The Big Sky RC Modelers Club hosted its annual Open House and Fly-In this weekend.
Organizers aimed to gather area pilots while generating public interest in radio controlled planes, helicopters, and drones.
The Big Sky Radio Controlled Aircraft Field has a 560-foot long by 50 feet asphalt paved runway.
About 30 pilots came together, and more than a hundred spectators watched throughout the weekend.
Big Sky RC Modelers Vice President, Steve Woodhouse explained: “A lot of people classify it as two deals; the hobby is building the airplane, and the sport is flying them.”
Doug McCombs, a retired chemist, joined the club just two weeks ago.
“It’s a lot harder than these people make it look. And, as we progress I started out putting my plain in the ground. I broke a plane yesterday,” explained McCombs
Many of the club members also fly real planes, and they say RC is harder.
“When you’re in a full scale airplane you’re sitting in the seat. When you turn left the planes gonna go left. In an RC Airplane, when a plane is coming towards you, left is not left, left is right,” explained Woodhouse
McComb, the self-proclaimed newbie, says he’s bought three starter-electric plains, and is in the process of building a more serious fuel-powered plane. His goal is to control the aircrafts to a point where he is less likely to bury the more expensive fuel-powered plane.
“Oh, I’ll put this one into the ground several more times, and I’ll probably put that one that I broke into the ground a number of times. I might even destroy it before I get that good,” explained McCombs
The hobby and sport of Radio controlled aircrafts requires people to learn a variety of skills including building the kits, repairing the aircrafts when they crash, electronics, and small engine mechanics. It also requires people to improve their hand-eye-coordination and just sharpen their thinking.
Every member of the club reiterated that the hobby and sport creates a sense of accomplishment not only through building of the model aircrafts, but also the perfecting the methods of flying them.
The club is more than half the size it was twenty years ago, and the average age of a member is 55.
They’re hoping this weekend’s open house will inspire some younger folks to get on board.
9 Year Old Great Falls resident, Oliver Grosse explained: “They just so cool because it’s really amazing how they just life off the air. And, they also do barrel roles, and they just life of the air, and they do like shhhh come upside down, it’s really cool.”
Organizers say the club holds open training sessions on Tuesday evening at around 6 pm.
The Club will be hosting a free event at Elks Riverside Park on Saturday September 16th.
They will be demonstrating floater planes that will take-off and land in the Missouri River.
To find out more information, go to their website: http://www.bigskyrcm.org/