MAAA Wingspan

22 WING SPAN NOVEMBER Bacchus Marsh Model Aircraft Association (BMMAA) was established over 30 years ago. Thanks in part to the support of the MAAA in purchasing a state field a couple of years ago; it has continued to evolve into a hosting club that does Victoria proud. “When I joined BMMAA seven years ago, I mentioned to the members and committee that the MAAA were assisting the states to gain new state fields, with the placement of host clubs,” says Joe Finocchiaro, VMAA Secretary and the former Secretary of BMMAA. “Both the committee and the club members thought it was a great idea due to the leasing arrangements and the uncertainty [that] brings with it. So, the club began looking for land and finally found a suitable property at Mount Wallace, Victoria. Once all the boxes were ticked and everyone was comfortable with the site, the MAAA finally approved the purchase, with the land acquired in October 2016.” Encompassing 80 acres, (20 acres of which is reserved for aeromodelling) the land at Mount Wallace is flat, open and expansive; making it ideal for both a model flying site and to be hosted by a MAAA affiliated club to promote the sport. “Another reason this property was chosen was that it sits centrally to other clubs and provides a real option for MAAA members to use the site [if they] face urban pressures or need a larger site to fly,” continues Joe. “We have a state field to both the north, the east and now to the west, so it allows all those members to fly at these fields for whatever reason, where they can no longer fly at their own fields.” Although the club field is still in a developing phase, construction has been completed on a 200m x 30m runway; gravel driveway and car parks to enable members to park safely, along with the flattening of the pit area. Up to this point, the club was using a temporary runway to enable members to fly their model aircraft over the past 18 months. “The way we see it, without a runway, the club doesn’t exist. So, the runway became the priority,” continues Joe. “The club/committee is very proactive in building the best facility that we can and we’re pre-planning what we need to build first, but it’s going to take time and money. We’re not under any illusions that it’s going to happen over night.” To generate further support, the BMMAA has run fundraising events and has received help from both local council and local businesses, such as Bunnings and Bacchus Marsh Farming Supplies-the latter of which gifted them a 13,500-litre water tank. Joe acknowledges the great support the BMMAA has received from both the MAAA and VMAA, with the club CLUB STORY: THE FOUNDATIONS OF A HOSTING CLUB TO BE PROUD OF VMAA SECRETARY, JOE FINOCCHIARO TELLS HOW BACCHUS MARSH MODEL AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION HAS POSITIVELY PAVED THE WAY FOR ALL PILOTS Photos taken by Michael (got a photo of that) Whelan.