Jody Hodgson of Newcastle has fun with his remote-controlled helicopter at the inaugural Grafton Helifest at South Grafton over the weekend.
Jody Hodgson of Newcastle has fun with his remote-controlled helicopter at the inaugural Grafton Helifest at South Grafton over the weekend. Greg Moss

Big boys' toys out in force at Helifest

NO your eyes are not deceiving you ... the helicopter pictured above is flying upside down.

And yes, sometimes these remote-controlled toys on steroids are used to mow the lawn.

If your eyes are lighting up at the thought of putting one of these bad boys in your man cave and never sweating it out behind the lawn mower again, then you better be prepared to put in some serious practice hours.

Jody Hodgson is a qualified instructor from Newcastle and has been flying these big boys' toys since 1995.

"Let's just say it would be an expensive way to mow the lawn if you clipped the ground," Grafton club member Greg Moss said.

"Jody's helicopter would have cost at least $4000 for the base model and he's got plenty of extras on top of that."

The highlight of the inaugural Grafton Helifest was undoubtedly the night fly staged at the Ulmarra Ferry Terminal.

Pilots attach lights to all parts of the choppers, including the rotors, and let rip in a blaze of technicolour neon.

"The event attracted almost 50 pilots, a pretty good number for a fun fly," Moss said.

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"Coffs has a really big event, said to be the third largest in the world, and attracts around 200 pilots.

"We had people from the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Newcastle travel for ours, and it will only get bigger as the years progress."

The event was made possible thanks in part to the generosity of major sponsor Dennis Green from Beadmans Engineering.

"He really enabled us to get the event off the ground, so to speak, and event organiser David Scott and president Graeme Battistuzzi should also be praised for their hard work at the club," Moss said.



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