FLYING HIGH: Jai Hunt and his dad Lee are keen to show the world what they can do as they prepare for the largest aerobatic competition.
FLYING HIGH: Jai Hunt and his dad Lee are keen to show the world what they can do as they prepare for the largest aerobatic competition.

Dalby to host largest model aeroplane competition

FATHER-SON duo Lee and Jai Hunt from Katharine have been flying model aircrafts for as long as they can remember.

It all started with what was, at the time, a simple birthday present for Mr Hunt, 65, which turned into the hobby of a lifetime shared between him and his son.

“They bought me a model aeroplane for my birthday so me and the young fella said we’ll get this going and see how we go,” Mr Hunt said.

“I’d always liked aviation, so we put this thing together and he ended up flying it, not me … The rest, they say, is history.”

This weekend they’ll be putting their partnership and skills to the test at the biggest aerobatic airshow competition in the world, hosted in Dalby.

The Asia Pacific Radio Control Aerobatic Competition will welcome model aircraft pilots from all corners of Australia, as well as pilots from as far as Italy, India and the United States.

Competitors are required to perform a serious of choreographed sequences where they will be judged on their execution and skill.

There will also be a four minute acrobatic routine set to music.

Mr Hunt said preparing for a competition was the same as any sport.

“It’s like if you’re doing gymnastics, you practice … It’s just a sport,” he said.

“It’s an offshoot of aero-modelling. There are so many different disciplines of it and we’re just one of them.”

It’s a niche activity, Mr Hunt says, but it definitely has room for many more competitors to join in.

“There’s not a lot of people in Australia that do it which is a pity but it gets pretty intense, I suppose,” he said.

Mr Hunt and his son have competed for many years now, but he believes it’s not so much about that competition as it is about the camaraderie between the pilots.

“Winning is not what I’m here for,” Mr Hunt said.

“It’s more just about seeing how I go … It’s just a matter of flying it and having fun and that’s what it’s all about.”

The competition will takeoff this Friday with a freestyle acrobatic event, and continues through the weekend.

Everyone is welcome to attend at 743 Cecil Plains Road, Dalby.