at Mudgee Aero Club before going solo at the age of 17 in a de Havilland Tiger Moth. She then went on to gain her private pilot's licence.

Past life: Noeline Cosier swinging the propeller of a Tiger Moth.

Upon moving to Benalla in the late 1960s, Noeline maintained her licence for a few years by occasionally flying Bill Sherwill’s de Havilland Chipmunk until raising a family got in the way.

Over the years the one photo that has best captured Noeline as a pilot was her ‘swinging’ the propeller of a Tiger Moth.

In a throwback to the image, the family recreated the photo using a Tiger Moth displayed at the aviation museum at Benalla Aerodrome.

Noeline was further delighted by a surprise flight in a Winjeel courtesy of Mark Carr.

With flying in their blood, Noeline's late husband Reg was also a pilot, while Matthew keeps the family aviation connection going through his work as a pilot with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.