The Christchurch MicroHeli Group

Welcome to the Christchurch MicroHeli Group Web Site

Welcome to Christchurch MicroHelis Web Site

(Last Updated: September 28th 2009)



Please check the
Site News, Diary and Calendar for the latest news, additions and changes.

SEPTEMBER 2009 - IMPORTANT NOTICE!!!

Due to a 400% price hike put in place by the Rolleston Community Centre Committee, The Christchurch MicroHeli Group are no longer using this facility.

 

Starting from Tuesday 20th October 2009, we will be flying at the Templeton Community Centre every Tuesday Night from 7:30pm.


Thank you for visiting our home on the net.  Here you can find out a bit about our group, our members, and their machines..  We hope your visit here is a pleasant one, and please feel free to contact us if you want more information about the group or the web site.

 

We fly at Templeton Community Centre Templeton, every Tuesday Night starting at 7:30pm. STARTING TUESDAY 20th OCTOBER

 

Spectators and visiting flyers are welcome, please follow the instructions from club members regarding frequency control, flying slots, seating, 'no walk' areas etc.


Charges are:

 

Spectators: Free

Causal Flyers; $10/Session

Regular Flyers: $30/Term

 

If you want to come along and fly, please ensure that you bring payment with you.  Our "No Payment - No Flying" policy will be enforced strictly with no exceptions

 

Please see the Venue page for further details.. 

Important Notices!

06/10/2009 -  New Venue, New Day, New Time....

 
Our tenure at Ambrose Stadium finished on 5th October 2009. There will be a one week break in flying activities, and we we recommence flying sessions at 7:30pm on Tuesday 20th October 2009 at Templeton Community Centre, Templeton..
 
Thanks!

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Who are the Christchurch MicroHeli Group?

We are a free association of people that enjoy the hobby of building and flying miniature radio controlled helicopters.  We are a small group, with most flying nights seeing a turn-out of four to ten flyers plus the odd visitor.  What we lack in numbers, we make up for in enthusiasm though!  We are all keen flyers, and have a weekly fly-in at Ambrose Stadium, Rolleston Community Hall, Rolleston.  Our flying nights change several times during the year, so please check the Venue and Calendar pages for information on when we are flying.

We are not a 'club' as such, as we don't have subs, meetings, committees and suchlike.  The name of our game is flying, and that's what we want to spend our time doing, not fluffing around with club politics :).

As far as we know, we were the first radio controlled micro heli group in New Zealand.  As of  April 2005 some Micro/Mini Heli flyers are taking the first steps towards forming a group like ours in Auckland.  If you are interested in joining the new group, or want to see what they are up to you can view and join their mailing list, and take a look at their web site.  If you know of any another group in New Zealand, please let us know as it would be great to compare notes.

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When did the group start up?

 

The the concept of group started to come together back in 2001.  At the time Jon was flying a VoyagerE, a larger electric powered heli, and was thinking about getting something smaller that he could fly inside the house.  Jon then met up with Andrew on a now-defunct New Zealand modeling message board.  Andrew had been flying aircraft and was also thinking about Micro Helis as an entry to the radio-controlled helicopter arena.
Andrew was the first to get a a Micro Heli with his MS Hornet arriving on Dec 1st 2001.  Jon was hot on Andrew's heels with his Ikarus Piccolo arriving on the 29th of the same month.  Shortly after this Andrew and Jon were getting together regularly to fly in Jon's large 4-car garage.  They then stumbled across another Micro flyer, Sean, who soon became a regular visitor to Jon's garage too.  Don then discovered the group through the same forum that Andrew and Jon had started off in.  At the same time, Sean introduced Deane to the group, and by February 2002 we had a regular twice-weekly attendance at "Walker Domestic Heliport", as Jon's garage had become known.

By March of 2002 we were starting to feel a little cramped at Walker Domestic.  The combination of five flyers, four helis, and the increasing skill of some of our members meant that we were rapidly outgrowing the space available.  The hunt for a new location commenced, and in March 2002 we moved into our new 'home' at Halswell Community Hall, where we remained for the next two years.

