(Chuck) There is a small fisherman pier and boat access about a mile down the road from our site at Mittry Lake. Each Tuesday morning a group of avid model airplane enthusiasts gather at the waters edge and project their skills by wireless remote control. They are members of the Yuma Aeromodelers. I have not seen model float planes before and it was another unusual sight that we seem to stumble upon once in a while. Most of the planes are powered with .61 cubic inch engines. They seem to run a methanol and 15% nitro blend for fuel. There are 85 active members of the organization. These boys fly everyday at a land based runway at another part of town. One member has a model jet which I want to see. On another day of the week they go to another pond in town and they sail model sailboats. No powerplants, only controls for the sail and rudder.
This is Don Lawrence with his Four Star 60. I don’t know much about it but it is a beautiful model. Don was a very good pilot. Apparently the pontoons require extra skill. The plane wants to hug the water when the surface is smooth. Sometimes they need to circle the plane through their own wake on the water to assist the plane to become airborne. All of this was new to us and we enjoyed the morning. I had to think of my friend Ron Odendahl who is in Iowa. He has flown models for many years and I wish he could have had a chance to bring his plane here. We could have duct taped pontoons on one of his planes.
We were watching the action this morning a plane rose off the water about six feet, then it seemed to cartwheel into the drink with a thud and a splash. We all shuddered at the sight. Jan asked one of the members who was standing next to us “What was the problem?” He answered with the wit of an old pilot, “The water.”