2021 Craig Coleman & Swap Meet

A report by David Balfour

This annual event held each March on the Sunday closest to Craig’s passing in 2011. Craig was renowned for his long flights, so this fun event is a good way to remember him.

The aim of the competition is to fly for as close to 30 minutes without the use of any timing device, you must guess the time. 

Points are deducted for every second over or under the 30 minutes. Pilots may fly any type of aircraft, fly solo or as a team.

This year’s winner was Mike Guiness, with a time of 29 minutes and 54 seconds.

Second place went to Adeah Becker with 29 minutes and 44 seconds.

In third place was Geoff Williams with 30 minutes and 20 seconds.

The event also coincides with the clubs’ annual Swap Meet. Many interesting goodies were available this year with a lot of items changing hands. Some items from the Des Piltz Estate were also available for purchase with those proceeds going to the club. Des was forever a great clubman.

This is a great fun event, so you have 12 months to practice for next year.

Click here to go to the Pictures from the event

Team TCMAC does the Masters

A report by Chris Henry


The F3A (Pattern) Masters were held this year in The Barossa Valley in SA over 4 days in Early March.

This event is the premier event for Precision Aerobatics in Australia, and is also a round of the World Cup. Usually, we have a number of the best in the world attend including the World Champion. He has attended at Albury in the past. However due to the Covid-19 issue, none were able to come this time.

In fact, the event was to have been held last year in April but was delayed for that reason. However, most of the country’s best were there with pilots from almost every state except NT. One pilot drove from Perth by himself. A 3-day trip each way. 

TCMAC was represented by Rob Hulett, flying in Advanced class and Chris Henry in F3A class. And it is certainly a long way, especially driving across the Hay plains, arriving at 3pm and doing 3 practice flights. I did sleep well that night.


We stayed in the town of Tanunda, in the heart of the Barossa Valley. A very picturesque place with grape vines on almost every available piece of ground and wineries everywhere. The flying field was only 9 minutes from our cottage, and on a ridge above a winery.

The field is owned by the original winery owner who is into ultralight flying and has a hanger for his plane. We were able to leave our models there at night which saved a lot of time with rigging each day. The club has great infrastructure, nice clubhouse with a good kitchen area for catering, toilet and shade area with grape vines around it. 

I had a good look at the solar power setup which powers the on-filed charging station, the fridge, computers etc. Very simple and a good model to emulate.

The strip is grass, but is mown and watered almost every day, producing a near bowling green surface. Easy take-offs and landings. Except where the jets take off, there are some burnt patches.

The only problem with the field was being on a ridge at the end of a valley means quite a lot of turbulence when low to the ground. And while the weather was nice, most days were calm in the morning with very strong winds in the afternoons, or vice-versa. I even landed from one flight at over half throttle. Made for some interesting flights.

Dinner was at various places. There are plenty of eateries in the valley. We tried the 1950s diner one night. Quite good, with photo opp. with Elvis, of course. The event dinner and AGM were held at the Lyndoch Hill Estate winery. Quite excellent meal and service.

Some guys even bought some wine. Imagine that. Including Norm purchasing a couple of $500 bottles of port for his brother and daughter. And Phill bought a 1945 port for $10,000. Yes, really.


Rob had a problem with his plane, blowing up his speedie on a practice flight, and competing with his new plane that he only had for 2 weeks. He flew well, but the plane needs some trimming yet.

I few well too, with only around 10% difference in the scores between all of the F3A class fliers and even managed to score an equal highest score in one round. The plane performed perfectly, and I really enjoyed the event, with my favourite caller, Ralphie from Tassie. Great fun and banter during the flights.

Overall, a great event. Good to see lots of friend we haven’t been able to see for so long, and for the guys from Melbourne to attend too. They only had a few days of notice that they would be able to cross to SA. The atmosphere is what really makes these events, and at times it was very relaxed, but also could be very intense when the guy flying before you does a good flight.

