Emily C. Roush
The Ashland Beacon
The Tri-State Model Flyers will host their annual Fly-In celebration June 7 and 8. The event will begin at 10 a.m. both days and continue until the last person leaves in the evenings. The Fly-In will take place at the club’s home base, the Paul Coffee Industrial Park at 11902 Virginia Blvd. in Cannonsburg. Admission to the event will be free, and there will also be no fee for parking. This is the club’s eighth annual Fly-In. Although the club contains members from across the tri-state region, people from as far away as Indiana and Tennessee are expected to attend.
Most of the Fly-In’s activities will take place outside. The location will have some covered shelters, chairs and picnic tables, but member Terrence Maggard advises people to bring folding chairs and sunscreen. “You can bring a chair, put up an umbrella, and watch as long as you like,” said Maggard. “People can even pack picnics, although there will be a concession stand. We will have hot dogs and burgers during the day and a spaghetti dinner in the evenings. All at a fair price,” he continued.
Maggard said that attendees will see “just about any [radio-controlled] aircraft they can imagine. From WWI to present day stealths. There will be fuel, electric, helicopters and drones. If it’s windy you might even see some kites.” The variety of aircraft at the event provide a fun history lesson for attendees, especially the models of WWI and WWII planes.
Maggard emphasized that the Fly-In is a great event for people of all ages. “It’s fun for every member of the family. People with children and grandchildren can bring the children and watch these planes and drones fly.” In fact, it was Maggard’s son Brent who introduced him to the sport around 20 years ago. “He started flying when he was 9-years-old and taught me how to fly. Now he’s a pilot in the Air Force and flies the most powerful air fighter in the world, the F-22 Raptor,” Maggard recalled.
A component of the Fly-In that people, especially children, love is the computer flight simulators. Located in an air-conditioned building at the flying field, the simulators give people the opportunity to practice flying remote-controlled aircraft in a digital environment. Anyone can use the simulators. Children, even young ones, are encouraged to give them a try as long as they have an adult chaperone.
Maggard stressed the positive impact that model flying can have on youth. One example is current club member Lane Walker, a fourth grade Honor Roll Student and Distinguished Scholar at Prichard Elementary in Grayson, Kentucky. Walker just started flying in September 2018. Because of his passion for aviation and dedication, he already flies a variety of gas and electric models at a high skill level. Walker can practice out in the field as well as on his laptop because of flight simulators. He even competes in online model flying competitions.
The examples of Maggard’s son and Lane Walker demonstrate all that young people can get from flying. According to Maggard, “the hand-eye coordination of children nowadays is incredible. They do really well flying these aircraft. There are opportunities for careers and a future in aviation for these children. This is a way to help them build skills that can help them later on.”
Maggard said there is an open invitation for anyone attending the Fly-In to join the Tri-State Model Flyers, and beginners are welcome. “We have 65 members in our club with great expertise. We can teach anyone how to fly, and people can practice at home using the simulators,” Maggard stated. “It is an affordable sport and getting started is as easy as purchasing a ready-to-fly plane,” he continued.
Weather permitting, members of the Tri-State Model Flyers meet every Tuesday and Thursday at noo and Sunday afternoons after church services finish. Anyone is welcome to attend meetings. People can learn more about the club and the eighth annual Fly-In by checking out the club’s website (www.tristatemodelflyers.com) and Facebook page at “Tri State Model Flyers.”