This weekend, airplanes will take over Yuma skies – and anyone is welcome to join the fun.
The Yuma Aeromodelers are inviting Yuma-area residents and winter visitors to attend their 8th Annual Radio Control Model Airplane Airshow Saturday.
The club includes about 150 members from the U.S. and Canada who are affiliated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, which promotes building and flying model aircraft.
Radio control model airplane enthusiasts from all over the southwest will bring model jets, helicopters, scale aircraft and many static display aircraft to the event.
The airshow will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Contreras Field, recently renamed in commemoration of long time club member John Contreras, who died in October. Contreras, who served as president and treasurer at different times with the club, will be honored posthumously during the airshow with the placement of a commemorative plaque.
At noon, attendees will be allowed to enter the runway area to observe the model airplanes.
“We take all the airplanes that are participating and line them up on the runway and invite spectators to come out and get eyeball close to the airplanes and let them talk to the people who build them and fly them,” said club member Russ Verbael.
“Model airplanes are so fascinating and these flyers range from your average everyday hobby flyer to some world class experts,” including unmanned aerial vehicle instructors, “and they are good.”
A program designed to allow spectators to actually fly a radio-controlled aircraft under supervision of a trained instructor will also be offered.
Improvements have been made to the airfield since the last airshow, Verbael added.
“We have improved parking, improved spectator seating arrangements, and added more food vending. It will be very much more comfortable for the spectators. We invite everybody to bring a lawn chair and we expect excellent weather. Bring sunscreen, a hat and dark glasses to look at the airplanes in the sky.”
A $5 per vehicle entry-parking donation will be requested from all spectators. The money is used to maintain the airfield.
On Sunday, club members and out of town radio control model airplane enthusiasts will gather once more at the airfield.
The airfield is located just off of Highway 95 at mile marker 35 a few miles northeast of Yuma.
For more information, go online to www.yumaaeromodelers.com, or call (406) 781-7233.