ELIDA — It was perfect weather for the 21st annual Lima Area Radio Kontrol Society’s Big Bird Fly-In Saturday at their flying field on state Route 309, three miles west of Elida.
“If we had to actually ask for what is the perfect weather you would like to have, this is it. Low 80s, light winds, sunny skies — you couldn’t ask anything better,” said Ben Burden, event chairman.
Radio-controlled airplanes of every shape and size were on hand as participants tested their flying skills.
“We’ve got anything basically around the 80-inch wingspan and bigger area, warbirds, civilian style aircraft, jet aircraft so a little bit of a variety in everything,” said Burden.
Mike Dunevant from the Flying Aero Sports Team from Brookville was bitten by the RC flying hobby nearly three decades ago.
“My cousin, about 29 years ago, decided to build an ultimate biplane. He’d never flown RC ever and I kind of got the itch to build something so I built a Gentle Lady. I’d never flown either so I learned to fly at my sister’s house on 90 acres,” said Dunevant.
Dunevant has invested a lot into the hobby.
“They’re all different, depending on what radio stuff you have. What engine you have in them. You can’t really say I’ve got more in this one than I do in another. I could tell you I’ve got a YAK 54, is a Carden Aircraft that’s probably one of my favorites out of the ones I have. I’ve been flying that for eight years,” he said.
Gary Williams, a past president with LARKS, has been a member for the past 30 years. He enjoys the challenge of RC flying.
“The challenge of making yourself a better pilot is what keeps me going,” said Williams.
So what is the most expensive plane he owns?
“Probably one of my jets. To purchase new, it’s probably close to a $10,000 aircraft,” said Williams.
LARKS meets at their flying field every Tuesday night, weather permitting. Events like the Big Bird Fly-In help grow the hobby.
“There’s a good atmosphere here and I think that’s why the public comes here. They see that it’s just a gathering of people who love the RC hobby and some people we’ve had come here and they see what it’s like, get a feel of it and they end up joining because you get a good vibe here. We love it,” added Burden.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.