Dozens of model planes soared through the South Cariboo skies this weekend as the 100 Mile Model Flyers held their annual Fun Fly Day.
Local club members were joined by hobbyists from across the province at the 100 Mile House Airstrip. They spent the weekend showing off their piloting skills and their lovingly maintained planes. Treasurer John Code remarked it was a good turnout and a fun event.
“We have this event every summer to get together with other modelers and share some camaraderie and just have a good time watching model planes fly,” Code said. “There are different aspects to the model plane hobby. There’s building your own plane, there’s a little bit of mechanics with the glo and gas engines and (there’s the flying). It’s a great hobby and we all enjoy it.”
Abbotsford’s Larry Lewin said he makes the trip to 100 Mile House to spend time with good people. He’s been flying model planes, off and on, since 1959 when he was 13.
“I like the people. You have a tremendous amount of good people here and I love coming up for this. You sit around, you laugh and fly planes,” Lewin said.
While most pilots fly using a short-range remote control, Lewin enjoys using a control line to fly his planes. With a battery-powered motor providing the power, Lewin will stand in the middle of a field and using a lead out connected to the fuselage controls the plane’s path and direction.
“It’s the only control you got and if the wind blows it towards you, you don’t have any control because you lose the tension of the lines, and if it blows it five feet away from you you’re in real big trouble because it’s broken something.”
Once he gets the plane up to shoulder height or beyond by manipulating the lead lines Lewin can make his planes do aerial maneuvers like loops and an equilateral triangle. It’s taken him years to master but sometimes his planes still end up crashing at the end of their flights.
“I’m a sport flyer. If you want to be a good flyer it’s like anything else, practice, practice, practice,” Lewin remarked. “If you walk away laughing, you’ve won.”
Code added the club is always looking for new members and meets regularly during the spring and summer. Anyone looking to join can contact him at 250-706-8305.
“We accept new members into our club, anyone interested in model aviation or just aviation in general. We fly usually every Sunday.”