The Club this year, like it has for a number of years, was invited to attend the annual tractor pull event at Ballan. In the last couple of years the participation has been down based on weather and the lack of a suitable runway so all types of models could take off and land. Well this year like last year, Geoff Bourke and his trusted Bobcat took care of this issue and provided a very reasonable surface. It is difficult as the runways that is prepared is only used once a year and to maintain them can be a challenge. One thing is for sure, if Geoff did not do the work that he did, we would not fly at all as the surface would be just too rough. It also does not help that sheep use the paddock to keep the grass down. The runways this year are probably the best we have seen and proved to be a winner with many of the pilots. Still a bit short for the big jets, but the sport jets seemed to go OK. A few more meters Bourkie and she would be right…
So we started to arrive by 8:00 am onwards and for the next hour or so, pilots raised shelters and placed their beloved chargers on show to all to see. We had a great area allocated to us by the Ballan Committee and had a perfect spot to sell our raffle tickets. This year we had an electric cub with radio all ready to go. Would have been a great first model to try your hand in model aviation.
As it was, a grandmother won the prize for her grandson so she was ecstatic in winning the cub. Well done. Hopefully, he will enjoy our hobby and continue to bigger and better things.
As the photos will show, the contingent of models was excellent with probably over 50 models of all shapes and sizes. Ken Mollison bought out his big L39 and F16 for static display, but tried to fly his sport jet as did Peter Stefurak. Peter bought out his Falcon jet had a great flight with many of the spectators stopping to have a good look at what was going on. Ken had some engines problems with the Xcalibur with a flame-out our shortly after take-off. He did have his L39 so gave that a engine run to make sure all was well, but the fuel pump was not playing the game. The crowed that were present still loved it, especially when Ken applied the smoke. No doubt it will be another show stopper for the future.
The crowed was also entertained with many other models types from electrics to large size gasses. Each one bought its own style of flying and thrills for the spectators. This year we had the helicopters to show off their 3D abilities and added another dimension to the display. Peter (PVA) had a whole fleet of models of his own plus his 7 cylinder engine which sounds awesome.
Weather wise the day itself started off fantastically with blue skies and no wind. It was a little cool but we all knew that was no going to last. Expected temperatures were going to be in the mid thirties’ by the afternoon and by 2:00 pm is was getting hot. Surprisingly the wind dropped off and was not a real problem for many of the crew. See you then... Ed