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Excitement, beauty & skill on display

BEEKMANTOWN Beautiful weather, a good crowd of spectators and one or more planes always airborne meant a very successful air show for the Plattsburgh Radio Aeromodelers on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. Club President Gary Dumas said, It was a wonderful weekend especially since we were able to raise approximately $1,000 for Hospice of the North County. The club collected a small entrance charge and conducted raffles with prizes donated by many area businesses. For $5, anyone could control a plane for ten minutes under the tutelage of a club member operating dual controls.

The beautiful Rooney Road facility includes a long grass landing strip, a gazebo, some seating, ample parking and a safety fence separating spectators from the landing strip. Gary Dumas said the show involved 110 aircraft either flown or displayed. Planes included gas powered single wing models, bi-planes, the new electric powered aircraft, helicopters and jets that flew at over 200 miles per hour.

Town of Keene Highway Superintendent Bruce Reed put on a spectacular flying show with his Edge 540 bi-plane. When Leonard Smart of Plattsburgh flew his jet aircraft, the only utterance anyone heard was WOW! The crowd was awestruck when his 200+ MPH capable plane flew the length of the runway and streaked straight up, spinning into the clouds. Smart has been flying radio-controlled planes for twenty-three years and jets for the last fifteen years. Why jets? The excitement he said, Theres no thrill with these prop jobs. Theyre too slow!

How much does it cost to get into the sport? Gary Dumas said a plane can cost as little as $70, an engine $75 and radio controls about $150. First year expenses including equipment, club dues and insurance would total about $450 to $500. The hobby can get expensive. Helicopters can cost about $6,000 and jets can range from $8,000 to $12,000.

Dumas said anytime the clubs gate at 185 Rooney Road is open people are welcome to come in and watch. He said theres usually someone flying on weekends and after 5 PM weekdays. He emphasized that club members are always willing to help anybody out.

The Plattsburgh Radio Aeromodelers next show is on the weekend of July 14th and 15th. For more information contact Gary Dumas at 643-2784, Roy Perry at 643-8822 or Jack Hoskins at 643-2267. Internet Mapquest users seeking directions to the Rooney Rd. should use West Chazy as the town rather than Beekmantown.

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