Event to spotlight RC planes

Published 10:20 pm Saturday, November 5, 2011

R-C airplanes: Dozens of radio-controlled airplanes are expected at an event on Saturday hosted by the Hampton Roads Radio-Control Club at Lone Star Lakes Park near Chuckatuck. Organizers will collect money and toys in support of Suffolk’s Toys for Tots program.

If the weather cooperates, dozens of radio-controlled aircraft will take to the skies above Lone Star Lakes Park on Saturday in the traditional kickoff for Suffolk’s Toys for Tots campaign.

Fun Fly 2011, the annual event held by the Hampton Roads Radio Control Club, attracts both pilots and spectators alike to see and fly radio-controlled airplanes on and above the field the club maintains at Suffolk’s park near Chuckatuck.

Last year, there were 50 pilots, 100 airplanes and a group of non-flying spectators for the event, according to Mills Staylor, a member of the club that hosts the event.


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“We have a good group of folks out there,” Staylor said, noting that the event is one of the biggest fly-ins for model airplanes in the region.

Although there is no cost to the public, participants and spectators are asked to bring a $10 donation or a new unwrapped toy to enjoy the spectacle. The club also will be selling refreshments and raffle tickets that will earn purchasers chances in a drawing for their own model airplanes.

All of the money and toys collected at the event will go toward the Toys for Tots program, which distributes toys to needy families for Christmas.

During the event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., organizers hope to have a visit from a Marine Corps helicopter, along with a group of Marines in uniform.

But the stars of the show will be the various radio-controlled airplanes.

Staylor said there will be models of combat warbirds from Word War I and World War II. There also will be trainers available for those who are interested in seeing what it’s like to fly a radio-controlled airplane.

Participants will have a chance to win awards for the planes they fly, including awards for Best-in-Show, Best ARF (pre-fab aircraft) and Best Stick-Built airplane.

A new award this year will be given in a category that most radio-control pilots would not normally hope to enter — Best Crash.

“You’re going to have some accidents,” Staylor said. “There are too many pieces for something not to go wrong.”