CCMAC CLUB HISTORY
The original sign
Field under construction
Clubhouse under construction
Stolen car wreckage in gate
Today's tables and awnings
Field regrading in 2016
The Council installed field security barriers in 2017
The Central Coast Aeromodelling Club originally operated from a field near Tuggerah, before the move to Mannering Park.
Following is the story of the development of the Ruttleys Road field.
I came to know this area around 1977-78 after the closure of the Wyee Coal Wash.
I was contracted by Trevor Bailey, the man in charge of the wash, to remove the thousand odd yards of coal chitter they had stockpiled. In addition I had to cut down windrows, down to Ruttleys Road to stop erosion. I was told to
deposit all the chitter in the very large excavation which was left after the crushing plant was removed.
This I might add was a death trap to anyone falling into it, the sides were a shear drop for around 30 to 40 feet. I only found out by accident, after nearly losing my earth moving machine, that there were sink holes all over the place and there was no record of the location of these holes. They were about 17 feet deep and about 25 feet diameter.
This was where they pumped the washing water loaded with coal dust.
When the holes were full of sludge they were covered over with a thin layer of dirt.
The whole area at that time was almost level, and in very good condition. If it had been your back yard you would have been very proud of it, mown grass everywhere.
The area was then passed over to Wyong Council. The level area which is now our field was at least three times wider. I was told the council removed thousands of yards of road base thus reducing the level area by at least two
thirds.. Over the pursuing years , thousands of tons of rubbish was dumped all over the place, it had become the local tip!
Early in 1994 the area was offered to the Central Coast Model Aero Club by Phil Pritchard from Wyong Council.
At the time there were many clubs wanting their own club grounds, but the CCMAC with 125 plus members, most being residents of Wyong Shire, was the only club with enough money to clean up and develop it.
The club had to apply to Wyong Council and the Department of Land & Water Conservation for the DAs for the development of field toilets and our shed.
The job of clearing would have been impossible if the Council had not offered the use of earth moving equipment., providing we paid the operators’ wages.
Work started 20/3/94, and over the next 3 to 4 months every weekend we had a grader, dozer, three backhoes, and three trucks working to remove all the dirt and rubbish, which was used to help fill in the very large excavation left by the coal wash.
The Club had many working bees, attended by 90% of members, to remove stones and smaller rubbish,
We laid a 130 foot concrete take off strip, and when the landing field was ready, the Council seeded it and the Club laid turf in the pit area.
The Mines supplied us with water, with the understanding that we could only use it on the turf in the pits until it was established. From then on, it was for our septic toilets only.
The field was opened to flying by the Club in September 1994; and then officially opened by the then Wyong Shire Mayor Tony Sheridan on the 26th February 1995.
Some time later, on two occasions, the Council had bulk seaweed to dispose of; the first lot was roughly spread but the second lot they dumped all around the edges of our field, which completely filled the level area. The Council promised to level it out , but because of lack of money, the job was never done.
On a few occasions we had motor cycles and cars on the field ripping up the ground making it unflyable, to stop this the Club laid telegraph poles around the field.
The Council said these poles were unsafe, someone could fall over them, so they erected a fence over the poles.
During the whole job we were supervised by Phil Pritchard and Shane Merry, from Wyong Council.
At a later date, another DA was submitted and our control line field was cleared and levelled, but never used.
Up to this point the CCMAC had spent in excess of $10,000 in the area.
By Graham Brown, President 26/7/95
Following the opening of the Ruttleys Road field in 1994, the CCMAC rapidly developed into a highly successful RC flying club.
Facilities were soon improved by the addition of a clubhouse, toilets, a storage container, the installation of many aircraft tables, and more recently the construction of awnings in the pit area.
CCMAC has had to contend with a problem arising from development of the neighbouring Hydroponics industry after planes crashed through the greenhouse roofs. The Club subsequently realigned the landing strip, and
introduced a “no fly” area to minimise further risk.
A further challenge has been a number of vandal attacks. The clubhouse was burnt down fairly soon after construction. Members soon rebuilt it entirely from fire-proof steel sheet. Additionally, idiots in stolen vehicles have,
several times, rammed their way onto the field to plough up the turf. Regrettably police seem unable to apprehend these hoons, so the Club’s only remedy is to immediately repair the damage with the willing assistance of members.
Improvements carried out in 2015 include the installation of a new heavy duty gate to the strip, repainting of tables, fences etc. Early in the year a severe storm brought numerous large trees down across the entry road, and in the pit area. The speed with which this was cleared up was a credit to members. The Club was particularly grateful to long time member, and sponsor, Bob Porter who brought in his excavator to do the heavy work.
Early in 2016 an engine tuning table was installed behind the clubhouse.
Plus, the old control line area in the woods was converted to a FPV quad racing course. Thanks to Ric with his bobcat.
Also, the "large aircraft" starting area was fenced to improve safety.
Then in October new President Lee Marchant supervised grading of the far side of the strip, lowering it 300mm to improve water drainage, and make the surface smoother.
In mid 2017 the newly combined Central Coast Council took major steps to secure the field through the construction of steel bollards and cable fencing along Ruttleys Road and other entry points.