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Radio-controlled model airplanes set to take to air

Jim Mosher
There'll be plenty of radio-controlled planes on display during Model Fest 2010 Aug. 13-15 in Gimli.

There'll be plenty of radio-controlled planes on display during Model Fest 2010 Aug. 13-15 in Gimli.

What began as a get-together among fellow enthusiasts has blossomed into an event that in its sixth year attracts hundreds of flyers and hundreds more spectators.

Those 'flyers' don't actually make it into the air. They're the ground-based variety who loop, stall, glide and soar their model aircraft using radio controls. They like to be called pilots.

Randy Bohmier, of Gimli, is a director of the non-profit Model Fest Group Inc., which will be hosting its sixth Gimli Model Fest Aug. 13-15. The weekend is capped by the Radio Controlled Airshow Sun., Aug. 15.

Admission to the Friday of the Model Fest is free. The event site is on Minerva Rd., about a mile-and-a-half west of Hwy. 8. Full-day admission Saturday and Sunday is $5; children 12 and under get in free all days. Free parking is available on-site.

Radio-controlled flying and model aircraft will be on display each of the three days of Gimli Model Fest. The pilots will be practising Saturday in preparation for the Sunday airshow.

"I invite people to come out and see what it's all about," Bohmier said Tuesday. "Who knows, maybe they'll get the bug and join a local club - and start flying."

Bohemier has had an interest in model airplanes since he was a youngster. You know those small craft made of balsa and powered by an elastic band. Now there was an art.

A few years back, when the first Model Fest landed in Gimli, Bohemier thought he'd take it in. He's been flying ever since. "I've probably got eight or nine aircraft in my collection right now," he said.

"I've always had a fascination with aircraft," he explained of his abiding passion. After visiting that show in Gimli, his passion for all things aeronautical was reawakened.

Bohemier decided to go for an electric-powered model. They're silent, unlike their gas-powered cousins. He liked that.

His wife picked up on her husband's growing interest. "She bought me my first radio-controlled, electric aircraft. So it's her fault I'm addicted to this hobby," he said cheerfully.

The family-oriented event will include an anticipated 150 pilots from as far away as Dryden, Ont., Minnesota and Saskatchewan. There should be about 200 radio-controlled aircraft in the sky over the Minerva Rd. airfield. At $5 for a full day - gates open at 10 a.m. - it's an affordable, colourful family outing. It'll also be a learning experience for many unfamiliar with the sport.

Ice cream and food provided by Gimli Kiwanis will be available on-site. As well, there will be hobby vendors with the latest in (air)crafts on display.

Bohemier says people are encouraged to chat with the pilots and view the variety of radio-controlled model airplanes that will be on display.

"The pilots are always happy to talk to people," he said.

"We've heard rumours that Superman will be showing up," Bohemier whispered. "We know Snoopy and the Red Baron will be there. We're just going to try to have a lot of fun."

The R/C Airshow Sunday gets under way at 1 p.m., running until 3:30 p.m. There'll be a professional describing the action for the uninitiated.

Richard Barlow, president of the Model Aeronautical Association of Canada, will attend the three-day event.



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