Some clouds
48°
Some clouds
Hi 55° | Lo 39°

Turners Falls Aviation Weekend takes off Saturday, Sunday

  • David Korpiewski, president of the Franklin County Radio Controlled Club, launches one of his model airplanes at the club’s Turners Falls Airport location as other members look on. Established in the 1970s, the group boasts a small membership that means no “big club politics.” The public is welcome to stop by on Tuesday evenings and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., whether to watch experienced fliers or to try for themselves.  Korpiewski keeps a trainer plane on hand for beginner fliers, as well as a “buddy box” that allows him to “play the hero” and take control in case of plane-risking mistakes. <br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    David Korpiewski, president of the Franklin County Radio Controlled Club, launches one of his model airplanes at the club’s Turners Falls Airport location as other members look on. Established in the 1970s, the group boasts a small membership that means no “big club politics.” The public is welcome to stop by on Tuesday evenings and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., whether to watch experienced fliers or to try for themselves. Korpiewski keeps a trainer plane on hand for beginner fliers, as well as a “buddy box” that allows him to “play the hero” and take control in case of plane-risking mistakes.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Franklin County Radio Controlled Club’s Turners Falls Airport location is a big draw for many of its full-time members. The club recently raised the funds to redo the landing strip, covering it in woven geotextile fabric that should last the club somewhere between eight and 10 years. Many members come to this location despite having other flying areas and clubs closer to home.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    The Franklin County Radio Controlled Club’s Turners Falls Airport location is a big draw for many of its full-time members. The club recently raised the funds to redo the landing strip, covering it in woven geotextile fabric that should last the club somewhere between eight and 10 years. Many members come to this location despite having other flying areas and clubs closer to home.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • David Korpiewski, president of the Franklin County Radio Controlled Club, launches one of his model airplanes at the club’s Turners Falls Airport location as other members look on. Established in the 1970s, the group boasts a small membership that means no “big club politics.” The public is welcome to stop by on Tuesday evenings and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., whether to watch experienced fliers or to try for themselves.  Korpiewski keeps a trainer plane on hand for beginner fliers, as well as a “buddy box” that allows him to “play the hero” and take control in case of plane-risking mistakes. <br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • The Franklin County Radio Controlled Club’s Turners Falls Airport location is a big draw for many of its full-time members. The club recently raised the funds to redo the landing strip, covering it in woven geotextile fabric that should last the club somewhere between eight and 10 years. Many members come to this location despite having other flying areas and clubs closer to home.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

Click here to see the photos in the print-edition layout

This weekend offers opportunities to take to the air, physically and virtually, with free airplane rides for children and teens in Montague on Saturday and some new twists to the now-annual remote control aircraft fair Sunday, including some aerial destruction.

This will be the second Turners Falls Aviation Weekend, a project of the Franklin County Radio Control Club and the Turners Falls Airport, with events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

The airport has the skies and the ground Saturday, with free airplane rides for kids age 8 to 17 from 10 a.m. to 3-ish, paid rides for adults, an antique car show and airplanes on display, food vendors and a flight simulator, and parachutists landing around noon, among other offerings. Entrance and parking are free both days.

The airport is located off Millers Falls Road between the villages of Turners Falls and Millers Falls.

Sunday, events shift to the Franklin County Radio Control Club’s newly resurfaced airstrip behind the airport proper, through Gate 4 off Industrial Boulevard.

“This year instead of doing a lot of training and hands-on we’re doing more of an air show,” said David Korpiewski of the Radio Control Club, who began the Father’s Day event four years ago.

The club’s goal is to reel in members; Korpiewski said the RC flying hobby suffers from the misconception that it’s astronomically expensive and the fear of crashing the flying models. Korpiewski said you can get a good starter plane for about $100, and if you join the club they’ll teach you not to crash. In the meantime, there’s a good chance of some minor crashes Sunday with an aerial combat game.

Korpiewski said five or six fliers will pilot light planes with paper streamers attached to the tail. The goal is to swoop by and cut the other pilot’s streamer, but Korpiewski’s own plane, with a few bits ripped off and reattached, is proof that things are often more exciting than planned. Korpiewski calls it a demolition derby of the sky.

There will also be electric jet demos, a helicopter trick-flying show, a DJ and food for sale. Also new this year, the club plans to project onto a screen what camera equipped planes see — a first-person view from the vantage point of Korpiewski’s quad-copter drone or the view from a glider whose pilot Korpiewski said takes pleasure in steering between trees at 60 mph.

Shows run every hour or every other hour, and Korpiwewski said there should be something to see in the air at all times. Other demonstrations include a half-scale biplane equipped to trail smoke and a collection of flying warplane replicas, and a kids’ table with free gliders.

In both cases, organizers aim to attract interest.

“It’s just to kind of give something back to the community and open the airport up to more community involvement, and hopefully spark some interest in aviation,” said Airport Manager Michael Longo. “It’s a fun event and the price is right: it’s free.”

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.