Lake Forsyth Posts

2021 Float and field cancelled – CRFC Field fly-in rises from the ashes

2021 Float and field cancelled – CRFC Field fly-in rises from the ashes


So sorry folks. We have been in consultation with the Christchurch City Council, namely Head Ranger, Paul Devlin, Area Manager, Matt Rose, and ornithologist, Andrew Crossland, and they inform us that Lake Forsyth is now a wetland of national importance. There is birdlife and plant species they want to protect. This means that
no one can fly there. They are also planning to prevent the N.B. Powerboat Club and fishermen from using the lake and surrounds. No idea how they plan to control the
hoons who tear up the ground with their motorbikes and cars!


Out of the ashes, so to speak … We are going to hold a flying event this year on the same dates at our own field. Camping will be allowed and all types of models welcome, except for float planes as we don’t have a lake.

Come along, but let us know if you are coming (for catering purposes etc.)

Saturday 28 - Sunday 29 August
(Map of field location)


Secretary, Christchurch Radio fliers.
Peter Hewson
022 088 4766


Lake Forsyth, 2020



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)


Lake Forsyth Flyin, 2019

Flyin 2019

This is one of the largest RC model flying events in the country. We typically get 80-90 pilots attending and many more models. The event is over two days and there is camping available, but it is advised that you have self-contained accommodation on site. The area is a CCC park and reserve and so we need to obey local bylaws concerning the way we use the site, including care with rubbish, local wildlife, no dogs, health and safety etc. We run the event primarily for the enjoyment of the fliers and we ask that they have their MFNZ Wings badges and current membership to cover things such as safety and insurance. Public are welcome, but we do not advertise the event in the wider community, largely because we do not want it to become too big.

There are four flight lines operating – land line, float line, helicopter and 3-D areas. A NOTAM is in place up to 1,000 feet.

Pilots need to vouch for the safety of their aircraft and we cater for all types of models at the event and require pilots to fly at the appropriate flight line, please.

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.