History

A model club in Cooma dates back as far as 1933, when radio 2XL first started in Cooma and they sponsored the radio 2XL Model Flying Club.

The club then consisted of about 30 members who flew their models every Sunday in the open paddocks of Polo flat. Most of the models were either free flight gliders or rubber powered type. Keith Freebody was the first to fly a model powered by a small internal combustion engine (Brown Junior). Most of the models were built from kits or plans using balsa for the framework, which was covered with tissue or silk then treated with dope and banana oil. The rubber powered models were up to 30” (750mm) wingspan and the gliders up to 36” (900mm) span. Keith remembers many flights of 5 minutes or more and some flights of over 5 miles (7k). Membership gradually declined with the start of WW2 and the club ceased to operate in 1944.

During the 1960’s a High school teacher organised a club which operated for about 3 yrs, and Ron Kelly from Hooks Pharmacy can remember control line models also being flown at the time. Bill Jenkins and Ron Horner were flying radio controlled models at Polo Flat during the 60’s with some successes, but many failures.

In the late 60’s Ralph Matthews, Frank Laidler & Don Pearson were flying models controlled by 4 channel digital radio outfits. Frank & Ralph had previous experience with single channel gear. These models were flown on Snowy oval. Also flying (in Berridale) but unknown to us was Gus Urban who had been flying radio controlled models for about 10 yrs.

In 1972 Keith Birney, who had 3 yrs experience in Sydney and John Foley, converted from control line, to RC and moved to Berridale.

In 1973 a club was formed, having 6 members with Keith Birney as President and Rick Harris as Secretary/Treasurer and in 1974 the Radio Controlled Aircraft Society of NSW was formed. We joined RCAS and became the Phoenix Model Aero Club. RCAS became the Miniature Aircraft Society of NSW Inc. and in 2015 changed to Aeromodellers NSW.

During 1973 the club moved to an area behind the Ti Tree racecourse, then to a TSR 4k along the Nimmitabel road in 1985. In 1987 we moved to a paddock 10k from Cooma on the Snowy Mountains Hwy then moved back to the racecourse site in 1994. This is still our current flying site.

Some members from Bombala also joined our club in the 1990’s, and have a flying site at the Bombala Airstrip. The Jindabyne members formed their own club in 2015 and fly at the Jindabyne airfield.

Since 1974 the club has had over 250 different members of which nearly 55 have been juniors and membership has varied from 4 to 43. Members come from the whole monaro/snowy mountains area and most fly radio controlled aircraft which vary in size from 1m to 4m wingspan and consist of gliders, trainers, aerobatic and scale models and helicopters.