Scale planes in aer­o­batic dis­play

Great Southern Herald - - Front Page - Sjanna San­dalova

Wa­gin Air­field lit up last week­end with re­mote-con­trol planes tak­ing to the sky for the 2017 Aus­tralian Scale Aer­o­bat­ics As­so­ci­a­tion Na­tional Championships.

From Fri­day, Septem­ber 29 to Sun­day, October 1, 500 spec­ta­tors walked through the gates of Wa­gin Air­field to wit­ness the ac­tion of some of the best ra­dio­con­trol pi­lots show­ing off their skills.

Ja­pan’s Inoue Ju­nichi, who was spon­sored by the Shire of Wa­gin to at­tend, won the freestyle event with his spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance leav­ing the au­di­ence stunned.

Mark Eas­ton from Western Aus­tralia won the pre­ci­sion part of the com­pe­ti­tion at the Un­lim­ited Class for the sec­ond year run­ning. Queens­lan­der Aaron Garle placed sec­ond with his freestyle skills, and the ASAA awarded him the 2017 Pi­lot of the Year for his aer­o­batic per­for­mance and con­tri­bu­tions over the year.

He is cur­rently men­tor­ing sev­eral younger pi­lots who also per­formed at the com­pe­ti­tion.

“It was a re­ally great at­mos­phere, quite laid back for our na­tional championships,” Garle said.

“It was a lit­tle bit on the cold side, we could no­tice it in the air with our air­craft, it per­forms slightly dif­fer­ent in cold weather, but all up it has been great.”

Garle and Eas­ton are now both pre­par­ing to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia at the next world cham­pi­onship event in the US.

Event direc­tor and sec­re­tary for Scale Aer­o­bat­ics Western Aus­tralia, Peter Bryner, said spec­ta­tors came from Al­bany, Marg­eret River, Perth and Ger­ald­ton. “Many of the lo­cals came hear­ing the sound of aero­planes at the air­field which is only 2km from the cen­tre of Wa­gin,” he said.

More than $1200 was raised in do­na­tions for the Royal Fly­ing

Doc­tor Ser­vice and more than 200 balsa wood chuck glid­ers were handed out to chil­dren at the event.

“The gen­eros­ity to­wards the RFDS and what it does for the com­mu­nity is tremen­dous,” Mr Bryner said. He said the Shire of Wa­gin has en­cour­aged the as­so­ci­a­tion to make use of its air­field.

“Re­mote-con­trolled model air­craft and drones are usu­ally pro­hib­ited within 5.5km of a full­size air­field,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of as­sis­tance in get­ting this event or­gan­ised, from Civil Avi­a­tion Safety Au­thor­ity ap­proval to Shire sup­port and gen­er­ous fund­ing from the State Gov­ern­ment.”

Pi­lots and judges watch as planes fly over­head.

This year’s Pi­lot of the Year Aaron Garle and his re­mote-con­trol air­craft.

Aaron Garle, Mark Eas­ton and Inoue Ju­nichi.

One of the planes in flight.

Some of the re­mote-con­trol planes lined up at Wa­gin Air­field.

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