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Aviators plan RC fly-in to Libby airstrip Saturday

by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker
| July 16, 2013 11:14 AM

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<p>Event Chairman Sam Scheer of The Kootenai RC Flyers flies a romote craft at the airfield. The club will have a Fun Fly this Saturday at the RC Airfield on Champion Haul Road. </p><div> </div>

Their airplanes may be smaller, but to say these aviators pamper their planes less than their full-scale aircraft cousins would not be accurate.

These pilots are radio-controlled fliers and their planes come in all sizes and colors. Many are World War II-era replicas. One kit of a B-17 Flying Fortress features a five-foot wingspan.

This Saturday, the Kootenai RC Flyers of Lincoln County are conducting their inaugural Fun Fly at the airfield located 6.7 miles east of the Fifth Street extension on Champion Haul Road.

“We’re expecting anywhere from two to 200 people,” mused Sam Scheer, organizer of the event. “We’re expecting people from Eureka, Kalispell and Missoula.”

The event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will allow aviators to land without posting a landing fee. However, an  Academy of Model Aeronautics certification is required to participate.

The event, Scheer said, is a Class C event, which means there is no competition.

“We just want to show the community what RC planes are about,” Scheer said. “Anyone can do it and we’ve got a great bunch of guys.”

Scheer explained while there will be aviators of various skill levels flying Saturday, there will be three pilot instructors who offer dual-controlled planes to give the novice an opportunity to fly.

One instructor, Norm Crum, invited the public to come and take a turn on the controls.

“It’s a great way to learn,” Crum said. “Come out and we’ll dual-control.”

Crum, Scheer and Ron Anderson round out the instructor pilots. The club consists of 26 members, and it’s growing.

The RC Airfield features a 316-foot asphalt airstrip by 43-feet wide with plenty of open area near the Kootenai River.

For more, go to the club’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/KootenaiRCFlyers.