High flying fun

RC airplanes take to the air for weekend event

PHOTO BY JACOB GURNEY Randy Nickler, of Galion, a member of the Galion Eagle Squadrons Club, attempts a tail touch with his Edge 540 radio-controlled airplane during the Tiffin Fun-Fly & Tail Dunk Challenge at Lynn Cole R.C. Field Saturday afternoon. He said his plane had a 120cc, 12-horsepower gas engine and a 106-inch wingspan.

Tiffin Ohio Radio-Controlled Modelers were at Lynn Cole R.C. Field, 5320 E. CR 38, during the first day of their Tiffin Fun-Fly & Tail Dunk Challenge Saturday.

President Matt Leibengood said there were 21 registered pilots who flew Saturday. He said TORCM hosts weekend events twice a summer — one weekend in July and one weekend in August.

“These events are informal and are a place for people to relax and have fun,” Leibengood said.

He said there were electric-, gas- and glow fuel-powered planes, helicopters and drones that flew. Glow fuel is a fuel source used in model engines.

“The models here definitely come in all shapes and sizes. Some can fit in the palm of your hand and there are others here that have a 16-foot wingspan,” he said.

The events are open to the public and the group has raffles, he said. Refreshments also are available.

“People can bring their lawnchairs and sit in the shade and watch some cool demonstrations,” he said. “They can stay for half an hour or all day.”

He said registered pilots fly multiple times throughout the day and the event is weather dependent as high wind or precipitation make flying conditions more difficult. He said Saturday’s weather was perfect for flying.

Leibengood has been a member since 2009 and has been president of the organization for three years.

He said flying model airplanes is a great hobby to get into because people can see their hard work in action. He said it appeals to mechanically inclined people because they can build something and fly it; and if they bang it up, they can tear it apart and fix it.

“It’s really a combination of hand-eye coordination and thinking things through. It appeals to those of us who like that,” member Roy Davisson said

“You can buy a model plane ready to fly, or you can get a kit and put it all together. You can also just buy the blueprints and get the materials and build it yourself,” member Alan Wichman said. “I’ve done all three.”

TORCM has been at different locations over the years, Leibengood said. He said it has been located at its current spot for several years and leases the property from Waste Management.

Club members really helped to improve the space and keep it in great condition, he said.

“We have duck boxes, bluebird houses, and pollinators we put in out here to attract birds, butterflies and bees,” he said. “We have a lot of hard-working members who help to keep this place looking nice.”

“This really is one of the best flying sites for remote-controlled planes in the state-besides the places where you can fly at airports,” Leibengood said. “As far as rural areas go, this really is a great site.”

Leibengood said the club has donated to the Seneca County Humane Society, Relay For Life, Out & About Pre-School and Wounded Warrior Project in the past. He also said the club has had members involved with STEM at Calvert Catholic Schools, who worked with science teachers to help students build and fly their own aircraft and they have had the Boy Scouts come to their field where they were instructed in how to fly different aircraft. The group always is working to get younger people involved in model airplanes, he said.

Treasurer Jeff Hawkins said people of all ages can stop in anytime the gate is open and learn how to fly or simply observe others flying.

Executive Vice President David Richards said those who want to learn how to fly can be set up with a trainer.

“We have our own planes we teach with,” he said. “We can help you see if it’s something you might want to get into and for free.”

Leibengood said group members have a common passion when it comes to radio-controlled planes as well as being able to help the community.

“We’re not just drilling holes in the sky,” Leibengood said. “We do give back to the community and we just try to make this a nice place for everybody to come out to.”

Leibengood said TORCM meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at Lynn Cole R.C. Field and from November-March at Jack and Do’s Pizza, 283 S. Washington St., Tiffin. The Tiffin Fun-Fly & Tail Dunk Challenge will continue 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today at Lynn Cole R.C. Field.

“People can bring their lawnchairs and sit in the shade and watch some cool demonstrations,” he said. “They can stay for half an hour or all day.”

He said registered pilots fly multiple times throughout the day and the event is weather dependent as high wind or precipitation make flying conditions more difficult. He said Saturday’s weather was perfect for flying.

Leibengood has been a member since 2009 and has been president of the organization for three years.

He said flying model airplanes is a great hobby to get into because people can see their hard work in action. He said it appeals to mechanically inclined people because they can build something and fly it; and if they bang it up, they can tear it apart and fix it.

“It’s really a combination of hand-eye coordination and thinking things through. It appeals to those of us who like that,” member Roy Davisson said

“You can buy a model plane ready to fly, or you can get a kit and put it all together. You can also just buy the blueprints and get the materials and build it yourself,” member Alan Wichman said. “I’ve done all three.”

TORCM has been at different locations over the years, Leibengood said. He said it has been located at its current spot for several years and leases the property from Waste Management.

Club members really helped to improve the space and keep it in great condition, he said.

“We have duck boxes, bluebird houses, and pollinators we put in out here to attract birds, butterflies and bees,” he said. “We have a lot of hard-working members who help to keep this place looking nice.”

“This really is one of the best flying sites for remote-controlled planes in the state-besides the places where you can fly at airports,” Leibengood said. “As far as rural areas go, this really is a great site.”

Leibengood said the club has donated to the Seneca County Humane Society, Relay For Life, Out & About Pre-School and Wounded Warrior Project in the past. He also said the club has had members involved with STEM at Calvert Catholic Schools, who worked with science teachers to help students build and fly their own aircraft and they have had the Boy Scouts come to their field where they were instructed in how to fly different aircraft. The group always is working to get younger people involved in model airplanes, he said.

Treasurer Jeff Hawkins said people of all ages can stop in anytime the gate is open and learn how to fly or simply observe others flying.

Executive Vice President David Richards said those who want to learn how to fly can be set up with a trainer.

“We have our own planes we teach with,” he said. “We can help you see if it’s something you might want to get into and for free.”

Leibengood said group members have a common passion when it comes to radio-controlled planes as well as being able to help the community.

“We’re not just drilling holes in the sky,” Leibengood said. “We do give back to the community and we just try to make this a nice place for everybody to come out to.”

Leibengood said TORCM meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at Lynn Cole R.C. Field and from November-March at Jack and Do’s Pizza, 283 S. Washington St., Tiffin. The Tiffin Fun-Fly & Tail Dunk Challenge will continue 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today at Lynn Cole R.C. Field.

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