Club’s flying high
Tuesday, 11th October, 2011
By John Casey
The BH Model Flying Club is enjoying a resurgence in interest, illustrated when some 150 people turned their attention to the sky during a “Show ‘n’ Fly” event on Saturday.
Club president John Ray said organisers were “thrilled” by the response and hoped more new members would result from the event.
“We have been blown away by the response and it is a credit to our public relations manager Greg Gentle, secretary Greg Pope and all the club members who helped,” Mr Ray, who has been involved for about eight years, told the BDT.
“A big part of the day was to encourage some new members to add to the 30 or so we currently have on our books.
“We are out here (at the Tibooburra Road club headquarters) every Saturday if the weather is working with us and anyone can come and try their hand if they are interested,” he added.
Mr Ray, who was introduced to the sport by his father Ray Snr, said advances in technology in recent years had added to the enjoyment factor and also reduced the costs associated with the hobby.
“In recent years plenty of simulators have become available that give people the opportunity of building their skills on their home computer - which can save lots of money in repairs for learners,” Mr Ray said.
“We also use ‘buddy-boards’ for learners where two transmitters marry-up, so an experienced operator can take over if there is any danger of losing control of the aircraft.
“The hardest part is actually landing the plane but with all the technology now available it is much easier to learn the skills required,” Mr Ray continued.
Some members, including club secretary Greg Pope, prefer to fly model helicopters which are much harder to handle.
“I joined the club around 25 years ago and love the challenge of controlling the helicopters,” Mr Pope said.
“In the past some of the equipment has been a little unstable, but these days around $500 will get you started with a very reliable model.
“They aren’t indestructible - but nowadays they are approaching that - and with the simulators now available we see a lot less damage being done,” Mr Pope added.
The BH model Flying Club has been operating since 1961 and is open 52 weeks of the year - weather permitting.
“We’ve noticed there are more and more people out here flying,” Mr Ray said.
“Like with a lot of interests the club stagnated there for a while but our numbers are now on the increase.
“Club members are here most days of the week and it seems that as people retire they are looking for a new hobby and are interested in what we do.”
A variety of aircraft are flown, from small electric planes to the larger models with a wingspan of three metres, with some representing about one-third of the actual aircraft they are modeled on.
Top speeds of more than 150 kp/h can be reached, which provides a real adrenalin rush according to Mr Ray.
Anyone wanting more information can contact Mr Ray (0418-117-114) or Mr Pope (0429-325-465) or can visit the club’s website: brokenhillmfc.com.au.