dave pratley photo


The Model Aeronautical Association of Australia (MAAA) is the governing body for aeromodelling in Australia and is affiliated to the FAI through the Australian Sports Aviation Confederation.

The MAAA holds annual National Championships across all aeromodelling disciplines from Free Flight to Speed Control Line, from Scale to Thermal Glider. Members of the LSF Aus. welcome the MAAA's support for hosting gliding events that brings together pilots from all across Australia.

MAAA Nationals 2013 | Armidale Glider Expo report | Alan Lowe

Grab the results (.zip, 430KB)

We flew 9 rounds of heats with 7 pilots to a heat during the Friday. Everyone got plenty of flying in during this event. The large field made it possible to use 20 metre lane spacing - this helped to ensure there were no midairs during the launch. Very testing conditions with strong winds and a few instances of light rain.

The pilots that hadn't flown F3J before thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to competing the next time the event is run.

After the heats we flew 3 Fly-off rounds commencing around 4:30pm. Conditions proved testing for the 7 pilots who made the fly-offs.

At the end of the fly-offs only 1 pilot had made his flight times in all the rounds.

The results were:

  1. Carl Strautins
  2. Jim Houdalakis
  3. Karl Knack

Open Thermal
... got underway on Saturday morning after the electric guys decided to see if the weather would improve. We had just completed the first heat of round 7 when rain stopped flying around 3pm. Winds were again strong for most of the day and F3B planes were used by many competitors with most loaded to around 3kg.

There were a lot of out-landings and some of the heats were won with short flight times.

On Sunday morning the rain and wind had set in and the forecast predicted 40-80mm of rain with winds of 20 - 40 kmph increasing to 60 - 80 kmph in the afternoon. The forecast for Monday was even worse so it was decided to call the event and declare the results based on the 6 rounds already flown on the Saturday.

The final results were

  1. Carl Strautins
  2. Clive Warman
  3. Alan Mayhew

Well done to everyone who participated and congratulations to the winners they thoroughly deserved their results.

Alan Lowe

MAAA Nationals 2009 report

MAAA National Championships, Albury / Wodonga 29 - 30 December 2009
Open Thermal Glider
Proudly sponsored by Dave’s Toys for Big Boys

Report: Theo Arvanitakis, Pics Dave Pratley

We had 11 pilots from VIC, NSW and QLD make the effort to be a part of the MAAA Nationals open thermal glider event. As usual the weather conditions were hot and still, which made it very difficult for the CD (me) to determine where to set up the winches and in which direction.

It seems it’s traditional at the Nationals to launch downwind so I didn’t disappoint.

We ran the event with 300m lines and used the 200mm interval landing tapes and also in an attempt to make the timing more accurate, stopped the watches when the models first touched the ground.

The lift was very strong and pilots were able to climb away most of the time. However if you fell out or got thrown out (which happened a number of times) pilots would experience severe sink until the thermal was found again which for some heats didn’t happened.

The lack of wind made thermal drift hard to predict.

Pilots of note: Carl Strautins, with his brand new Pike Perfect ET practicing as he normally does by hand launching between heats, proved it’s a skill that comes in handy. He was very low in one flight and his caller (me) kept repeating, “Carl time to re-launch,” not to be discouraged, Carl searched for a minute or so at really low levels, a wing span from the deck and managed to core a beauty and screw out nicely to save himself. This was a classic example that in F3J, you never say die.

Another pilot that surprised me was Brett Watts. Brett was armed with an old F3B eagle in perfect condition (Steve Keep, hands off) and was often seen to have out climbed his competitors flying larger more modern ships. I look forward to seeing Brett at future comps, maybe with a glider with larger flaps for nailing that spot, hey Brett?

In fact most pilots found themselves on several occasions searching for thermals really low. It was a little scary trying to avoid midairs while 3-4 gliders orbited tight little suckers. Jim Houdalakis bullied me out of one down low… ;0)

After the first day the leader board showed David Hobby on top, followed closely by Carl and Jim. Despite the determination of these two, David didn’t falter and remained on top after 2 days. Congratulations!

We flew 12 rounds, therefore dropping the two worst scores.

Overall Results:

As you can see the top 6 pilots were separated by less than 70 points out of a possible 10,000. So the level of competition was superb.

As most pilots used JR Spektrum 2.4 Ghz, the “GliderScore” program was able to generate a great draw that saw the current Australian F3J team fly against each other in some heats and others work together.

I am glad to report they are on track to do us proud during the F3J WC in France later this year.

A big thank you goes out to the MAAA and VMAA committee and other helpers for organizing the event and supplying lunch each day. Thanks again to Andy the farmer for letting us drive out on his paddock and giving me the weather forecast… I should have listened to him for day one. Whoops!

Also a very big thank you to the generous support from David Pratley and Dave’s Toys for Big Boys.

Until next time…cheers,
Theo Arvanitakis
RCGA President.