Australian Aeromodelling is represented nationally and globally by the Model Aeronautical Association of Australia (MAAA) but behind the scenes there is a dedicated group of hardworking volunteers who also represent the interests of state level aeromodelling in a number of affiliated state associations.
This month we take a closer look at Aeromodelling Western Australia Inc. (AWA) representing 36 aeromodelling clubs with approximately 1000 members in Western Australia.
The AWA charter is to encourage the development of Model Aircraft and Model Aviation in Western Australia and to affiliate with other bodies with similar objectives & interests in the development of Model Aviation.
Like all the state executives they are an enthusiastic and dedicated group of local Aeromodellers whose passion for the sport prompts them to give up their free time to further the interests of aeromodelling in Western Australia.
AWA President: Murray Tingey
Murray Tingey is passionate about aeromodelling and recently semi-retired after 28 years with the Royal Australian Navy. Murray brings his front line management skills to the role of President of AWA and is proud to represent all Western Australian Aeromodellers.
“Serving as President of AWA has been a great opportunity for me to give something back to Aeromodelling in Western Australia. No one gets as far as I have in this Sport, without the support and advice of fellow Aeromodellers and Western Australian Aeromodellers are the best, after all! Although I might be biased.”
Originally from Perth Murray started flying model aircraft over 40 years ago and like many other enthusiasts he came back and has been active again for about 12 or 14 years, when the responsibilities of career and family started to wind down.
Working his way up through the committee ranks at his local club, Kalamunda Aeronautical Model Society (KAMS), Murray started out as Secretary before becoming the Club President, a role he held for two years before becoming the President of the AWA.
Murray always had a love of flight and recalls as a boy he wanted to be a pilot. These days he indulges his passion for all things aeronautical by building scale warbirds such as propeller driven war planes from the Second World War, as well as jet aircraft that are also scale warbirds.
“I fly some very big stuff these days and they are very exhilarating”.
One such big project was the scale model Grumman F14a – Tomcat, pictured, a fighter aircraft developed for the United States Navy and first deployed in 1974 aboard the USS Enterprise, towards the end of the Vietnam War. These aircraft went on to be deployed as land-based interceptors by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s.
Tomcat models are rare in Australia, says Murray, and they take a long time to build and get ready for flight because they are complicated and heavy, so they require a lot of redundancies to meet regulations.
“It took about 18 months to complete and was the most expensive plane I’ve ever built”. But it was a labour of love and also one of military precision, “I build a lot of airplanes so my workshop is run like a surgery”.
When he’s not building scale warbirds, as President of the AWA Murray spends a lot of time travelling both to member clubs in WA and interstate. He meets regularly with the other state presidents sharing issues and solutions to common problems.
He’s also responsible for liaising with the MAAA and CASA on behalf of member clubs, as well as overseeing all AWA activities as an elected body that represents the clubs of WA nationally in the sport of aeromodelling.
What Does the AWA do?
The AWA represents member clubs at state level and acts on their behalf for a whole host of administrative tasks, as well as resolving disputes, awarding grants, and keeping member information up to date on the state website.
Administering Aeromodelling in WA
The AWA holds both an executive meeting and general meeting every two months. The general meeting is made up of state club members who have been put forward as representatives by their clubs. Decisions at state level are led by member clubs and the bulk of the voting lies with them. The role of the AWA President and Secretary is to manage the agenda and make sure that everything that needs to be discussed is on it.
Member clubs can apply for grants for building projects up to $15k a year and it’s the job of the AWA to review applications and make awards. The AWA, with support from the MAAA, recently helped a small club buy their own land, giving them the chance to build decent facilities including proper toilets, and offer disabled access.
Cash handling doesn’t stop there, the AWA also administer and handle the monies for club insurance and for club affiliation to the MAAA which is done at state level. And if clubs want to hold flying events the AWA liaises with CASA to organise approval for the event to operate in the airspace.
The AWA also administers financial assistance for WA clubs competing at international level when state members make national teams.
Applications for heavy model and turbine inspectors also come though the AWA. Flying resumes are reviewed to assess if the applicant is qualified. Each one goes through a testing regime and is endorsed at state level; there is also a vote at national level.
All contact is done initially through the state Secretary so it can be recorded, and he delegates any action to the relevant committee member.
AWA Projects: Bringing the AWA into the Electronic Age
When Murray took over as President, the AWA website was at least 7 years out of date. Members were keen that the information was updated to accurately reflect endorsements for Wings as well as Inspector and Instructor qualifications and other key membership data. Murray led a project that brought all of the information on the website up to date and now it’s reviewed and updated every six months.
Promoting Aeromodelling: F2 Control Line World Championships
In April this year WA played host to the F2 Control Line World Championships. AWA Vice President Trevor Letchford organised the entire event, no mean feat for an event that saw hundreds of competitors and spectators from all over the world descend on WA to take part.
Murray emceed the closing ceremony and was clearly proud of the effort that his team and the local clubs put in to make this event a huge success.
“There was a stage with lights and music … the whole bit, and the road was full of food vending trucks and tents as far as the eye could see. I was very proud of how well it went and the guys and girls who put it together did an extraordinary job”.
High profile events like the F2 Control Line Championships are great, but for Murray and all the member clubs of the AWA it’s the Saturday morning friendships that keep them coming back.
“I’ve got a wonderful set of friends that I fly with … if I’m an hour late then they are all on the phone. It’s good to be missed. That’s nice”.
Who’s who at the AWA
0407 456 812
-Liaise on behalf of MASA with MAAA/CASA/Other aviation bodies and state associations.
0403 586 206
-Support the President / deputise as required
0409 684 021
-Information on monthly meetings/ other club or member administration queries
0411 684 706
08 9457 6648
-Reports on all the state and national events. Tracks all the results and administer financial assistance at state level towards international events
Chief Flying Instructor
0415 685 268
-Information on specifics/availability for instruction and assessment/ endorses new instructors/hold s training courses