Only one real loss, when Normies plane appeared to “go off the air” or perhaps he was a bit disoriented while flying too far out. Either way, it speared in at full power from 600 feet, into a vineyard. Nothing left. Oh, well only a $12,000 plane (maybe he can console himself with a $500.00 bottle of Port, ed). But considering the 400 odd flights over the event and practice, that’s pretty good.

The next Masters will be held in Casino in Northern NSW, and will be a practice for the committee who will be running the World Champs in Australia in 2023. That will be great to see.


A report by Mike Guinness

 Saturday 13 March 2021

The day’s weather was excellent until the wind came up after lunch, but this did not deter a few members from continuing to fly. 

We had the use of the clubs’ bungee and Charlie’s electric winch.  The launches off the winch were excellent, enabling us to achieve twice the heights we were getting off the bungee. Having the bungee/winch enabled members to fly non-motorized gliders for a change and challenge themselves to look for those elusive thermals.

A fun competition was held for all motorized gliders with eight contestants participating. The rules where simple: a two minute flight starting with a 30sec engine run, followed by a 90sec glide, to land as close as possible to the spot. Points were scored for every sec over or under two minutes, and for every metre from the spot. Quite challenging, as most of us don’t practice this type of flying. Positions were determined by least to most points scored. This event was won by Mike Guinness.

TCMAC put on a sausage sizzle lunch with tea, coffee, soft drinks and a variety of sweet slices. This was well supported by all the members, visitors and spectators who attended the event.

Despite the wind, after lunch, Rob Sargent used his Katana to tow Rolly’s glider to about 800 feet before the release. A few more members would have taken advantage of this tug tow, but the wind prevented this.

My thanks to everybody who came to support the day, I’m sure we all enjoyed ourselves.

Boat Improvements

The old Kumagutza has had some improvements made during the week to improve both the look, functionality and safety of the interior.

A big THANKS goes out to Dave Balfour for doing the work, it is a big improvement.

The boat can now be safely used with both oars and motor power.

A new motor is being sourced at present so that we can quickly attend a crashed model on the water, however until that arrives, we will be reliant upon the old school manual rowing which is still better than not having a rescue boat at all.

Once again thanks to Blowie for the work he has done.

New Prep Benches



Our project to renew the Prep Benches at the club is moving so fast that Alwyn is struggling to find time to build them all. TCMAC members have generously contributed nearly all of the required money to have these benches completed. And to think that we started this project less than one month ago.

Not much to go now.

So if you are still thinking about donating, DO IT, your donation may be the one to finish off the fund raising campaign, and if you have already donated once or more times, THANK YOU.



A HUGE thanks goes out to all those members who have contributed to the building of the new Prep Benches, this awesome response has seen our total swell to $1000 already, which is just over half of the total needed.

For those who are still thinking about a donation, ITS NOT TOO LATE, and ANY amount adds to the fund. If you are one of the many to already contribute again THANK YOU and don’t forget you can donate more if you feel compelled too.


Well done to all those who have already donated to the building of the new benches, we have updated the Barometer below to show the amount now raised.

Don’t forget you can still donate (event if you have already donated) by either handing the cash to Alwyn, Tim or Adeh, or by direct debit into the clubs account (the same details as when you pay your membership subs) but just the deposit as “Bench Donation” so the Treasurer knows the intent for the money.

And remember you can donate as little or as much as you are comfortable with.


Dear Members

After much consultation and deliberation a design for replacing the preparation benches in the pits area has been decided upon. The design was agreed upon at the recent committee meeting.

Alwyn Brunton has agreed to manage the responsibility of fabricating the benches. One bench has been fabricated for all members to observe and give feedback

Fabrication of up to 12 benches has been identified. The estimated cost of fabricating 12 benches is $1900. Benches will be fabricated progressively as funds become available.

