Scale planes in aerobatic display
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.