Friday, May 27, 2011

Indoor at Easter Time

I have often been guilty of saying that our indoor flying crowd are unpredictable, as far as attendance numbers are concerned and this last evening was typical of that belief. With most people already on the road for their Easter break, it was expected that ‘La Fenice’ would be the only person there. Low and behold, they came in their droves in what could well have been a record number. Showing even more brightness in these dim times was the presentation to us, of the largest flying space we have ever endured at ETSA Park. Our home netball team are due to play their arch rivals, The Magic, this same weekend so all the surrounding, and moveable seating had been put in place in readiness for their huge match and the electrically moveable bank of seats,  previously (and usually) squashed up against the back wall like a huge concertina had been rolled into place, forming one very large grand stand.

One of the advantages of our sport, like many others, is that it is a wonderful opportunity for dads to take members of their family with them and, possibly have them become involved in the actual flying. One such group are the Chapple father and son couple who come down from Berri when possible and, the son, Matthew is one of the most accomplished pilots of, not only models, but also with a full-size Jabiru aircraft going solo after just 8 hours flying. His model flying is always a joy to witness with his dedicated father, never more than a metre away, always willing to tell of Matthew’s accomplishments.

Matthew Waye, the only Model Flight Staff representative on this night was as usual, employed in instruction where and when required, including with another father/son combination; Vin Pike and son Benjamin.

Benjamin amused himself with a small rubber powered model, which he quite successfully launched from the top tier of the very high grandstand.

The Mt. Barker mob, consisting of Alexis Scott and his very accomplished model flier son, Hamish flew a variety of models, Alexis putting “The Beast” through its fantastic manoeuvres, while Hamish was forced to spend considerable time repairing a “foamie” which had almost become a heap of rubble. We again saw it flying before our flying time had expired.

Alexis, the father, caught my eye standing behind a young lad and Alexis is busily engaged in putting “The Beast” through its interesting and exciting paces. Kneeling down was a very busy Hamish, the son, hard at work repairing his foamy so as to enable some more flying before we close. This may be the time to mention a rather tricky subject – that of our departure at the end of a nights entertainment. It rarely happens that we don’t start flying well before our appointed time of 8.30p.m. and quite often, as happened last night, a number of fliers were in the air from the early starting time of 8p.m. giving them a half hour extra entertainment. Why is it, then, that having been given a reminder at twenty past ten each night, that there is ten minutes remaining, that few commence packing up (a quite large job for some) until right on closing time. The duty manager has a lot to do after we leave and I don’t feel that we should abuse the many privileges that he gives us each night. We had twice as many lights on last night and, with a monthly electricity bill of $7,000 – yes seven thousand dollars – it is not hard to see where a lot of that money is spent. So gentlemen, and in some cases ladies as well, as a personal request from me, could you please make the effort to vacate the place BY 10.30p.m.

Do you remember, dear readers, that a few months ago, Peter Melders demonstrated very adroitly, the exciting flying characteristics (a long word) of his “Tri-copter?” He flew it on two occasions, the second time with slightly larger propellers – this may jolt your memory.

Why am I raising that matter, you may well ask for Peter was not in attendance last night. But – what we did witness, was the exciting demonstration of a slightly similar machine, and please forgive me for not getting the gentleman’s name, but this really stirred the cockles of our hearts. Not only did it have three motors, but this model had four and this amazing quad-machine also had a pair of very bright 6-volt powered headlights which, at least, showed which is the leading edge.

Your scribe – “The Phoenix.”

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