Radio Flyer Club: country’s top model helicopter pilots touch down in Richards Bay

2012-09-12 00:00

RICHARDS Bay skies will be alive this weekend as 30 of the country’s top model helicopter pilots descend on the city to give a demonstration.

The town’s Radio Flyer Club chairperson, Hercules Venter, said the multifaceted hobby, which requires controllers to visualise the area in three-dimensional space, will see the crowd awed by acrobatic flying and other disciplines of radio control piloting.

“We urge Zululanders to come and witness this event. It is truly remarkable how the skilled flyers handle their helicopters.

“We will be hosting some of the best helicopter pilots in SA showing off and sharing their skills with us. Helicopter set-up workshops, training, flying tips and even proficiency tests can be done,” said Venter.

Radio flying is a tightly governed sport.

In order to become a “pilot” a flyer must undergo several processes of certification and it is governed by the South African Model Aircraft Association.

“Safety is key to what we do. For instance, if a person wants to learn how to fly a model helicopter they must undergo training with a qualified pilot who has a direct link to the trainee’s control, allowing the trainer to take control if necessary.

“These blades are rotating at 2 000 rpm and could severely injure a person. We will have strict safety guidelines at the open day,” said Venter.

And although the main focus will be on helicopters, aircraft enthusiasts are more than welcome.

“Winds do not pose a serious threat to flying the helicopters as they all have gyros allowing them to stabilise. The two-day event will be fun for the whole family.”

Directions to the event are available on the Richards Bay Radio Club Facebook page and signboards will be posted from the Bullion Boulevard/Geldengracht intersection in Richards Bay CBD.

The flying event will be held at the Nsezi Water Treatment Plant, behind Mondi.

For information call Mario Barnard at 083 669 74 38.

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