A group of radio control model airplane enthusiasts has found a way to turn their fair weather hobby into a year around fly-in by moving indoors to pilot their planes when the weather takes a seasonal turn for the worse.
The local members of the Montrose Model Airplane Association, which includes pilots from Delta, Mesa, and Montrose counties, for the past two winters have found that a surplus industrial building in Delta is the ideal place to fly when the temperatures fall, when the earth becomes a patchwork of snow and mud, and when the winds are blowing from every direction.
The 120-foot by 300-foot indoor aerodrome they use was formerly the Kermit Log Homes factory on Eaton Street.
The caretaker manager of the currently unused industrial property, Cliff Hayes, is a radio control pilot and also a member of the club.
Cliff, along with the club's adopted mascot Fat Cat, a burly Siamese who is right at home with the members' high tech toys and the attention they bring, host the club for regular fly-ins during the cooler months before weather turns nice enough to head for either of the club's other two favorite flying sites: one located on Trap Club Road, and their main facility located east of Olathe.
The club members gathered recently for a demonstration of the kind of indoor fun they have when it's cold outside, and when they are comfortable inside keeping their pilot skills razor sharp.
The guys know how to have more fun than kids on Christmas morning as they skillfully pilot their various types of flying models around the indoor arena, which is basically the size of an indoor football field.
The members of the club are skilled craftsmen who build most of the model planes they fly. They are also expert pilots who enjoy testing their aeronautical skills as much as they enjoy each other's company and the association of those who share their enthusiasm for flight.
For their indoors meetings, the guys mostly forego the powerful nitro-fueled planes in their collections in favor of simpler, sometimes fragile, and always quiet electric-motored models, and even unpowered gliders.
This club is for anyone who is fascinated by flight. Though some members develop modeling skills of true craftsmanship quality, everyone is welcome to come and fly with them.
Flying is totally non-discriminatory to these guys, members of "the friendliest club around" and they're always happy to share their experience and knowledge with others.
The most sophisticated scale model is as welcome at their meets as any folded paper glider. You will find
balsa wood gliders and rubber band powered planes from your childhood days being flown. There are even enthusiasts for hand crafted paper "free flight" gliders.
There are ready-to-fly planes and easy to assemble kits that are just right for the beginner interested in flight.
The engaging store-bought and easy-to-fly radio control helicopters are a popular diversion for the club's indoor meets. In fact, anyone with as little as a dime store glider is welcome to join in the club's flying meets, which are likely to include a cookout lunch at halftime.
The electric powered aircraft cruise around the building's unobstructed interior space almost like visitors from a dream. Watching them creates a senseof relaxation that's not unlike watching a tank full of tropical fish glide through their liquid medium.
Club member Randy Schneider says that every care and worry of the world fades away as he pilots his hand-crafted plane silently and effortlessly around the huge indoor space.
At a club meet this past winter, one member brought his grandson who picked up a control box and began flying one of the club helicopters like an expert right off.
Their love for building and flying model airplanes has led these guys to discover a surprising high and best use for an unoccupied industrial building in Delta, and to enjoy their good times and great friendships all year round.
blog comments powered by Disqus