Some members have indicated a desire to contribute to the cost of fabricating the benches due to the current tight financial situation brought about by expenditure on concrete and other costs

To this end, if any member feels a desire to contribute towards the cost of replacement of the benches, and this is encouraged, please see Alwyn or Tim Knight who will gladly receive your donation. Every $ counts so please feel free to donate even a small amount. Donations will remain anonymous however contributions and expenditure will be carefully monitored by the committe.

A Bench Building barometer will be placed in the clubhouse so members can monitor the progress of this activity.


Float Flying Back On

A report by Rod McRae

We have at last received a licence to fly at Tabletop Reserve on Saturdays.

The licence allows us to fly from 5pm to 8pm each Saturday until May 31.

This is as per the application that was submitted and the decision to only seek approval for one day a week and specific hours was made to simplify the application, which we were told would NEVER be approved.

We will monitor the usage and if members require a different approach for next season we will consider modifying subsequent applications.

Hopefully, if no issues arise from our use, we can use the current licence as a precedent so that we can, next year, renew the licence with broader options.

Des’s Legacy

Recently we lost a special member in our friend and buddy Des Piltz. The Committee wanted to remember Des in a way that befitted him, and at the suggestion of members David Balfour and Neil Sharp, the clubs Library of aviation books has been named the “Des Piltz Library”.

Many of the books that make up the Library were originally donated but Des and after his passing his personal library from his home has now also been added to the collection.

These books are available for members to borrow, but please return them after reading, and ensure that they stay in the excellent condition that they are now in. A register is available to sign out any books that you remove from the library.

The collection has been catalogued and arranged so if you remove a book to read or borrow, please return it to the same location after use and ensure the Library is kept neat and tidy.

With the help of all members, this magnificent collection of aviation material can be enjoyed by TCMAC members for many years to come, just as Des would have wished for.

Classic Day 2020

A report by David Balfour

The Albury Club held its third Classic Airplane day over the weekend November 21st 22nd.

The event is promoted as a Scale Rally with a difference.

This event was introduced three years ago following a request from some members to conduct an event that would celebrate the first 40 years of aviation, that is 1910 to 1950.

The name Classic Airplanes was adopted thanks to a local aircraft engineering business here in Albury that specialises in maintaining and restoring , aircraft as the name implies ‘Classic Airplanes’. The proprietor of the business, Mr Jim Williams, is a frequent visitor to our flying field and is always willing to assist members with off cuts of material to assist with model building.

The event is both a flying and static display run over two days, aircraft do not have to fly to be eligible for a prize. The aircraft are displayed in lines of decade groupings, that is four rows depicting 1910 to 1920, 1920 to 1930, 1930 to 1940 and 1940 to 1950 – the first 40 years of aviation.

The number of aircraft this year was slightly down on previous years due to the inter State travel restrictions in place at the time.  A total of 35 aircraft were displayed, the static concept brings out aircraft that are rarely seen or have been in storage for many years.

Jim Williams was invited again to be the sole judge and his instruction was select the aircraft he liked the most, not an easy task as he liked them all! 

In an ironic turn of events Jim selected my De Havilland D.H 75 Hawk Moth.

De Havilland built a total of 8 of these aircraft in 1928 in an attempt to compete with the American aircraft imports into Britain at the time. The aircraft was not a success, and was considered to be ‘ not one of Geoffrey de Havilland’s better ideas ‘

Unfortunately, the weather gods were not on our side this year, Saturday was quite hot, while Sunday the wind restricted much of the flying, let’s hope for better weather next year. 

For more pictures of the event, click on the link below

2020 Classic Day Gallery

VALE Des Piltz

22/5/1928 – 26/11/2020

It is with deep regret that we advise TCMAC members of the passing of club icon Des Piltz.

Des had been an active flying member of TCMAC for many years and only stopped flying recently due to ill health.

I for one will greatly miss our Sunday morning coffee and fly, and I am sure each member will miss Des as immensely.

We all send Des’ family our thoughts and condolences at this sad time.

