LIMA — Ben Burden, chairman of the Lima Area Radio Kontrol Society (L.A.R.K.S.) is hoping for great weather for their 21st annual Big Bird Fly-In coming up Saturday, Aug. 3, at the LARKS flying field, located three miles west of Elida on state Route 309.
The event is free for spectators and $10 for participants.
Expect some pretty big radio-controlled planes to take to the skies.
“They’re going to get a show of a different variety of larger aircraft than normal on the lines of like a 3-D aircraft, maybe some civilian aircraft,” said Burden. “We’re always hoping for some older WWII military aircraft and of course, we’ll have some mid-Korea to modern-day jet aircraft that will actually be turbine-powered. Their speeds are roughly 180 to 200 mile an hour so that’s a nice little treat there.”
The flying begins at 9 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. but there will be open flying until midnight.
“We’ll have noon-time show that we’ll put on. We’re hoping to have a rocket group from Fort Wayne come over and do some demonstrations for us. We’ll have a heli demonstration along with some other things that we’re still putting together,” said Burden.
Some of the planes that will be shown will be worth thousands of dollars but you don’t have to spend that much if you want to get into the RC flying hobby.
“It all depends on how deep you want to get into it,” he said. “You can spend as little as $150 to $200 all the way up to, it’s unlimited, but for the normal person that wants to get into flying you’re probably going to spend right around $300.”
Getting credentialed is also important if you want to fly an RC plane.
“If you wanted to be a member of the LARKS you have to at least join the AMA, which is the Academy of Model Aeronautics. There’s a yearly fee that you pay to them. You’ve got to join that, that way you’re covered insurance-wise in case, god forbid, something would happen where you would hit something or somebody or property,” sais Burden.
The draw of RC flying is different for each person.
“Everybody’s got their own knack for what they like. They might like a slow WWI type airplane. They might like gliders. Myself and a few friends we’re into high-speed aircraft whether it be jets or something along those lines,” he said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.