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Being relative new to electric flying, and having previously only flown in the Radian event at NEFR, I decided this year to enter F5J as well as the scramble. Someone has to come last I thought.

This NEFR was being held at the National Aeromodelling & Aviator Society's Willy Emmett field on the Naas Road, ACT. Wow I thought, must be a decent place to have the road named after the flying club. Wrong, just a clever acronym and club name for a great field located in the head waters of the Naas Creek which was settled back in the middle 1800's.

The field was great. Set in between two hills with the field being clear of trees and other obstacles (like rocks), which have been banished by enthusiastic club members over time. There were grazing sheep, but it appears they must have been trained to avoid model aircraft.

The weather was initially kind, and even when it rained later, it wasn't enough to dampen the dedication of the assembled flyers and events were held pretty much according to their scheduled time.

I enjoyed the scramble. Great event for a new flyer as it forces you to concentrate on elapsed time, piloting your model to be in a good place ready for landing. Also wonderful exercise for the wife who had to chase the model on those occasions the pilot didn't quite get the model "back to base". Didn't win the event, but didn't come last either, and had heaps of fun.

Radian is always a great event. 25 odd radians all going up in a mass launch is a sight to see. The challenge was to find the thermals, but everyone was facing the same challenge. It was great to see the sense of achievement from other relatively new pilots when they did a spot on five-minute flight. Didn't win the event, but didn't come last either, and had heaps of fun.

F5J was the event that worried me. Could not see me getting anywhere near the flight duration required. I'd had the odd practice at home, but hadn't really thought much about spot landings, or how to approach them. Never mind, as I said, someone had to come last. So, psychologically prepared, out I went and flew. It was great! Everyone faced the same elements together. It was great flying around and picking the odd thermal. Spot landing was a challenge, and certainly let me down, but before the next NEFR I'll go practice those. Really enjoyed my first attempt at F5J. Didn't win the event, but didn't come last either, and had heaps of fun.

The NAAS club did a superb job of catering, and according to my wife (who is a self confessed food snob) the Sunday night roast lamb dinner was the best meal of our whole trip! I think that's pretty good endorsement of the NAAS cooks.

Rumour has it that NAAS could well be next year's hosts. I would certainly like that. The field is at a top location in the Nation's Capital, and it's easy to extend your holiday around Easter to give you time to take yourself, and family, to see the highlights of the ACT. If you're new to flying, don't be put off. EVERYONE has fun and enjoys the flying, why not join them and mark the date in your diary now.

David Lucas

 

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