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A ‘model’ Father’s Day weekend

Vintage aircraft display Saturday before RC airplane club event Sunday

Submitted photo
Kenny Sharp of Athol guides his F3K hand-loft glider back to his hand at the Franklin County Radio-Control Fun Fly held at the Turners Falls Airport.

Submitted photo Kenny Sharp of Athol guides his F3K hand-loft glider back to his hand at the Franklin County Radio-Control Fun Fly held at the Turners Falls Airport.

TURNERS FALLS — The airfield will fill this weekend with the hum of airplane engines, propellers churning the air, and the angry whine of much smaller aircraft doing the same.

The Franklin County Radio Control Club’s annual Father’s Day Fun Fly, now in its third year, has extended in cooperation with the Turners Falls Airport, encompassing a second day and real airplanes, and with a minimum of planning it should be possible for visitors to take to the air Saturday and pilot from the ground Sunday.

The airport this year decided to piggy-back on the success of the RC event, and Saturday will feature vintage and unique airplanes on display, on the ground and in the air and free airplane rides for children ages 8-17.

Turners Falls Airport Manager Michael Longo said he is trying to generate a little more community involvement with the airport, and figured it made sense to come in on the coattails of the established event.

“I think it’s just a great opportunity. I want the community to share some of the benefits of what the airport and flying is all about,” Longo said. “Get some vitality back over there.”

Saturday’s vitality is also scheduled to include a parachute drop by skydiving company Jumptown between noon and 1 p.m., an aeronautics flight simulator courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and paid rides in a 1940 Waco airplane for adults. Longo said he believes the fee for rides is $150 or $180.

The airplane lineup was unavailable Monday, and Longo said the fees are up to the pilots.

Sunday will be the club’s day, with demonstrations of the various flying machines built or bought by club members and friends. Visitors may try their hands at the controls, piloting the model craft from the ground with the aid of club members.

David Korpiewski, president of the Franklin RC club, began the event as a means to promote the hobby, which he describes as an affordable alternative to flying a real airplane.

Past demonstrations have included aerial acrobatics synchronized to music, an-eight bladed miniature helicopter designed as a platform for aerial filming and photography, and Korpiewski himself has constructed an airplane-style drone capable of streaming video to the operator on the ground, giving a first-person pilot’s view.

The octocopter and drone are on the list of attractions this year, and the aerial acrobatics portion of the show will be provided by Korpiewski with a half-scale biplane equipped for sky-writing, a helicopter-flier and a new trick pilot replacing last year’s main performer, who Korpiewski said is now busy with national competition.

The radio-control air show is scheduled for every hour on the hour and will take about 20 minutes of each hour, the remainder of the time free for visitors to try the planes, simulators, and, for the younger set, to visit the kids’ table. The kids’ table this year includes free gliders and bubbles, while supplies last.

To help cover the expense of the event, the club is raffling off items Sunday including gift certificates donated by hobby businesses, a model plane and sports memorabilia. Donations are also accepted.

The airport is located off Millers Falls Road at 1 Aviation Way, Turners Falls. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, with Cliff’s Smokin’ Backyard BBQ on-hand for food. Both events are free, including admission, parking, demonstrations and activities, with the exception of adult flights Saturday and the raffle. The Saturday event is rain or shine. June 23 is the rain-date for Sunday’s events.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
ccurtis@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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