The Long Trek South

I had heard about this place called “Quna”,  and not always in very pleasant terms,  it was too dam far,  it was too dam cold, it was too windy,  it was too dam dusty in fact who would want to go there!!!  So with a certain sense of trepidation Nathan and I set off from Toowoomba at 0500am on the long trek south.

Some 1482km & 15.5 hours driving  later we pulled into Cohuna at 8.30pm to what I thought was a fairly mild night,  given that we come from Toowoomba which is at 2172ft above sea level.  We settled into our room at the Cohuna Hotel/Motel that had been described to me in many and varied ways, but found that whilst it was somewhat dated it was comfortable enough with plenty of room for planes etc.

The next morning as we found our way to the field we agreed that it wasn’t so bad and we were excited to set up and test the air along with many others. The weather was slightly overcast on most days with the exception of Monday which was blue skyies after a very cool -1.5 at about 7.30am, well that’s according to the town clock, so it must be right.

Practice on Friday had most of the out of stater’s going hard at it to get everything set for the conditions and the different altitude.  There were more radar guns on show than the best equipped police car I have seen, there may have even been some that I did not see.  This allowed us to see if the changes we were making were really working or not.  Thanks to Tom & Ranjit who were more than happy to share the speeds with us or take a shot when requested, it was great to know what was happening. The true locals wandered in about lunch time looking all very cool,  they had been practicing before we got there so they were more than happy, Terry and Kim had set up their Camper precinct and were settled in for the duration, although it was hard to get a cup of coffee there.

The Cohuna club had decided to cater for us on the Friday for lunch and that was really appreciated by all.  The catering was fantastic all weekend, and a special thanks to the Cohuna Club for hosting us and for the great efforts made in running the event.

Saturday morning was about 3c and not that bad, a slight breeze made it chilly but the sun shone through and made for a pleasant days flying. Thanks to the efforts of David & Toni we got underway on time but it soon became evident that the sun was presenting too many problems for the judges with the light being behind the planes and making them difficult to identify and thus get the calls correct. An attempted change to the other side of the field failed when Glenn could not get the communications to talk to each other from the other side of the field, so back to the status quo.  Well at least the sun had moved a little so that may have helped.  The rest of the day  went to plan and at the end of 5 rounds of FAI the daylight was fading, so back to the rooms and prepare for the AGM to be held at the motel, after a great Roast Buffet & Sweets.

The AGM went as expected with Glenn stepping down as President.  Ranjit moved a motion of thanks to Glenn for all of his tireless work over a long period of time, and through some difficult times,  this was carried unanimously with acclamation for Glenn. There were two nominations for AMPRA President, myself and David Axon.  I had not been warned that I would be nominated, but Glenn thought a northerner should have a go, so I agreed to throw my hat in the ring.  After the appropriate voting I found I had another hat to wear. The detailed minutes of the meeting will be available on the site as soon as Kim has managed to work out what actually happened.  I am pleased that Kim agreed to continue as our AMPRA Secretary Treasurer,  she has done a good job also over a long time.  There were two motions from the floor nominating both Kim O’Connor & Narida Matthews for life membership of AMPRA. Both of the motions were carried with great Acclamation.  Congratulations to them both, without these two volunteers, we would not run as efficiently as we do.

The main items of real interest were the changes to remove the requirement to have silenced pipes for FAI in Australia. It was agreed that our conditions are different to Europe and under our modified rules we do not need them, although we would keep the 2250g weight minimum.  The other topic of interest was the F400 engine rule, 40 or 46 ???  After some lengthy  and at times passionate discussion it was agreed that the next AMPRA  Champs would be run with  40 size motors. Qld had already gone to this rule.  The other area of discussion was about the modifications to motors. Andrew Davies has been working on  this and has agreed to submit some rules for discussion.  David Axon will write to each of the state Technical Reps and see if we can get an agreement across the board for the change to 40 size motor for the F400.  This would then go to the next MAAA rules conference.  There were two nominations for AMPRA 2011, one from Maryborough QLD & Grafton NSW.  It was agreed that as the World Champs were in QLD in 2011, we would have AMPRA in NSW at Grafton on the usual long weekend in 2011.


There were the usual retirements due to the ground coming up, engines blowing up, & wheels ripping off.    We did have an incident on Sunday morning that reminds us all of the requirement to pay great attention to safety, thankfully there was no serious injuries.

Congratulations to all who made the effort to compete, and well done to the place getters in each class. Terry O’Connor is claiming an Australian Record  in F400 for his 61.67sec. Great effort from Terry.  I hope to see many of you in Maryborough for the QLD champs & Aust team selection event or at Dalby for the Nationals, also a team selection event.

So now to the long trek North, what, a shorter way home, only 1445km, you beauty!!!!! To Mike & Noel from Townsville, what a great effort to make the trip to “Quna”.

Chris Watt

AMPRA President

Link to Scores