Radio Control Modelers can’t get enough

By Pat van den Beemt, –

Like any good pilot, Jack Stites prepared his plane for takeoff by inspecting the wings and body and by moving the wing flaps to make sure there were no obstructions.

Satisfied with its air-worthiness, he piloted the red-and-white plane as it took off and soared over lush green hillsides.

But Stites, 75, didn’t take to the air with his plane. In fact, the cockpit was empty. Stites stood on a grassy field in Parkton and used a hand-held radio to control the 14-pound plane.

“Ahh. Look at that. Look at that. It’s windy today, but not too windy,” he said as his plane made wide arcs through the Parkton sky while he moved two joysticks to control its path.

He said it becomes difficult to control a plane if the wind is more than 15 mph.

The gas-powered plane landed safely several minutes later on a paved runway. It turned and bumped along the grass until it stopped a few away from Stites, the president of the Radio Control Modelers of Baltimore. The club meets at Kirk Field at the Parkton landfill, named for John Kirk, of Towson, a World War II fighter pilot and former club president who died in 2004.

“I never get tired of flying,” said Stites, a retired Loch Raven High School band director, who lives in Baldwin. “I’m out here flying as often as I can. I even have a plane on skis so I can fly in the snow.”

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For more information on the Radio Control Modelers of Baltimore, Inc., AMA chartered club 335, please visit their Web site at WWW.RCMB.ORG.

One comment

  1. “Radio Control Modelers can’t get enough” certainly sounds good. I wish it were so for me. Starting around 1950, I was a CL, and FF flier, then competitor and starting about 1971 an ardent RCer. I loved just boring holes in the sky and loved Fun-Fly competition and Pylon Racing. In 1985 after serving as an AMA RC COntest Coordinator, Secretary to the Chicargo Association of RC, Club secretary for 2 years, president for one year, and elected twice to AMA District VI Vice President, I found myself “BURNED OUT”,
    I was living then in both Chicagoland and near Houston TX. I moved back to TX full time and went bass fishing for 3 -4 years. I flew some but nothing big time. Then I got into Scale War Bird Racing. That was my love. Then the racers kind of took the scale out of it and it became just another Pylon event. I dropped to just sport flying.
    In March, 1996, purchased 100 acres of prime flat TX farmland for my club to have a place to fly. Over some 10-12 years the club bought from me 50 of those acres. I still flew a lot however in this past several years, I find myself less and less eager to fight the club politics, which for reasons unknown seem far too much. Right now I am burned out again. Almost 77 years old, I WANT to but I don’t do it.
    So IMO there comes a time when any individual can get enough of most anything. Well here it is almost October and the Reds and the Specks will be biteing in Galveston Bay. Time to get the boat all cleaned up.
    You can keep ’em flying.

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