Metuchen model-flying club delights in flight


Michael Gokhman and Emery Mersich try

to will their remote-controlled plane away

from a collision with the wall.


The Metuchen Indoor Model Flying Club spread its proverbial wings during an end-of-season flying event at Edgar Middle School.

The recent event was a chance for this year’s 21 students to demonstrate to their families and friends what they had learned during the weekly sessions held since the fall.

Students presented the precision maneuvers they had practiced in preparation for competitions. They started with taxiing and learning to operate small, remote-controlled (RC) airplanes. The students progressed to takeoffs, landing and aborting takeoffs before moving on to low-altitude flights and aerobatics.

After the demonstration, the students received certificates for their achievements.

Instructors provided additional flying demonstrations, followed by a presentation by international competitor Dave Lockhart, who regularly represents the United States at indoor and outdoor RC aerobatic championships throughout the world.

Lockhart dazzled the crowd with multiple sets of advanced maneuvers. Between sets, he spoke to students about proper techniques and how to progress to higher levels.

Finally, the audience’s attention was directed to the Air Races, with students and instructors participating in model-airplane races, maneuvering around a circuit marked with balloons and a limbo obstacle.

The Tri-County RC Club of New Jersey sponsors the flying program in Metuchen. The instructional club has outdoor fields in Edison, North Brunswick and East Brunswick.

The tri-county club has taught indoor flying in Metuchen since last January. The program consists of learning to build a precision RC model airplane from scratch and developing the skills needed to fly it.

The club is a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), a nonprofit that promotes the development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation activity.

In April, the AMA awarded the tricounty club a $1,000 Take-Off And Grow Grant for its student model-aviation program. The money will be used for next season’s indoor program and to host public events throughout the year.

Metuchen students age 10 and up are eligible to join the indoor program, as are tricounty club members of the same age.

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