July 15, 2019
Members of the Nanango Aeromodellers Club now have extra help to keep the grass at their airfield under control.
On Sunday, the group held a monthly working bee at their grounds and proudly showed off a new slasher purchased with help from Nanango’s Heritage Bank.
The slasher will help members tackle the tough African Lovegrass that surrounds the airfield.
Nanango Aeromodellers secretary Margaret Sheppard said the 19-year-old group owes its existence to two things.
One is a local landholder at Hodgleigh who allows the club to operate on a 140-acre slice of his farm.
And the other is Nanango’s Heritage Bank, who have helped build the club’s key infrastructure through several community grants it’s given them over the past decade.
Margaret said the club began in 2000, and for the first few years held its meetings at Nanango’s Lee Park racecourse.
But in 2003 it transferred to its current location at 437 Smith Road when it was offered the opportunity to set up its own airfield on a high-set block well away from neighbouring houses.
The block was originally just a cleared, grassed paddock and club members had to carve out their first airfield from scratch.
But over the years Heritage Nanango has helped members acquire the necessary equipment to steadily upgrade the site.
This includes a covered area – now proudly known as the Heritage Hangar, with a sign to match – where members can shelter from the sun as they prepare their model aircraft for flight; two empty containers which have been converted into a clubhouse and store room next to the hanger; a demountable toilet mounted on a concrete base; and a ride-on mower for everyday maintenance of the airfield.
Margaret said the club has the use of 140 acres at the site, but the airfield only uses about 60 of them.
Members like to keep the rest trimmed to minimise the risk of grass fires, discourage snakes and make the task of retrieving model planes that don’t quite make it back to the airfield “less of an adventure”.
But the African Lovegrass around the outskirts of the field was too tough for the club’s ride-on, hence the need for a slasher.
Heritage approved a grant to buy one in this year’s Community Grants program.
Margaret said the club has about 40 members.
Many are retirees, quite a few of whom enjoyed flying model aeroplanes when they were younger but put the hobby aside when they started their families, then returned to it again when their children had grown.
The oldest is 93-year-old Glen Noble, who lives at Canowindra but comes out to the airfield for a fly whenever he can get a lift there and back.
New members are always welcome.
The club meets every Sunday from noon until late afternoon and holds a working bee once a month to keep their airfield shipshape.
For more information about the club, ring Margaret on (07) 4163-1485 or Barry on 0427-152-351.