Model craft take flight at Fun Fly

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By Jessica Onsurez


CARLSBAD >> The skies were clear, though the wind was gusting: perfect conditions for the Fun Fly hosted by the Carlsbad RC Flyers.


Model aircraft of all makes and models were put their paces Saturday morning at the Carlsbad Sports Complex. Long time pilot, Graydon Clark, who has seen model aviation develop throughout the years, said that the incredible changes in the hobby make for more fun. “Twenty years ago, electronic was just a dream. Now you’ve got goggles that make it seem like a flight simulator,” Clark said.


On the field were quadcopters: electronic aircraft boasting four propellers, cameras, GPS, and radio receivers. Pilot Larry Browneller said that most planes can be purchased in kits, and the true hobbyist can enjoy programing his craft and modifying it to his or her preference.

Several of the day’s participants watched as Mark Snow took his inaugural flight with a quadcopter and goggles. The video feed from the camera mounted on the craft, was easily picked up by other goggle totting pilots.


Carlsbad RC Flyers can be found most weekends piloting at the complex Clark said, and the organization hosts at least one Fun Fly a year.


Al West, a native of Tatum, said he has seen shows with over 300 planes. A mostly unofficial group, in it for the fun, Carlsbad’s RC Flyers number around 10 and have been a part of the community for 30 years.


While piloting is fun, there is an etiquette to the hobby. Avoiding homes and people, as well as responsible piloting to ensure safety is key Clark said.


The Academy of Model Aeronautics lays out a few ground rules, but Clark said piloting safely is mostly about common sense.


Model aircraft can reach altitudes of a mile in the air, and though only a fraction of the size of their full-size counterparts, are agile performers with the right pilot.



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