Freemasons Visit

A report by Alwyn Brunton

On Sunday 1st November a social visit to TCMAC from the Wodonga Freemasons Lodge members along with their family members took place prior to the Lodge members journeying to Noreul Park for a Picnic Lunch. Maintaining Social Distance during the visit was well disciplined

Plenty of interest was shown in activities at the club and at some future time, interested members plan to return following arrangement of trial flying under the direction a Flying Instructor.

The Lodge Secretary asked to pass on a thank you to the TCMAC members on behalf of the Lodge. It was also mentioned that they were made very welcome and enjoyed the interactions with the club members.

TCMAC Float Fly 2020

A report by Graeme Frauenfelder

All Friday, Saturday & Sunday the flying was anywhere between good and fantastic. Saturday brought a bit of a breeze, but, its was just along the water’s edge, so all was good. 

The 3-day Club event exceeded all expectations. After 2 years of very low water levels and cancelled Public Events, Lake Hume was at 73%, our 9-page request to NSW Water, with 3-page COVID19 declaration was approved and the event was also Albury City Council approved. We looked forward to a great event. The weather forecast was not the best, but, as often happens, it wasn’t what happened. 

The rescue boat got a bit of a workout, several tip overs and a few prangs.  Apparently Puddleducks have this unique feature of “battery ejection through the front windscreen” 1 battery has gone to Atlantis, the other hung on.

Sunday was probably the busiest day with some 18 cars in the pits.

As some brought out more than a model or 3, we easily had over 30 models that flew across the Weekend.

In all, 3 X Seamaster’s, 5 X Polaris, 3 X Sea Darts, 3 X Puddleducks, a Sikorsky S 42, a Piaggio 136L, a Macchi 72, as well as many sport models and foamies.

Sharpie had his first taste of Sea plane flying fun with a Seamaster and loved it.

Only 1 flying visitor, Roly, from Benalla with a very nice performing STOL foamy and he had a ball. We also had two or three other Wang Club members arrive for a look on the Sunday.

In summary, a great low-key event with No dramas, No catering, No registration, No security fencing & No dismantling of all the preceding.

TCMAC members & guest were able to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

As soon as we have approval from NSW Water, we are trying to have Saturdays on Lake Hume at Tabletop Reserve as often as wanted.

Thanks to Rod McRae for all his work in the background with NSW Water & boat Insurance, Adeh for liaising with Albury City Council and Charlie for the loan of his Mariner 3.3 outboard, thanks again guys.

More photos and some videos will be available shortly in the Gallery section of the website.

Pre Season Maintenance

A report by David Balfour

With spring now firmly here and Daylight Savings well under way, most aeromodellers thoughts turn to dusting off the planes and getting out to the field but beware, a model that has sat for a number of months may need a little TLC before hitting the sky.

A quick list of things that all modelers should do, before flying, after the winter break is listed below.

  1. CHARGE YOUR BATTERIES FULLY, if using Lipo batteries, do a full balance charge and check the condition of the batteries, if using NiMH then consider running a cycle charge (I recommend at least 2 or 3 cycles) to ensure that they are fully charged. Don’t forget to charge the transmitter as well.
  2. CHECK YOUR FUEL, if it has sat for a while you might consider using it in the mower and getting fresh fuel for the model. Run your motor and check that you are getting a good idle and full power when required.
  3. DO A RANGE CHECK, it is always good practice to do a range check if you have not used a model for a while.
  4. CHECK YOUR FAILSAFE, ensure that your failsafe still works, the last thing that you want is a fly away on full power.
  5. RUN OVER ALL BOLTS, just check all nuts and bolts that are on the model, ensure they are all tight. Check all of the control linkages and clevises to make sure they are fitted and locked on.
  6. CHECK ALL CONTROL MOVEMENTS, just test all controls and ensure they are all free and full and working in the correct way.
  7. And finally DO A VISUAL CHECK, run your eye over the airframe, look for unusual twists or anything sticking out at an odd angle, check the covering that it is all taught and without holes or rips, make sure the motor mounts are tight, the propellor is not damaged and that it all looks right.

