Remote control planes and drones took to the skies during the Siloam Springs RC Modelers semi-annual fun fly on Saturday.
RC pilots from Tulsa, Fayetteville, Muskogee, Eureka Springs and as far away as Oklahoma City attended the fun fly, which included a swap meet, cookout and plenty of time in the air. It was held at the club's airfield, located at 2230 Waukesha Rd.
The Siloam Springs RC Modelers has about 28 members who fly all types of model aircraft, including fixed wing, helicopters, gliders and drones. Aircraft range in size from quadcopters small enough to hold in one hand, to airplanes with a seven foot wingspan, according to Mark Labadie, a retired engineer, and secretary and treasurer of the club.
Club members range in age from 14 to 81, and everything in between. The club has one member who competes across the country, but most come to have fun, he said.
"Whenever we get together out here, a lot of time there's more talking than flying, but the whole emphasis is 'Hey, come have a good time, get out of the house,'" Labadie said.
The club's home airfield -- Allen Airfield -- features a 500-foot grass runway. Most club members fly on Wednesdays and Sundays, and the club has three annual events -- in the spring, fall and on New Year's Day.
Labadie explained that it is considered good luck to fly on New Year's Day and people come out to fly no matter the weather. Last year, about 20 people came out to fly, despite temperatures hovering around 10 degrees. Another year, they put skis on their plane's landing gear because of the snow.
"We welcome spectators," Labadie said. "The club's open to anybody who's got an AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) membership and we're out here usually on Wednesday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday, and there are folks coming out on Friday, and now that the sun's staying up, they'll be out here after work 'till dark-thirty. If the gate's open, people are welcome to come in."
Jared and Cindy Clark of Grove, Okla., brought a large trailer full of model planes to the fun fly on Saturday. The Clarks are members of the OK/RC Cloud Busters Club in Grove, but they travel to events all over the country to fly their planes.
"We've got family all over the country," Cindy said. "The way that I look RC, is we're just a big family. I tell my mom, 'We're going to another family reunion this weekend.'"
Jared was busy working on a model jet he had just bought in the swap meet. He explained the plane worked just like a full-sized jet with a true turbine, but had an electric engine. His largest model, a propeller plane, has a 10-foot wing span.
Cindy said her husband has been flying model planes for 26 years -- since they were dating in high school. He started with model planes, boats and cars, but once they got married, Cindy asked him to pick just one.
Now Cindy has joined him in the hobby, although she joked that she flies beginner planes in comparison to the high tech planes her husband flies.
She said the best thing about the hobby for her is the relaxation it brings.
"I fly and when I'm flying, it's just relaxing, just kinda relaxing to sit there and soar through the air," she said.
For more information about the Siloam Springs RC Modelers, visit siloamspringsmodelers.org or call 479-549-5362.
General News on 05/16/2018
Print Headline: Come fly with me, we'll fly, we'll fly away