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RC Planes perform stunts at fly-in

Radio Controlled plane ran by owner Norman Green from Lake City. The plane danced sideways through the air and performed many other stunts.

By Tami Stevenson

Radio controlled airplanes – Ultimate entertainment for the whole family. RC airplanes are a popular hobby that drew many to watch the demonstrations and stunts by Norman Green of Lake City and Kenneth Bell of Trenton, at the Annual Cross City Fly-In, Cruise-In & Business Expo at Cross City Airport last Saturday.

Green admittedly has had this obsession for 20 years, is a card carrying member of the Lake City RC Flying Club and is an instructor. It is easy to see why the entire family can enjoy flying the planes and be involved. Green said he spent more money building his daughter’s airplane than his own. He said he prefers to buy the ARF (Almost Ready To Fly) models.

“You have to do the final assembly, put the engine in it, radio gear and set up and glue a few parts on, but it comes pretty much built and ready to go.” There are different stages one can purchase, he explained, one is called ARC (Almost Ready to Cover). Another is in kit form where everything has to be put together. Although he has a couple thousand dollars invested in each of his RC airplanes, Green said anyone can get into the hobby for as little as $200.

Norman Green starts his airplanes the old fashioned way by spinning the sharp carbon fiber propeller. This can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Radio Controller Norman Green uses for his planes.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Kenneth Bell, owner of Bell’s Tree Service in Trenton, said he got hooked about five years ago. Although he says it is just a hobby, he and wife, Lisa, now have around 200 RC airplanes. He said he loves to collect them but has never sold one.

“I have barns and semi trailers full, it’s a sickness,” Bell laughed. “I’ve never sold one, just can’t seem to sell them.”

Bell’s two sons are also involved and although his two grandchildren are still very young, they attend the events when they can and eventually Bell hopes to instill in them the love for the hobby and aviation. Bell said he would eventually like to have something set up, perhaps a non-profit organization, to get more kids/youth interested in aviation.

Both wearing sunglasses. Kenneth Bell with Grandson Mason Bell.

-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Steven Bell holds the airplane while Kenneth Bell gets the radio controller ready.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Every year they hold Bell Blast, an event at Bell’s private field where RC plane enthusiasts from all over the country converge the weekend closest to the fourth of July. “We cook barbecue all day and fly airplanes and have fireworks at night,” he said.

There are RC Airplane clubs all over the country. They all are connected and travel to flying fields throughout other states, swap and trade with each other and share ideas.

“We just hang out on the weekends and have a good time.” Bell added.

The hobby has become so popular, Green said, the AMA, a group that insures them, has over one million members in that organization alone throughout the U.S.

See Cross City Fly-In Story and Photos, click here