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    KEEN COMPETITORS: Wimmera Model Aircraft Association president Adam Breuer, left, and secretary Rolf Hedt, with model-glider pilots Kevin Weston and Klaus Metzger, during a Midway Cup competition. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

No fly zone for model flying club

A unique and long-standing Wimmera community club is looking for a new place to call home as its neighbours look to expand their agriculture operation. 

Wimmera Model Aircraft Association has been forced to put the feelers out in the Horsham community for a suitable and vacant area of land to house its club’s model-aircraft flying activities. 

The association’s current eight-year home, a 24-acre paddock housing club-rooms and runways owned by Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange, has been earmarked for expansion to house new 40-metre truck bays. 

Association secretary Rolf Hedt said the club had moved nearly 15 times during the past four decades and had moved several times within the livestock exchange. 

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He said a more permanent site would be ‘ideal’. 

“We only need a couple of acres for our clubrooms and runways, but we do need 20 to 30 acres for an overfly zone with no powerlines and trees, as well as somewhere southerly facing so we are not looking into the sun while flying the large models,” he said. 

“We are hoping someone can help us out. We would ideally love a permanent site – somewhere to set up our facilities and allow us to host camping events during a weekend of flying. 

“This is especially important because the models are expensive, and people want to be able to look after them throughout the event.”

Mr Hedt said the livestock exchange had sought to extend its southern boundary, which would sadly curtail the paddock for future flying. 

“If anyone has some land and would be prepared to talk and consider our plight, it would be great if they got in contact with me,” he said.

“Model aircraft flying is just so good for all kinds of mental stimulation as well as an important mental health outlet.” 

The club has 13 members but has previously had as many as 25. 

“We are out here most weekends flying. And because we are a smaller club, we are not necessarily able to get state funding for the club given the price of land and the area we need for flying,” Mr Hedt said.

He said the club normally hosted several events during the year and in particular the Midway Cup and Victorian State Championships brought a high standard of competitive model aircraft flyers from interstate. 

“We all love flying and a long-term deal would allow the club to blossom,” he said. 

Mr Hedt said the club was hoping for a strong showing at the state championships, which determined possible entrants for world championships and further international competitions. 

People with available and suitable land can call Mr Hedt on 0427 340 702. 

– Michael Scalzo

The entire May 11, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!