Model pilots descend on Border for titles

IMAGINE a plane travelling at 300 kilometres per hour.

Now imagine controlling that plane with a handle attached to a steel cable and you have a control line model aeroplane.

This method of model plane flight predates the remote-controlled version.

The Model Aircraft Association of Australia is holding its Australian Championships at Alexandra Park in Albury over the next few days, with the event attracting more than 250 entries.

National championship co-ordinator Brian Eather said Albury was a fantastic place to be holding the event.

“A lot of the people who have come down to compete bring their families, and they enjoy being able to explore some of the stuff around the region while other family members are competing in the championship,” Mr Eather said.

“We’ve been made very welcome by the community and we’re very grateful to have access to the facilities that we are using over the next few days.”

Competition in control line flying takes place in several formats, including acrobatics, speed and combat categories.

The combat category can produce some of the most interesting spectacles, with two competitors on the ground weaving around each other as the planes aim to cut a ribbon attached to the opposing plane.

Whoever has the most ribbon left at the end of a set time wins. However draws resulting from mid-air collisions aren’t out of the ordinary.

“The combat events are notoriously tricky to stay safe in, sometimes you end up with two broken models and some frustrated pilots, but it’s all in good fun,” Mr Eather said.

The national championship is in its 66th year, with entrants coming from as far away as Perth and Brisbane to take part in this year’s event on the Border.

The model plane pilots will be in town until the January 3, with flying hours from 9am to 6pm each day except for New Year’s Day.

  Frank Battan from The Oaks in NSW with his Yak-55 control line model plane. Picture: DAVID THORPE

Frank Battan from The Oaks in NSW with his Yak-55 control line model plane. Picture: DAVID THORPE