'Labour of love' model crashes and burns

A DEVASTATED model-maker is coming to terms with the destruction of his £15,000 labour of love.Simon Steggall, 45, spent hundreds of hours dedicated to perfecting his remote-controlled 16ft replica of a Vickers Valiant plane, but when he took it up for a flight at the Bentwaters airfield, near Woodbridge, it lost power, crashed into trees and exploded.

A DEVASTATED model-maker is coming to terms with the destruction of his £15,000 labour of love.

Simon Steggall, 45, spent hundreds of hours dedicated to perfecting his remote-controlled 16ft replica of a Vickers Valiant plane, but when he took it up for a flight at the Bentwaters airfield, near Woodbridge, it lost power, crashed into trees and exploded.

Mr Steggall, a model plane fanatic from Manningtree, said: “It lost an engine on take-off and then when it was up it looked like it sucked something in, maybe a bird.

“With the wind like it was I lost control and unfortunately it flew into a group of trees. It looked like a real plane crash there were bits of lit tree and charred metal parts everywhere.


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“It was so hot aluminium parts melted. I kept trying to get close to try to get the hardware out because I could see the equipment going up in smoke but I kept being pulled back by the examiner who as with me because it was too hot.

“It was awful. I was so upset because I'd spent so much time and effort on it. Each engine cost £2,500 and they just melted.”

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Mr Steggall, a BT worker, said he now planned to concentrate his efforts on more manageable projects, especially because the plane wasn't insured for the crash which meant a large amount of his money had gone up in flames too.

He added: “People have been asking me to make another one but I think I'm going to stick to smaller models now.

“This one was too expensive and big. If I'd got someone to make it for me it would have cost almost £15,000.”

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