Grand Southern Cross Model Aero Rally

MINIATURE planes took to the sky outside Maitland  at  the weekend as part of a humanitarian fund-raiser.

The Grand Southern Cross Model Aero Rally  attracted more than 50 model pilots and about 1200 onlookers.

Organiser Peter Coles, who ran the event through Forster Tuncurry Rotary Club, said  it was organised alongside regulatory bodies and included flyovers by several World War II aircraft.

‘‘We think it’s the biggest manned and unmanned aeronautical model event in the southern hemisphere,’’  he  said.

The Rotary event raised more than $16,000 towards providing two Papua New Guinean children, Bethina and Liticia, with medical care for tumours.

Mr Coles said model aircraft taking to the  skies stretched from common models worth less than $50 to a five-metre-wide craft worth about $25,000.

‘‘We’ve had people come from as far away as Tasmania,’’ Mr Coles said.

The biennial  event is expected to run in 2014.

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