Lake Forsyth Posts

Lake Forsyth 2018, another great year.

It just goes to show that you can’t second-guess the weather! Lake Forsyth, outside Christchurch ,continues to attract many fliers and public to one of the largest events of its type in the country, even if the weather gods did not smile on Saturday morning. Once the cold Southerly had blown through the weather settled by lunchtime and the planes came out in ever increasing droves – racing drones, float planes, jets, World War 1 types, warbirds, foamies, helicopters. There was something for everyone.

The local club, Christchurch Radio Fliers, had to layout, mow and roll a new strip because the lake level was very high the week before and was flooding some of the low-lying patches. Then a few days before the fly-in the authorities opened the outlet and let the lake level down. On the plus side there was more area for car parking.

We had the largest collection of camper vans etc there has been and quite a small village had assembled by the Friday night. Some even stayed through the Monday too. Much fun was had with the foamies, drones and FPV outside of the official event event times.

Sunday was brilliant and it was great seeing all four flight lines getting a lot of work. Pilots had come from as far away as Wellington and Invercargill, but most were local or Canterbury based. There were 72 pilots register in all. Hangar One came to the party with sponsorship of the lucky number registration prize, as did Ferntech, the DJI drone specialists, so there were plenty of raffle draws.

There were too many highlights to distinguish specific aircraft, but the flying skills shown by Richard Race and Alex Hewson with their large, aerobatic machines with smokers on full blow, drew much applause.

Awards went to:

Pilots’ Choice Best LANDPLANE: Hellcat (Mark Brown)
Pilots’ Choice Best FLOATPLANE: Hangar 9 Cub ( Ben Carmine)
Pilots’ Choice Best HELICOPTER: AS350 Squirrel
Best Overall: BE2C (Donald Brown)
Oldest Flier: Donald Brown (83)
Youngest Flier: Ryan Chisholm (9)

Lake Forsyth, Locked and loaded for this weekend.

[Breaking news…  The Lake level has dropped dramatically in the last couple of days, Darren H. reports it was opened up to the sea so hopefully the puddles will be less of an issue by the time Saturday dawns.  Have a great weekend everyone!]

The Lake Forsyth fly-in is ready to go next weekend (Sat. 25, Sun 26 August).

The lake level is a little high but we have prepared a new strip which is longer than previous years. Please bring your gumboots, especially the helicopter guys, as there are patches of low-lying ground where there are a few puddles. The forecast is good for the event.

Have a look at the video taken this last weekend.

Forsyth Flyin, August 25th-26th 2018.

The fly-in is on again in 2018 in much the same format as other years.

Please ensure that you have a MFNZ wings badge to fly at this public event.  You are welcome to camp at the site, but you should be self-contained, as per the Council’s instructions. We have a NOTAM for 1200 feet.

Our sponsor this year is Hangar One and there are prizes and a raffle to be awarded on the Sunday lunchtime. A Buy, Sell & Exchange tent will be operating and there is food on site.

Landing fee for the weekend is $12.

You can read more about previous Lake Forsyth fly-ins here.

One of the best, bring on the rest.

2017 Lake Forsyth Fly-in
– Peter Hewson

The sentiment expressed in this headline was heard from many of those who attended the 2017 Float and Field fly-in held at Lake Forsyth, near Christchurch. The lake was a millpond on Sunday and many pilots were down to t-shirts and shorts in the late August sunshine. Friday was also a cracker day during which a good deal of flying took place. The light winds during the weekend attracted 65 registered pilots who took advantage of the four flight lines, and a large crowd of on-lookers had plenty to see. The food tent was doing a roaring trade and there was always something to see in the skies above.

Although, not officially part of the fly-in programme, a rotocross event was organised on Friday and racing quads sped round the gate and tussock circuit through a course organised by Sean McCurrie and Alex Hewson. A good contingent of younger fliers thoroughly enjoyed the racing and the 3-D area. Other models took to the sky from the lake and the main runway and some test flights were completed before the main event opens on Saturday.

Now in its 21st year, the Lake Forsyth fly-in is one of the largest of its type in the country and there is every opportunity of seeing a wide variety of models and sizes flying. A buy-sell-and exchange tent was again in operation and some trading took place the old fashioned way without the need for electronic intervention.

Some pilots had travelled from Invercargill and points in the North Island to enjoy the flying and the comraderie and the local club, Christchurch Radio Fliers, had once again prepared a good strip, flight lines, fences, tents, toilets etc. to make for a safe and spacious site which accommodates the main land strip and lake flight line as well as a 3-D area and a helicopter area.

Some interesting models on display included a 2m Seabee seaplane built by Roger Atkinson. Based on the RC-3 seaplane produced by Republic in 1946, the model was built from scratch and featured a fully amphibious operating undercarriage. Roger said that electric power is the way to go as many modellers who attempt this type with internal combustion engines have trouble balancing the airframe.

The CT-114 Tutor jet trainer flown by Jared Mulholland was a popular sight and drew crowd applause every time it was flown, as did the large 3m CARF Sukhoi 31 flown by Alex Hewson. The model is a recent acquisition, but Alex flew some amazing aerobatic routines with great skill. Powered by a DA 170 engine and tuned pipes, the model was remarkably agile. Sean McCurrie had his large Hellcat flying beautifully with a 3 cylinder Saito purring at the front. This is a very atmospheric model, especially doing low passes along the strip. This model won Pilots’ Choice for best land plane. Much smaller, but equally impressive was the Devon of Mike Kingsbury which flew superbly in the light airs. Mike’s Mosquito also made a debut appearance and flew very well, although an undercarriage problem on landing kept the model on the ground for the rest of the fly-in. Proving that you don’t have to be big to be beautiful, John McKenzie’s Howard Pete is a lovely model which looks great in the air, even if it is a little difficult to handle on the ground. John’s model is based on the rare 1930 DGA-3 Howard racer and it won the trophy for the best overall model awarded by patron of CRFC and ex. 747 pilot, Des Lines.

On the lake there was plenty of activity, including a bevy of 10-12 Tundra float planes. These 1300mm wingspan foamies from Durafly are very popular and flew extremely well in the conditions. They were certainly put through their paces. A mixture of float and seaplane models kept up the tempo during both days and the rescue boat was often in action.

Prizes and raffle draws were held on Sunday with thanks to sponsors, Hangar One.

Awards and prize winners:

  • Youngest flier: JACK CLAPHAM (11yrs), Rolleston
    Oldest flier: BERNIE PROCTOR (79 yrs), Wellington
    Best Helicopter: GLEN ANDERSON, Christchurch
    Best floatplane: ROGER ATKINSON (Seabee), Lincoln
    Best landplane: SEAN McCURRIE (Hellcat), Christchurch
    Lucky Rego: RONNIE HARRIS, Christchurch (Hangar One prize)
    BEST OVERALL MODEL: JOHN McKENZIE (Howard Pete), Leeston
Lake Forsyth 2017…  Just around the corner.

Lake Forsyth 2017… Just around the corner.