A COVID LEVEL 2 FLY-IN LIKE NO OTHER
The year 2020 will be one to remember for all the wrong reasons and one which most of us will want to put behind us. All the planning for the 2020 Lake Forsyth Float & Field fly-in was based on Level 1 and when Auckland sent us into Level 2 we thought we were sunk.
Christchurch Radio Fliers finally managed to get permission to hold the event under Level 2 conditions with thanks to the City Council and MFNZ. We were forced to adhere to government regulations which required a maximum of 100 people at the site. We were compelled, therefore, not to admit spectators nor members of the public. Most people were very understanding and wished us well. Pilots had to pre-register so that we could get an understanding of numbers and then to register at the site. We had a QR code as well as a NOTAM, RPAS certificate, approval letters, Health and Safety plan etc.
Camping was still permitted and many fliers took advantage of this. We had pilots from Nelson as well as Dunedin and Gore; even a flier from West Auckland who had been in the South Island since before the latest lockdown and was on his way home. Without the public, there was a different vibe to the event, but more time for pilots to mingle and more space for parking.
Excellent weather on Friday and on Saturday morning helped many aircraft get into the air, especially off a glass-smooth Lake Forsyth. A nor-wester then developed from lunchtime onwards which made for some interesting cross-wind landings. As usual, a wide variety of models including jets, warbirds, gliders, helicopters, foamie wings, World War 1 and vintage types were in evidence. This creates plenty of interest and our guest judge, Dave Johnston, took some time wandering around the pits and watching models in the air before he could make the difficult decision of the Best Overall model. This year that award went to Mike Kingsbury from Ashburton for his magnificently detailed Harvard.
The general conscensus was that this year’s Lake Forsyth event was successful and a great opportunity to have fun flying and to enjoy each others company. There were 61 registered pilots, slightly down on previous years, but this is to be expected in a year where a nasty virus has dominated the news. The local club thanks all those who made the effort to come along and to Mark Brown for his rolling of the strip and the large team of helpers who made the event possible.
Awards went to:
Pilots’ Choice Best LANDPLANE: 12’ Telemaster (Craig McNab)
Pilots’ Choice Best FLOATPLANE: Kingfisher (Sean McCurrie)
Pilots’ Choice Best HELICOPTER: Goblin (Glenn Anderson)
Best Overall: Harvard (Mike Kingsbury)
Oldest Flier: Donald Brown (84)
Youngest Flier: Michael Knott (16)