My involvement with the sport is, I suspect similar to many. I have always been interested (obsessed maybe) in aircraft. One day when I was around 12 years old my father came home from work with a near new OS .19. Shortly after we (he) bought an Aeroflyte 36” Kittyhawk control line kit which we built over the ensuing weeks. Finally the big day arrived down at the school oval (remember when you could still do that). There we were with what was a control line stunter, overpowered (it was designed for 1.5 to 2.5cc) and neither had flown before or even knew anyone who had. Stand back says dad, you’d better let me do this. The only part more spectacular than the instant loop on takeoff was the number of pieces one aeroplane could become. Dad never went near a model aeroplane again although it does look like my brother and I may finally be making some headway in getting him back nearly 40 years later.
I persevered during my high school years and did teach myself to fly with a number of mainly Aeroflyte control line models (remember them?), their Taipan trainer, Cobra and another Kittyhawk as well as a number of Taipan diesels (one of which along with a Frog 2.5cc I still have).
At 16 I left home to join the Navy and there my hobby languished despite always remaining an avid aircraft nut. My Navy career ended up lasting 22 years, three of which I spent on HMAS MELBOURNE, the infamous carrier, although while I was on board we were fortunate in not being involved in any mishaps.
Fast Forward 35 years to 2004 when I was on a business trip to Perth and just happened to be walking past a local hobby shop. The old urge grabbed me – I was powerless. When I walked out I was the proud owner of a new radio set and a SIG 1/6 Piper Cub kit – my favourite aeroplane. When I got home I paid a visit to Werrington Park Model Aero Club, whose aircraft I had often seen flying on the UWS land behind the Cobham Remand Centre. I joined them and set myself up with an ARF trainer and a motor to go with the gear I got in Perth. The rest is as they say history although I must add that it did take me about three years to build my pride and joy, the Sig Cub, complete with fabric covering and dope just the way I used to do it.