enjoyed the intro article about how your Flying Sites Editor became interested
in model flying all those years ago. He must have a very good memory to
be able to recall names etc. after all that time. So now I'm writing to
let you know how I became interested in R/C Flying.
We were fascinated with these little models flying without any strings or wires attached as was normally the case back around 1985. Like most men I want to do everything I see but after moving into the country in central Victoria with so much to do all thoughts of flying went out of my head to concentrate on building a new house, new career & all the things that are associated with moving to a new area.
Our youngest son Paul at around age 21 bought a 2nd hand VMAR Cessna together with a Hi Tec Focus 6 Transmitter sill in its original packaging. When I heard about this I didn't give our previous experiences in Melbourne a second thought. All I thought was, " That'll keep ya broke" But really didn't give him any encouragement at all thinking that this will be another of the things that I've seen the boys go through from time to time.
I drove busses & among my regular passengers was a school teacher named Graham Whitlock & through talking to him, I found out he flew R/C & I would question him about his models & his flying activities. Graham often said to me come down the club & have a fly! Knowing that R/C is very expensive I always declined by saying " Graham you can't always do everything you want to in life" but he would always persist.
However it wasn't until 8th January 1999, (this how my story is unique
as I can tell you the exact date that I really decided that I wanted to
be involved in this hobby) the day of our daughters wedding when young
Paul arrived while I was jotting down the lines for my speech with the
latest edition of an Australian model magazine. Well the speech was promptly
put aside to browse through his magazine. I was so taken up by the model
on the front cover which was the main construction article of the Mag.
that I decided right then that this is something I've got to have.
I didn't know that you have to start with a trainer, oh no, I wanted to start with this Sonic Boom, but we heard of a bloke in a nearby town who had a Trainer, Radio & Flight Box for sale, complete with electric starter for $500.00 (180 quid) A case of: Just add water, err Fuel & fly.
So I joined the Euroa Model Aero Club Inc. & started taking lessons. In the mean time I bought a kit of the Sonic Boom & was building that as I was learning to fly. Due to my job involving a lot of weekend work it took 12 months to go solo. I crashed that original plane several times until it couldn't be rebuilt any more & bought another kit of the same type, An Australian kit called a Hustler which I built & eventually went solo on.
I was so obsessed with Model Flying I spent all my waking moments thinking about models (R/C type that is) & my sleeping moments solving problems incurred during building. Probably no different to anybody else actually. My work colleagues when ever they saw me sitting in the busses between jobs didn't need to ask what I was reading they knew it would be a R/C modelling magazine. My wife has said, to say I was obsessed would be an understatement. Thankfully she's very understanding & is very supportive of my hobby, to the detriment of our bank account.
The Sonic Boom was eventually put aside as there were now other projects that I wanted to build & as fate would have it I ended up giving it away to Graham Whitlock, Graham still hasn't finished it but it's very close & it will fly later this year.
I have since retired from driving & naturally devote a lot of my
time to the hobby. I'm rather chuffed when one of our club members after
having a bit of an incident allows me to repair & recover it for him
or as in a case the other day when a member asked me to cover his Precedent
Stamp, a model which he has put hours & hours into.
I am now the secretary of the Euroa Model Aero Club Inc. Not that I'm
bragging, no body else wanted the commitment that the job requires if
it's to be done properly. So far this has also given me great satisfaction
knowing that I'm helping all members collectively after they were so helpful
to me when I joined in 1999.