Carry out a detailed inspection on all of your models before heading to the field so you know everything is good to go whichever model you grab to fly.

If you are unsure about anything you find, call another club member, all members are very willing to assist.

Following these basic checks will help to ensure that you don’t have a frustrating start to the flying season and that you enjoy your hobby more.

Dave Balfour

Chief Flying Instructor

Twin Cities Model Aero Club

Sunshine & Daylight Saving

Well Daylight Savings certainly brought the members out to enjoy a great mornings flying today.

The pits were full and the sky’s buzzing as TCMAC members took full advantage of the great flying weather.

We even saw a few warbirds put through their pacers and bark their way around the sky.

But warbirds weren’t the only display with some parachute drops from Mick’s PC6 looking quite spectacular.

So if your sitting in the shed looking at your models gathering dust, charge the batteries and get flying.

Update on Des

TCMAC members Des Piltz is settling in well in his new accomodation. Neil Sharp has been keeping an eye on Des and reports back that he is happy and adjusting well to his new environment.

Chris Henry recently suggested that, as a club, we should take a photo of our members out at Parker Field and give it to Des to hang in his new room. So at last weeks AGM those present duly formed up for the aforementioned photo.

Neil presented the photo to Des this week and reports that he couldn’t chisel the smile off Des’s face.

All at TCMAC wish Des the best and look forward to a catch up as soon it’s possible.

Thanks go to Chris Henry for the suggestion and Neil for arranging the delivery to Des.

2020 AGM

Yes FINALLY the 2020 AGM has gone ahead. After several cancelations due to the Corona Virus we were finally able to meet at the club and hold our AGM.

Our Victorian members were able to attend, and we had a great roll up all while managing to keep our social distancing.

The minutes for the AGM will be posted shortly and you can find them under the “Club Minutes” section on the home page, or follow this link.

2020 AGM Minutes

As reported in the minutes, the committee has remained mostly the same, with Neil Baker stepping down and his position being filled by Alwyn Brunton. We thank Neil for his contribution over the last couple of years and welcome Alwyn to the committee for 2020/21.

While we were all in attendance, at the suggestion of member Chris Henry, we formed up for a Club Photo, which was framed and will be presented to club stalwart Des Piltz to hang on his wall in his new accomodation.

For those not aware, Des has had a few health issues of late, and has moved into a facility attached to the Culcairn Hospital. Des has reported back that he absolutely loves his new home and looks forward to being able to visit TCMAC again soon, after the covid restrictions around aged facilities are eased. But for now he welcomes any phone calls from members for a chat and catch up.

Working Bee

A working bee was held today at Parker Field to sow the grass around the newly concreted areas at the club

Thanks to those who attended and helped out. The job was completed quickly and then some stayed on to get some flying done in between showers.

The areas that have been seeded have been roped off, or cones put out to indicate where NOT to walk, so please follow these indicators when out at the club to allow the seed to germinate.

Access to the pits and clubhouse is still possible, if a little restricted, but remember a little inconvenience now will help with nicer amenities for all to enjoy.

Spring is ALMOST here

Well Spring is still 2 days away BUT the great weather on Sunday brought out many TCMAC members (NSW members anyway) to enjoy the spoils of the great conditions.

Not only were those present treated to some awesome flying conditions, but also witnessed a very rare event. SOMEONE was seen flying a new Electric Foam (including AS3X gyro stability) model. This same member has often been heard to denigrate electric flying as “Not Real Flying”. The culprit “may” be seen in one of the above photos.

Another addition to Whats On The Building Bench

Well nothing seems to keep the avid builders in TCMAC away from their benches.

Today we have added another build to the “What’s On The Building Bench” page, this time the latest effort from Pete Graeber.

Follow the link below to have a look at Pete’s latest build, and if you’re building something yourself, send some pictures and a description of the build to Dave Tulk for inclusion on the page.

Whats on the Bench – Se5a