While the group has seen a number of flyers come and go over the years, we still retain most of the original crew.  Andrew, Deane, and Jon are all still there, and Don still pops in occasionally to see what we are up to.  Rob, who joined us in October of 2002 has kept the number of 'regulars' at four, and with the addition in 2003 of Ben and Mike, our core group of regular fliers was growing slowly but steadily to six.

2004 started off with a real bang!  Over the first two months we added another two regular flyers to the group, and we also saw the return of Sean to the group.  With our 'regular' numbers sitting at nine, the need for a larger venue took on a certain urgency.

The hunt for a new venue commenced in January, and within a few weeks we had secured bookings at Ambrose Stadium, Rolleston Community Hall, Rolleston. This relocation has meant a few changes in our flying night routine, but we really needed the extra space to accommodate our growing membership.

So, in March 2004, two years after moving in there, we left Halswell Community Hall for our new home in Rolleston.  We are already receiving more enquiries about joining our group, so it looks like 2004 is going to be a big growth year.  Let's just hope our "three members in two months" growth isn't exponential.  If it is, we're going to be booking the Westpac Trust Stadium within a another year or so!

2004 did turn out to be a boom year to some extent, with 12+ pilots turning up to some meetings early in the year. As the year progressed, numbers fluctuated up and down a bit, with a fairly high attrition rate, but a correspondingly high replacement rate.

Moving on to 2005, number have stabilised again at around eight 'regulars' and a number of occasional flyers.  The faces are changing slowly, with only myself of the original four members still turning out as a "regular".  We still have a good cadre of 'old hands' to help the newbies along though.  Rob and Greg both go back to our days at Halswell Hall, and Shannon and Reg have both been with us for around a year now. 

The other big changes for 2005 so far have been the graduation of a number of our members to CP machines, and the advent of the 'next generation' mini helis such as the T-Rex and ARK X-400.  These helis at 600+mm rotor diameter, and over 600g AUW really fall into a new classification of mini heli rather than micro heli.  Only the very keenest pilot would be game to fly one of these in the living room!

2006 has been a quiet year so far.  The remainder of the 'old' crew from Halswell Hall (Jon, Rob, Greg, Shannon) still constitute the core of the group, with other flyers coming and going as interests wax and wane.  All of the core members fly CP machines nowadays, with the T-REX being the dominant machine.  All of the flyers are flying outside nowadays as well as our regular indoors meets.  Flying skills have increased greatly, with some members working hard on '3D" maneuvers. One member has branched out into Tandem Rotor machines as something a little different.

Fast forward 3 years to 2009. The club has been going for seven years now! It's still going strong, although today it is almost totally dominated by T-REX variants. (Perhaps a name change to Christchurch MiniHelis is in order?). Numbers still change on a weekly basis, but we still have a reasonably solid core of half a dozen turning out regularly.

On the 5th of October 2009, due to what we consider to be, an unreasonable, and excessive, 400% increase in hall fees, we completed our last flying session at Ambrose Stadium and vacated the premises for the last time. Fortunately for the group, the Christchurch City Council were far more receptive to our needs than the Rolleston Community Centre Committee. And so, at 7.30pm on Tuesday the 20th of October we commence flying sessions at the Templeton Community Centre Templeton, and open a new page in the history of the Christchurch MicroHeli Group.


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What is on this site?

On our site, you find pilot profiles of  some of our regular flyers, along with information and pictures of their machines on the heli profile page.  The picture gallery has a collection of pictures and videos that have been taken at fly-ins over the years and the diary and news pages will keep you up to date on the happenings and news about our group. We also have the obligatory links page.

The new Calendar page will keep you posted on upcoming events and important dates to remember, such as flying nights and venue changes.

Speaking of venue changes, you might want to check out our New Venue Page .  It has pictures and details of where we are flying now.

Also amongst the features of the site, you will find our own message forum, a guest book, and a site-wide search engine.

In the related sites links at the side of the page are other Micro-Heli Sites that are hosted by MicroHelis New Zealand. 

The MicroHeli New Zealand site

Harry's Hornet - Andrew's personal Micro Heli site

Auckland Indoor Flight Group - Pictures and info from the AIFG's flying meet on November 12 2003

Jon's EHelis - Jon's personal MIcro-Heli Site.

Will P's Microhelis - Will P's amazing collection of scale and functional Micro Helis.

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