Local News

The Grafton Model Aircraft Club will host their annual Fun Fly Weekend on May 24, 24, and 26 this year. Image: contributed

Enthusiasm takes off as Fun Fly Weekend approaches

The cooler and calmer autumn climate has enticed the Grafton Model Aircraft Club to shift their annual Fun Fly Weekend to a new timeframe this year.

On May 24, 25, and 26, the Tancreds Lane Flying Field at Clarenza will host three days of dazzling aerobatics and flying demonstrations.

Secretary of the Grafton Model Aircraft Club Daryl Woolfe said along with allowing spectators the opportunity to speak with hobbyists and learn about their flying skills and impressive models, the event will also focus on attracting new members to the sport.

“Last year the club held this event late in October, however, this new date is much more user friendly for pilots with the weather being a bit cooler and the wind conditions usually being much calmer,” he explained.

“The event last year was an outstanding success with pilots coming from all over NSW and Queensland, and a crowd of over 500 attended over the two days.

“Many spectators enjoyed the action so much that they came for both days.

“A number of pilots who were not here last year have indicated that they will be in attendance this year because they have heard how well it was run and how friendly everyone was during the weekend.”

Mr Woolfe revealed a number of the model aircraft at the upcoming Fun Fly Weekend are very serious pieces with some having a 4m wingspan and weighing in at 40kg.

He said aircraft over 7kg must be inspected and certified to fly, and the pilots of such aircraft have strict qualification requirements to be able to operate them.

“Pilots who fly jet turbine aircraft are subjected to strict conditions, no matter what the weight of the aircraft, and some of these machines can reach actual speeds of over 500km/h,” he said.

“These aircraft use JetA1 fuel [refined kerosene], and for the record, people who fly model aircraft are considered to be pilots under the rules of Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

“We just do it from the ground.”

The Grafton Model Aircraft Club will also conduct some first flight instruction for people who may be interested in having a go at flying a radio-controlled aircraft.

“This will be subject to time and airspace being available,” said President of the Grafton Model Aircraft Club Scott Short.

“The whole idea is to showcase the sport of aeromodelling to the general public and to bring modellers together in an easy-going social atmosphere.”

A large marquee will be set up to provide shade and a great vantage point for spectators.

Flying will commence from 7am on all three days and continue until mid to late afternoon, weather permitting.

Food and beverages will also be available to purchase.

Entry is free.