Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Phoenix Freezes at ETSA Park in August

As I exited my driveway at a tad after seven for our Monthly Indoor Flying Event at ETSA Park, I later discovered that 17 other warm blooded pilots were stalwartly joining me on the road to what was to become, our coldest night on record at that venue. No fear of my wings melting and falling to earth from my body. One of the most sensible arrivals was one gentleman, complete with, what appeared to be a delightfully thick woolen hoody and as the night became even colder, I had wished for the strength to remove it for my own use.

However, dear readers, even under these quite torrid conditions, we had come to ETSA to fly our electric models, both fixed wing and helicopters, all of various materials from balsa in the more conventional style, to some of the latest models from your favourite model shop, such as the Blade 120SR which was making its second public appearance. This it did with some aplomb and skill from the Managing Director of Modelflight, Mike O’Reilly who was the first of two lucky pilots with this ultra-advanced helicopter. It has since been released for sale and can be seen on the shelves on the Goodwood Road shop. The larger of the helis, such as the Blade 400, which is the largest permitted heli at ETSA Park, spent most of their time on Court 2, and with their training frames attached they proved that patience and practice is producing some very steady hovering.

Andy Hollitt again demonstrated indoor pylon competition with such skill, as one expects to see from Andy, that I am sure a number of others had their interests stirred a little and probably hoped that they had a foam constructed pylon racing aircraft so that they, too, could have joined Andy. Keep it up Andy, I feel sure the interest will grow which is good as it does not take up a lot of space.

When Brenton Wildman arrived, I thought that, just maybe, I was in Steptoe’s shop. Please let me elucidate for it was not scrap but boxes of models. Some unused and others with very little use but, as Brenton is moving house he finds the necessity to rid himself of a number of models that are surplus to his very active flying life style. So he brought his garage sale to ETSA Park. As Brenton is providing the pix for this article, due to a temporary malfunction with my camera/computer equipment, and as I have no idea which shots he is using, my story may appear a little lost without mentioning the accompanying shots. My thanks to Brenton for the backing. Here is a pic of the E-Flite Blade Tandem Rescue Heli, test flown by Brenton before its arrival on Aussie shores early September. "The new Eflite Blade Tandem Rescue was flown early in the night, very stable and controllable".

A couple of our regular fliers brought small racing cars, both 4 and 2-wheel drive models and if you would like to join them on future nights, do not hesitate to toss a car or two in your boot. J.J. joined the father Mike and the son Ryan Holmes in some playful combat with their very manoeuvrable (well that’s how Mr Oxford spells it – I would have liked to have added another (e)) foam models and the main thing that this exemplified was the enormous improvement in Ryan’s flying. We have watched this 14-year-old’s flying from his beginning and being nurtured by a doting father, together with an obedient son has produced an outstanding degree of skill, expecially in one so young. I just wish that I had his computer and electronic skills – I would have some photos to show you dear friends. Mike H, we have not had a family display yet so when can we expect to see Mary, the mother, join the father and son? Say that would be fantastic - like –“the family who flies together, stays together!” Okay, so you’re doing very nicely thank you, without that rubbish. If we can look far enough back into history, we would remember Pat Crowe and his two sons all flying together, and I’ll get sacked if I don’t mention them, but we also have seen the late Leo O’Reilly and his two sons flying together. But, in either case there was no mum’s appearance. Come on Mary – make it a first. Come to think of it, those two afore-mentioned families were all members of the Southern Soaring League so there must have been strong family interest in the times gone by. Pity they cannot introduce some new flying families.

Ian Smedman continues to improve with each appearance. I wonder if his new branch of hobbying has caused his car-racing brilliance to suffer?? Hope not. After all, one is day-time and t’other in the night so they should not adversely affect each other.

The Whiteline 3-1/2 metre long R/C Road Train has been invited to put in an appearance at the Angaston Show in February and, as one of the show organizers is coming to ETSA Park to check it out for required space etc. it will again be on show at our next Indoor Flying Event at the Netball Stadium on Thursday September 16th between the hours of 8.30 and 10.30 p.m. Why not come along and see if The Phoenix can roll it over as he did without being requested to do so by Channel 7. It wont cost a cent to come and watch that and other spectacles through the night. It is only if you toss a model in the boot, and fly it, that it will cost you $10 for the night’s entertainment.

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