Yuma Aeromodelers plan Dec. 3 model airplane airshow

 

Helicopters, jets, gliders and airplanes will be landing en masse on a local airfield Saturday and Sunday, and Yumans are invited to come out and watch the excitement.

A regional Radio Control Model Airplane Airshow will be held at the Yuma Aeromodelers' Model Airfield located at Blaisdell (just off Highway 95, five miles north of Yuma) on Saturday, followed by a Fun Fly Contest on Sunday. The events will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Event chairman Russ Verbael expects enthusiasts to bring in their radio-controlled model airplanes from as far as Phoenix and El Centro. He anticipates they will bring in jets, helicopters, scale aircraft and static display aircraft.

“We never know who will show up, but in the past we've had jets, helicopters and a full spectrum of airplanes that represents the entire hobby.”

A $5 per vehicle donation will be requested from spectators. Cub Scout Pack 55 will sell food, including hot dogs and hamburgers.

A night fly and wiener roast is scheduled for Friday evening. The event also includes a remote control swap meet, 50/50 raffle, participation awards and door prizes.

“This show is the first of two major efforts our club does every year,” Verbael said. “We call this the warm-up. We get everything in place, and the very, very big show is in February.”

He noted that the show will feature a professional quality sound system. “Each flight is called by someone who is very knowledgeable of airplanes.”

Yuma Aeromodelers is a group of 150 radio control enthusiasts affiliated with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) with a stated purpose of promoting model aircraft activities: building, flying model aircraft; teaching new members to fly model aircraft. Many of the club members are winter visitors from all over the nation.

“Most members are 95 percent adults, and probably half of those are retired. They come from all corners of the United States,” Verbael said.

The group has been “slowly but surely” improving the leased airfield. “By today's standards, it would cost $50,000 to replace it.”

In most part, members have paid for the improvements. In the past couple of years, the group has been asking for donations from people attending the shows and the money goes into the airfield fund.

The club welcomes new members. Dues are $35 per year with a first-year assessment of $100 that goes into the Runway Maintenance Fund.

“Dues for 2011 are very modest. We offer free coaching and flight training to anybody who wants to get involved,” Verbael said.

For more information on the show or the Yuma Aeromodelers Club, visit www.yumaaeromodelers.com or call Russ Verbael at 1-406-781-7233.

Mara Knaub can be reached at mknaub@yumasun.com or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.

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