Pilots take to indoor skies Saturday in JamestownThe Jamestown Civic Center will literally be abuzz Saturday with numerous remote-controlled planes taking to the enclosed sky. It’s the first electric indoor fun fly the Buffalo City Remote Controlled Squadron has ever held and there will be planes in the sky for eight hours.
By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Civic Center will literally be abuzz Saturday with numerous remote-controlled planes taking to the enclosed sky.
It’s the first electric indoor fun fly the Buffalo City Remote Controlled Squadron has ever held and there will be planes in the sky for eight hours.
“Don’t be surprised to see eight to 10 planes in the air because that’s part of it,” said Mike Propeck, BCRCS member and 11-year RC pilot. “If they get into the dog fights you’ll see them chasing each other and trying to knock each other down.”
Planes flown on Saturday will be all electric motors — no gas motors are allowed — and will range from planes with 12-inch wingspans to those with 40-inch wingspans.
“It’s a good entertainment, it’s a safe hobby and it’s not a horribly expensive hobby,” Propeck said, adding that a decent plane for indoor flying costs around $100.
Demonstrations are also planned at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday with two pilots from Bismarck doing routines that feature a number of trick maneuvers. Concessions will also be available at that time.
“A lot of the entry-level airplanes can be flown in a gymnasium,” he said. “We’re fortunate enough to have access to the Civic Center which allows for more acrobatics.”
There’s a plethora of tricks and most will be displayed in the routines on Saturday, ranging from barrel rolls, loops, stalls and some more advanced tricks.
The total number could be 35 to 50 pilots, depending on the weather.
“North Dakota weather is not real conducive to flying outside,” Propeck said. “Although some of us strap on skis and fly along.”
Most pilots are able to get a few days in a week of flying outdoors during the summer. In the winter the flying is mostly indoors in this part of the country.
“North Dakota has wind,” said Larry Gilge, fly in coordinator and BCRCS member. “You really don’t take it outside and fly it unless you have 2 or 3 mph wind or less.”
Any plane can fly in any condition but more wind presents more of a challenge for the pilot.
Helicopters will also take to the indoor sky on Saturday. Plus there will be exhibits and club members on hand to answer any questions.
“That’s our purpose to introduce it to the public,” Propeck said.
Both pilots called it a lifelong hobby. BCRCS has members from teenagers to those in their 70s.
Pilots at the event will range from novice to expert in skill level and will come from across North Dakota and possibly some from neighboring states.
There’s no admission charge for spectators but pilots must pay $10 each.
The group wants to show off its hobby and get more people involved, while helping teach them the basic of RC flying.
“The biggest thing is to talk to somebody who flies because we can save a lot of frustration,” Propeck said of those wanting to pick up the hobby.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org