Deena C. Bouknight, Contributing Writer
Macon Aero Modelers, a chartered club of the 180,000-member Academy of Model Aeronautics, has held a number of air shows spotlighting a variety of charities, including Wounded Warriors and CareNet. Saturday, September 21, starting at 10 a.m., Macon Aero Modelers offers a Radio Control (RC) Air Show to benefit Appalachian Animal Rescue (Macon County Humane Society). All monies collected at the event gate for the $5 entrance fee will be donated.
Attendees can expect to watch skilled “factory pilots,” which means outstanding pilots supported by radio-controlled aircraft manufacturers; plus, remote control jet aircraft will fly at around 200 mph.
Macon Aero Modelers, which formed in the 1990s, has as its mission: “Macon Aero Modelers are committed to fostering an environment in which the sport of aeromodeling can inspire the potential aviator to learn and pursue careers in aviation, aerospace and aviation related fields.”
According to Bob Wilson, who has flown radio-controlled aircraft models capable of aerobatics, there are currently 63 members of Macon Aero Modelers. Wilson said one goal of the organization is to get children and young adults interested in flying model airplanes so that they might pursue a career in aviation. “Most of our early astronauts came up from flying radio controlled model aircraft,” he pointed out. “Learning to fly a model airplane is not only good for the young, as well as us old guys, it get the kids out of their bedrooms, off Facebook and out in the sun and fresh air.”
Flying radio controlled aircraft is about more than having toys that fly. Although enjoyable, flying scaled down versions of real airplanes, helicopters, jets, and more requires some flight training and is a hobby thousands across the country are passionate about. There are magazines and books devoted to the activity.
Individuals involved in Macon Aero Modelers adhere to a Field Safety Preflight Checklist that includes various checks on the aircraft, the radio, and more. Drone flying is also addressed.
Wilson, who was president of Macon Aero Modelers for about six years, encouraged the organization to become community minded. Thus, air shows were coordinated to raise awareness and funds for various nonprofits.
Those who attend the Radio Control Air Show at the OTX Model Airplane Airport at 516 Tessentee Road in Otto on Saturday will have a chance to win a model airplane as well as other door prizes. Food will be available, and interested individuals can inquire about radio controlled aircraft flying lessons.