ANYONE can buy a model plane but not too many can make it soar into the sky.
The chances are it will crash within 10 seconds, according to Albury’s Twin Cities Model Aero Club president David Balfour.
There is also the issue of the law when it comes to the planes with Mr Balfour saying most people were unaware of their obligations once they had a remote-control plane — often given to them as a Christmas or birthday present.
Civil Aviation rules say a plane can only be flown if the operator can see it at all times.
They cannot be flown within 30 metres of cars, boats, people or buildings, cannot be flown higher than 120 metres unless in a controlled airspace and should not be flown within 5.5 kilometres of an airport.
And they are banned from popular public areas such as beaches, back yards, crowded parks or sporting fields.
“We encourage dealers to educate people but it’s hard when so many buy them online,” Mr Balfour said.
“You really have to join a club because you can’t just go to a park and fly — we have that trouble all the time.”
He said he found flying models more challenging than handling real planes because “they are not one with you”.
Albury Hobby Centre employee Phil Moss said most model plane guidelines were “common sense”.
He said electric park flyers were a popular buy and the shop tried to educate anyone who left the store with them.
“We make people aware of the rules and encourage them to join a club,” he said.
“Many people are lost to the hobby because they see a plane and say ‘beauty I’ll have a go’ but they don’t understand the theory of flight and their planes just fall to the ground.”
Mr Moss urged people to be aware of the rules before flying.