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Remote control flyers take to the air at indoor Valley Gathering


KENTVILLE - In the place of soccer balls flying through the air were remote control airplanes, helicopters, gliders and racing drones.

Kentville’s indoor soccer facility hosted the Wings of Wellington’s sixth-annual Valley Gathering April 2 with about 30 enthusiasts of remote control flying from across Atlantic Canada taking part.

Field director Jeremy Dann of Kentville said it’s typical that flyers gather in gymnasiums and indoor facilities such as the soccer dome to enjoy the hobby over the colder months.

“A lot of people can get together at once and do something they enjoy,” Dann said.

He said most of the remote control flying machines on hand are very light, weighing between 30 and 150 grams, and are intended for aerobatic use. Wing spans measure from as short as a couple of inches to 32 inches. Many are scale replicas of actual aircraft.

Dann said the hobby tends to appeal to people of all ages who enjoy aviation in all its forms.

Kevin Patterson of Hantsport was maneuvering an eight-foot remote control aircraft carrier, complete with lights and model SONAR.

“It’s the only RC aircraft carrier we know of in Atlantic Canada,” Dann said.

Modeled after the HMCS Bonaventure, Dann came up with the idea and he and Patterson built it about five years ago. The secret is a remote control truck hidden underneath.

“I had the truck, so we just built the ship around the truck and it actually worked well,” Patterson said, adding that he’s “been having a lot of fun with it.”

It goes slow enough that RC airplanes can land on it. However, a successful landing takes some skill. Patterson said you have to try to match the speed of the carrier without overshooting it or falling off the side.

He said kids love seeing the carrier, which is extremely easy to drive.

“It’s just a matter of not turning too tight a corner because you can jam the truck sideways underneath and then it won’t move at all,” Patterson said.

15-year-old Orlando Ramirez of Wolfville has been flying remote control planes for just over a year. He had seen other people flying them at the facility and became interested. Some friends helped him get involved and certified club instructor Don MacPhee allowed him to use a plane to practice with.

Ramirez was flying his “Space Walker” plane April 2, which was a Christmas gift. He said he’s working on fixing three other planes that got demolished. A lot of club members build their own but Ramirez said he isn’t at that stage yet.

Ramirez said he likes doing tricks and it’s a thrill controlling something that’s so versatile in the air.

“There’s really nothing you can’t do with a plane in the air,” Ramirez said.

kstarratt@kingscountynews.ca

Quick facts

-       The Wings of Wellington host indoor remote control flying at Kentville’s soccer dome every Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. during the winter months. The last session is April 6.

-       During warmer weather, the group gathers to enjoy the hobby at a field on Wellington Dyke. These sessions are set to begin shortly.

-       The Wings of Wellington are looking for new members. For more information on the club, visit www.wingsofwellington.org.

Kentville’s indoor soccer facility hosted the Wings of Wellington’s sixth-annual Valley Gathering April 2 with about 30 enthusiasts of remote control flying from across Atlantic Canada taking part.

Field director Jeremy Dann of Kentville said it’s typical that flyers gather in gymnasiums and indoor facilities such as the soccer dome to enjoy the hobby over the colder months.

“A lot of people can get together at once and do something they enjoy,” Dann said.

He said most of the remote control flying machines on hand are very light, weighing between 30 and 150 grams, and are intended for aerobatic use. Wing spans measure from as short as a couple of inches to 32 inches. Many are scale replicas of actual aircraft.

Dann said the hobby tends to appeal to people of all ages who enjoy aviation in all its forms.

Kevin Patterson of Hantsport was maneuvering an eight-foot remote control aircraft carrier, complete with lights and model SONAR.

“It’s the only RC aircraft carrier we know of in Atlantic Canada,” Dann said.

Modeled after the HMCS Bonaventure, Dann came up with the idea and he and Patterson built it about five years ago. The secret is a remote control truck hidden underneath.

“I had the truck, so we just built the ship around the truck and it actually worked well,” Patterson said, adding that he’s “been having a lot of fun with it.”

It goes slow enough that RC airplanes can land on it. However, a successful landing takes some skill. Patterson said you have to try to match the speed of the carrier without overshooting it or falling off the side.

He said kids love seeing the carrier, which is extremely easy to drive.

“It’s just a matter of not turning too tight a corner because you can jam the truck sideways underneath and then it won’t move at all,” Patterson said.

15-year-old Orlando Ramirez of Wolfville has been flying remote control planes for just over a year. He had seen other people flying them at the facility and became interested. Some friends helped him get involved and certified club instructor Don MacPhee allowed him to use a plane to practice with.

Ramirez was flying his “Space Walker” plane April 2, which was a Christmas gift. He said he’s working on fixing three other planes that got demolished. A lot of club members build their own but Ramirez said he isn’t at that stage yet.

Ramirez said he likes doing tricks and it’s a thrill controlling something that’s so versatile in the air.

“There’s really nothing you can’t do with a plane in the air,” Ramirez said.

kstarratt@kingscountynews.ca

Quick facts

-       The Wings of Wellington host indoor remote control flying at Kentville’s soccer dome every Wednesday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. during the winter months. The last session is April 6.

-       During warmer weather, the group gathers to enjoy the hobby at a field on Wellington Dyke. These sessions are set to begin shortly.

-       The Wings of Wellington are looking for new members. For more information on the club, visit www.wingsofwellington.org.

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