Radio-controlled planes fly in today
About 25 airplanes — World War II trainers, post-WWI civilian planes and modern military jets — will be staging mock dog fights east of Carson City today.
Not real, life-sized aircraft but 5-foot, radio-controlled models.
The High Sierra Radio Control Club of Carson City will be holding its fourth-annual charity fly-in from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Pony Express Model Airpark on Flint Drive.
“The public’s welcome and children are encouraged,” said club member Tom Reinbolt. He’ll be flying his T-34 Mentor, a post-WWII military trainer. The plane weighs 6 pounds, has a wing span of 60 inches and sports a 40-size (.4 cubic inch) engine.
Many other types of planes will be represented as well.
“We have a lot of different interests in our club,” Reinbolt said. The group has about 100 members.
As well as open flying, the event features a chili feed and raffle. For a $1 ticket folks will have a chance at winning a new radio-controlled airplane complete with controller. The plane is a one-quarter scale Great Planes Extra 300s with a 78-inch wingspan and a OS FX-160 two-stroke engine.
“It’s got a value of about, ohh, $1,100,” Reinbolt said.
Young people will also have the chance to fly club members’ planes with the help of a “buddy cord.” The cord enables a beginner to fly the plane, but if there’s any trouble an expert can take over with a different controller.
“That way we’ll be able to demonstrate how the aircraft are flown,” said Reinbolt, whose title in the club is field marshal.
“Not like Rommel,” he chuckled. “I’m just in charge of keeping order at the field, making sure the maintenance gets done. In other words I’m a gofer. I go for this and I go for that.”
He cooked up a mean pot of chili for today’s lunch, as did several other members. The lunch bell will ring at noon. In years past the club has held chili cook offs with awards for winners. This year it’ll be more of a chili feed.
Reinbolt said five or six planes can fly simultaneously at the field, which has covered work stations and restrooms. The air park is city-owned and the High Sierra Radio Control Club has a management contract to operate the park. Only fliers with proof of Aeronautical Modeling Association membership or equivalent liability insurance can fly at the facility.
Part of the reason the club holds the annual charity fly-in is to maintain its status as an association leader club. Other requirements include holding monthly meetings and satisfying safety standards.
There is no charge to attend the fly-in, eat the chili or fly radio-controlled aircraft today at the air park. Donations, however, are welcome.
“We call it a landing fee,” said Reinhold with a chuckle. “They’re encouraged to donate to the cause.”
All proceeds this year will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada — as they have for the last four years.
IF YOU GO
What: High Sierra Radio Control Club of Carson City annual Charity Fly In
Where: Pony Express Model Air Park off Flint Road. Take Highway 50 east of Carson toward the landfill. Take a right on Flint drive, continue for 1/4 mile then take a left on the gravel road across from the road to the rifle range. Look for the air park.
When: From 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. today
How much: Free, donations benefit the Boys & Girls Club