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)