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TECT Park opening day
This attracted aeromodellers of all disciplines from around the country. This collation shows a cross section of the types of models present
Random members photos
Tauranga Model Aircraft Club recently had the pleasure of hosting a group of Aero Tow pilots and their array of large and not so large models at their newly established flying facility at TECT Park. The TECT Park flying site has been developed by the club over the past two years and this was the first user group to be invited to use the site. The large gliders and tow planes were able to enjoy the open spaces and a 220 metre long and quite wide runway.
Casual flying was enjoyed on Friday as participants arrived from all points of the North Island including Wellington , New Plymouth, Napier and Kerikeri where they set up for an overnight stay. The Saturday morning briefing saw 21 pilots registered and start flying in the windy and often gusty southerly conditions with lots of broken lift around. The conditions for the day remained tricky and trying but everyone got several flights in, some managed flight times in excess of ¾ hr duration. Around lunch time there were more than forty people on site with a fair number of spectators in awe of the flying display. Sunday saw the wind ease and go around to the west, the sun screen was out in force and with the weather improved so did the thermals, the flight times and airmanship.
It was fantastic to see Angus McDonald who drove down from Auckland, confidently flying his Olympia 463 around the sky and at one stage he commented that he was remaining on site until the tow planes were packed away. This is significant because Angus is now 86 years young and continues to be a regular participant at aero tow after holding a continuous NZMAA membership for 77 years, he joined when he was nine years old. Rob Johnston brought and flew gliders which couldn’t have been further apart in performance, one was an open cockpit – primary glider designed around 1920 with a glide ratio of 6:1, this is a copy of the two Zögling’s built in the early 1930’s by the Dannevirke Gliding Club.The other a 1/3 scale Antares with a glide ratio around 50:1 which first flew in 2003 and has clocked by GPS – recorded speeds of up to 300km/hr.
Of course none of this could be achieved without the tow pilots and their tow aircraft and many thanks must go to Stuart, Leon, Rob and Dominic who flew relentlessly all weekend. The 1/3rd Cub flown by Dominic and Rob had done in excess of 800 tows prior to the meet, Rob tells me that a 1/3rd scale Fletcher will be on the building board soon as a replacement for this workhorse and we look forward to seeing this.