Lake Forsyth Posts

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.

Four seasons in one day – Lake Forsyth, 2016

Just like the words of the song by Crowded House – “Smiling as the shit comes down… Like four seasons in one day.”

For those who braved the blustery south westerlies in tents and camper vans on the Friday night, we were smiling outwardly but anxious on the inside as we waited for the weather gods to smile on Lake Forsyth.

Two Ezyups were ripped from their positions and tossed like matchwood against trailers and cars. Not a great start as the organisers tried to salvage what they could. Some brave souls, such as Peter Barlow and Matt McKenzie rescued what they could in the rain and thoughts turned to abandoning the fly-in.

The organising team were able to relocate into the large white tent, an awning was erected out the front, and optimism started to surface.

Patience won through and by 4pm the sun came out along with the lake flies, the wind dropped and everyone took to the air. Many flights rose from the recently rolled strip like relieved phoenixes. After a couple of hours of flying therapy many pilots adjourned to the Little River pub where they enjoyed great hospitality and generous helpings of steak or mixed grills. Some stayed to see the All Blacks put another one over the Aussies while others went back down the road to see some spectacular night flying from an array of foamies and flying wings. Myriads of tiny UFO’s dotted the star-lit sky. To bed and see what tomorrow brings.

Luckily the sun came out in splendid form to bless us with a gorgeous spring Sunday and the flying really began. What a great spectacle to see an array of models – jets, warbirds, flying wings, helicopters, foamies, float planes and seaplanes entertaining a large crowd of pilots and spectators. Registrations continued to climb to 79 pilots (one off the record); all going to show that all good things come to those who wait.

It seemed a shame to stop flying for twenty minutes while the prizes were presented. Ten raffle draws and a few speeches later the following awards were presented by club president, Craig Clapham.

PRIZES:

Best Float plane: Carbon Z Cub Peter Hewson
Best Land Plane: SE5A Victor Tan
Best Helicopter: Sea Sprite Gavin Jordan
Youngest Pilot: Jack Clapham
Oldest Pilot: Don Brown

Float & Field Trophy:
(best overall model)

SE5A Victor Tan

Lucky Number registration:
(Radian from Play Concepts)

 Jordan Reif

 

Thanks to club patron, Des Lines, for selecting the best overall model, and to Noel Wellbourn and PlayConcepts for their generous sponsorship.

– Peter Hewson, Secretary.

Some photos from 2016:

Lake Forsyth Flyin, 2016

Lake Forsyth Flyin, 2016

Check out the Lake Forsyth page for information on the flyin

Weather wins, but not without a fight, Lake Forsyth 2015

The weather gods were determined to ruin this year’s Float and Field fly-in at Lake Forsyth, but many people still managed to fly, especially on the Saturday.

Overcast and cold conditions kept some fliers on the ground, but many models made it in to the air from both the land strip and off the lake.
The quad boys started a little pre-event competition a day earlier with quad racing around a course they had laid out. A number of fliers took part in this one with the usual amount of carnage to props etc.

The large marquee tent was invaluable this year as many models and modellers made it under this when the drizzle got a little too much. A magnificent large model helicopter dominated most people’s interest in here.

The raffles were drawn and the prize-giving awards were presented a little early on the Sunday, due to the weather. Jeremy McLean was a deserved winner of the float and field cup and proved that the weather wasn’t going to stop him enjoying himself with his rare Polikarpov I-16.

Although the weather was a disappointment, we still feel that this time of the year is a good time for this fly-in. The event has been running for 19 years, since 1996, and we have only had to cancel once.
Thanks to Kelly Fountaine and Nigel Philips for the photos.

Video from Paul Spinoglio in Dunedin  (Speadfreaknz on Youtube)

Winners:

  • Best overall model: POLIKARPOV I-16 Jeremy McLean
  • Pilots’ Choice:
    • Best land plane: POLIKARPOV Jeremy McLean
    • Best float plane: CANADAIR Roger Atkinson
    • Best helicopter: SUPER SEA SPRITE Gavin Jordan
    • Oldest flier: Don Brown
    • Youngest flier: Jack Clapham