Cas­tle Gi­ant Scale Fly-In

21 years of RC ca­ma­raderie

Model Airplane News - - CONTENTS - By Rick Maida


Ev­ery year, a small por­tion of con­crete at the Cas­tle Air­port—for­merly the

Cas­tle Air Force Base (AFB)—in Merced, Cal­i­for­nia, is turned into a small city of RC fam­i­lies and friends and their largescale air­craft. It is a huge fam­ily af­fair and a re­union for all who at­tend, and it’s the sec­ond largest gi­ant-scale event in the United States. The air­port man­ager, Scott Malta, is also a mod­eler, and the event co­or­di­na­tors are in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the lo­cal air-traf­fic con­troller so that the air­port can re­main ac­tive dur­ing the RC event. The Cen­tral Cal­i­for­nia Model Fly­ers and the Tur­lock RC Club host the event, which of­fers

300 spots on-site for mo­tor homes.

As usual, ev­ery day has a meet­ing for the 185 reg­is­tered pi­lots, and this year we had some sur­prise guests: Academy of Model Aero­nau­tics (AMA) pres­i­dent Rich Han­son and AMA District X as­so­ciate vice pres­i­dent Greg Stone. Both talked at the pi­lots’ meet­ing and were well re­ceived by all. Ev­ery morn­ing, we raise the col­ors, with Randy Courts and mem­bers of the U.S. Armed Forces stand­ing at at­ten­tion. This year, my friend Bev­erly Spencer, the widow of Char­lie Spencer, who passed away last year, read a touch­ing poem re­gard­ing the vet­er­ans and Me­mo­rial Day ob­ser­vances. Our flight­line air boss and two line bosses keep the flight­line mov­ing. I am the event co­or­di­na­tor and, along with Clark Stiles, con­trol the stag­ing lines for who flies next. We fly large-scale air­craft from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Af­ter 5:00 p.m., we open the field to any­thing that flies, and af­ter the sun goes down, the night fliers come out—lots of fun! I’m al­ways amazed by the qual­ity of air­craft that show up at this event. New this year was the P-47 Broth­er­hood, fly­ing all 1/5-scale P-47s with GP 61cc gas en­gines. They flew two sor­ties with about six planes each time. I’d like to thank all the ven­dors that showed up. We had a lot of ter­rific food on-site, which the pi­lots and their fam­i­lies ap­pre­ci­ated. Ed­die, our fa­mous shirt ven­dor, was al­ways busy, and Dave Roth also had a lot of good­ies at the Roth R/C Aeros­ports & Ap­parel booth. Paul and Pat Sten­berg from Zap and House of Balsa sup­plied, upon en­try, all the glue for the pi­lots.

Ja­son Chen’s amaz­ing Mibo A-10 “Warthog” is pow­ered by twin KingTech K140 tur­bines and has a scale light­ing sys­tem. Paul and Pat Sten­berg of House of Balsa and Zap Prod­ucts have been mon­u­men­tal as a ven­dor and spon­sor of this event for many years.

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