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Air Fest has ground events too

Posted on 6/5/2008

Not everything will be occurring high in the sky at the Jamestown Air Fest June 28. Some of the action will be closer to the ground with pint-sized airplanes.

The Buffalo City Remote Control Squadron will be at the air show piloting their airplanes while firmly rooted to the ground. Dave Nelson, president of the club, said he and a couple of other squadron members will be demonstrating what their airplanes can do.

"In between air acts, we'll have some sideline shows," he said. "One of them will be us. I don't know if we'll do a show or if we'll just fly our planes."

Submitted photo Dave Nelson displays his model airplane and its remote control device. Nelson and other members of the Buffalo City Remote Control Squadron will be demonstrating their flying prowess at the Jamestown Air Fest June 28. The planes will also be on display in the toy show hangar during the air show.
Toni Pirkl Archive
With the weather this spring, it's been difficult to get in any training, he said. At this point, squadron members haven't had a chance to work on a show, but they have a few weeks yet before the Air Fest. And as with full-sized airplanes, there's a variety of flying styles among the 16 "pilots."

"We do a little of everything when we fly," Nelson said. "I fly my plane as though it were a full-size plane."

As a club, they do some combat flying when they get together at their flying field south of Pipestem Dam. Each plane trails a streamer, which the others try to cut off in flight with their own planes' propellers. Other members do aerobatics or put pontoons on the planes to land and take off in water. Still others are four-season flyers, putting skis on their planes to land on snow.

"I quit flying when it gets cold," Nelson said. He spends his winters building new airplanes. "We have two guys who fly every month of the year."

The squadron generally meets at the flying field Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the summer. Tuesday is beginner night. There's a sign on U.S. Highway 52/281 directing people to the flying field.

"We encourage people to come out and try it," he said.

When they're not taking to the air, the remote control airplanes will be on display in the hangar housing the toy show. Nelson chairs the subcommittee on sideline acts at the Air Fest and said there will be a variety of things to see and do when full-sized planes aren't in the air.

"We might have a flight simulator there so people can find out what it's like to fly," he said.

The toy show is being coordinated by Larry Phillips. He said the show will include myriad antique and new miniature vehicles, airplanes, farm implements and much more. The toys are made of a variety of materials, such as plastic, die-cast metal and tin.

"We're hoping to bring in toy dealers from three states - North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota," Phillips said. "They'll have toys to display and sell."

Along with the other toys, the Spud Valley Model Railroad Club of West Fargo will have a complete railroad layout on display. Phillips said the 16-foot by 35-foot model railroad will be set up and running.

A California model builder is shipping his model of Squad 51, the emergency vehicle in the TV show "Emergency," Phillips said.

The Jamestown Toy Show group will anchor the event with its display.

Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at tonip@jamestownsun.com