There couldn’t have been a more beautiful day for the fun North Georgia Model Aviators Extreme Flight Fun Fest held recently at the Dawsonville RC Park on Geirrein Road.
Hundreds of people attended the three-day model airplane RC event that included approximately 40 registered pilots.
One of the sponsors of the event was Chris Hinson, owner of Extreme Flight company in Cumming. With him he also brought several of his top pilots to display their superior flight maneuvers and amazing expertise.
Chris also had the opportunity to fly his plane, a yellow balsa wood gas-powered beauty which took him about a year to build.
He pointed out various advertisements on his plane referencing the band Pink Floyd, his favorite, and also mentioned that he traveled the Southeast in a Pink Floyd tribute band as the guitarist.
Chris brought along with him a few of his expert RC pilots who really wowed the audience that attended. One of the amazing young RC pilots was 21-year-old Antonio De Souza who comes from Brazil and owns about seven planes of his own built to different scales. Asked how large a model RC could be, he explained that he has seen some models built up to an 80% scale!
At one time up to three or more model planes could be seen in the air doing all kinds of really cool maneuvers, and the experience level of many of these pilots was obvious. Many of them that I had spoken to said they had been doing it since they were a kid.
Most of the extreme level pilots learned early on by practicing on an RC simulator where they could learn the handling and maneuvers from the RC controls.
One particular RC pilot at the show that day really wowed the audience with his dance-like motions and extreme nose touchdowns while in the air with his plane. His name was Justin Owens, who has been flying for the past 20 years and really just loves the sport.
Other very experienced RC pilots at the show that day were William Jackson, Antonio De Souza and Alex Barrow, all three sponsored by Extreme Flight. Barrow is just 32 years of age and considered one of the top pilots in the nation.
T.J. Klise, who is the current president of the RC model airplane club NGMA or North Georgia Model Aviators, says he sponsors several of these fun flights per year. His wife Betty is also very involved in the sport.
One of the many activities was even a fun candy drop from a model plane for all the kids attending the event, then later on even one for the adults. Betty explained that there would be raffle tickets and other goodies to be had for the “big kids” attending the event.
When asked if there was a restriction for people to participate in the Fly In, I was told they just had to be a member of the AMA, Academy of Model Aeronautics.
I was told about many of the top pilots in the club who had started very young and one now, Jase Dussia, who started at 11 years of age who just won the world record of the “Extreme Flight” champion beating out 40 other pilots at age 22.
I learned that even the largest model RC planes are still very light weight since they’re built of only balsam wood or even foam. I also was curious about any FAA restrictions on flying these very life-like models as far as air space and was told only in minor related small aircraft such as drones are there known to be any restrictions. RC remote controls have been around since the turn of the 19th century when Nikola Tesla demonstrated an 1898 RC boat. RC planes took off a bit later mostly at the beginning of World War II, but in 1937 Dr. Walter Good and his twin brother are attributed with the first successful flight of their 8-foot free flight model with primitive RC equipment.
All in all, it was a great day to view these really amazing RC planes and even though there were a few slight mishaps most of the “fake” dummy pilots came out unscathed.