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RC show propels forward
Organizers with the Sequim RC Aeronauts and the Olympic Radio Controlled Modelers of Port Angeles follow what they saw as a successful event in September 2010 with more planes and gliders of all makes and sizes.
“You'll see beginners to experts doing skilled flying or pattern flying to 3-D to hovering to flat spins,” Randy Hurlbut, co-organizer of the event, said.
“It's a real wow factor!”
In 2010, the event brought in more than 50 pilots with many flying unique planes like lawnmower models.
Pilot entry fees, $5 each, and donations earned nearly $1,900 for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.
Proceeds again benefit the agency this year. Participating pilots must show a current Academy of Model Aeronautics card before flying.
The show continues to offer the razzle-dazzle along with the history and refinement of model making from club members.
Fred Landman of Sequim uses pre-World War II blueprints to design his airplanes. Due to their make-up, the planes are limited in fuel and fly for 35-45 seconds.
“I like to call them the dart,” he joked. “They go up and come straight back down.”
Crashing and burning is a part of the learning curve for all fliers.
Kevin Halloway of Port Angeles pulled out a trainer plane specifically for new fliers with multiple spots pasted together with foam glue. It dries quickly and can help put the plane back in the air in five minutes.
“The plane got behind me and if you're not quick enough, it can crash on you,” Halloway said.
As fliers gain experience and skill their planes will begin to vary. Halloway says it's easier at first to have the wing on top of the plane like the beginner model he owns.
Making the jump to a more advanced model is six-year club member Clark Price of Sequim. He's upgrading his basic glider with a two-meter wingspan to a larger glider with a 2.9-meter wingspan utilizing flaps and mechanics to incorporate more maneuverability.
“It makes it more scientific but shouldn't be too difficult,” Price said. “I used to fly big-scale airplanes but that didn't help me learn to fly these.”
Once a flier has the confidence, say experienced hands like Mark Witschger, vice-president of the Sequim RC Aeronauts, learning stunt flying can take anywhere from one to two years.
Anyone interested in the recreational aspect of flying can follow the lead of husband and wife Chuck and Linda Priddle who started more than two years ago prior to the first show.
Chuck is flying on his own now and Linda recently performed her first solo takeoff.
Linda said since Chuck was in the Air Force he always included her in his activities.
“It makes it more enjoyable to have your wife with you,” Chuck said.
After a few years flying, Chuck said he sees constant support among members of the Sequim RC Aeronauts with flying tips and mechanics.
“I'm impressed that everyone is still willing to help everyone else,” he said.
Club members fly their planes from 9 a.m.-noon daily in the field adjacent to Dungeness Valley Creamery on Towne Road. Flying lessons are free. Find more at www.sequimrcaeronauts.org.