By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Model plane flyers are among a host of outdoor hobbyists cooling their jets during at least six weeks of stage 4 lockdown.
Scott Baker is one of the grounded aviators, who regularly flies on weekends at Peninsula Aeronautical Radio Control Society (PARCS) flying field in Carrum Downs.
His grey-and-fluro-yellow Carf Mephisto 3D model jet with a 2.5-metre wing span is a substantial machine.
Powered by A1 jet fuel, it soars up to 321 km/h, hovering and winding through cartwheels, pinwheels and flat turns.
His Carf Ultra Flash jet blurs the senses at 450km/h.
In the past six years, he’s progressed from modest contraptions to these ultra machines.
“When you get into it first, you buy little foam planes.
“Obviously you go through a few models in the learning process because you stuff up and crash.
“As you get better and progress, you’re crashing a lot less. And you get to the stage of jets.”
Mr Baker said tricks could be practised on flight simulators on a home laptop. Crashing on the simulator is a much less costly exercise than writing off a $15,000 plane.
Due to Covid, the club has postponed its regular visits to regional airports such as Wangaratta – a roomier field where “you can open them up and get them flying fast”.
Under stage 3, the Bangholme club was still open to restricted numbers. From 2 August, the club shut under the stricter lockdown across Melbourne.
Being a builder, Mr Baker has been able to busy himself with work.
So no need to find another hobby while his planes rest in the hangar.