Lord of the Skies

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Model airplanes of various shapes and sizes took to the sky Saturday during the Control Line Model Aircraft Fun Fly held at Grace Lane Hobby Shop in Selma.

Close to 25 or 30 planes occupied the ground located directly in front of the official &8220;airstrip,&8221; and a turnout of some 20 to 25 people were gathered to witness the show or to take part in the process.

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The Fun Fly began at 10 a.m and lasted until 2 p.m. despite the 98 degree heat.

This Fun Fly was the first to be held at Grace Lane Owner Ken Scott’s field.

Many local and state model aircraft enthusiasts turned out for the days event, some driving as far as Montgomery and Birmingham.

Model airplanes provide something more than just fun; by introducing parents and kids to model flying you could also spark someone’s interest in aviation. Model airplanes are used in all kinds of things and by not getting people interested in this, we could be depriving our future airplane flyers.&8221;

Scott said that radio controlled flyers are often used in the military. Scott, who has had a lifelong interest in model planes, grew up in Chilton County and has been building and flying models since he was a boy.

He credits model flying as the reason he was never influenced by drugs and alcohol as a teenager.

Scott is also the preacher of Joy Baptist Church in Selma.

Many local members of Scott’s congregation were present at the Fun Fly and some even took part in the lessons. Jason McCloud of Selma flew a model for the first time Saturday, with Scott overseeing the process.

Scott said he believes God has certain principles that govern the universe, called the Law of Aerodynamics.

The radio-controlled model aircraft are piloted by the use of little wires that are attached to the plane, ending at the radio controller.

Flyers send the planes off from a smooth paved surface and then the controller must maintain a distance of six feet from the ground while flying. Model planes can get up to 50 or 60 miles on hour.

Most of the experienced flyers present were members of either Precision Aerobatics Model Pilots Association (PAMPA), the Fellowship of Christian Modelers (FCM) or the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)

PAMPA is a special interest group of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

According to the web site, PAMPA is an organization of 1,700 members in 35 countries, whose common interest is model airplanes, specifically the kind that fly tethered on control lines and perform stunts.

The purpose of PAMPA is to promote and improve control line precision aerobatics events. PAMPA’s monthly manual Stunt News offers a list of area model aircraft hobbyists, something that came in handy when Scott and other model enthusiast Mark Mott began deciding who to invite to the event.

Scott taught at least five first time flyers during the event and gave away two small model airplanes, called Hyper Viper’s, to two small boys who participated.

Scott’s hobby shop is &8220;one of the largest&8221; Mott said he has ever seen and giant model aircraft dangle from the ceiling tiles.

Scott sells the most up to date aircraft, as well as, any type of materials needed for the aircraft. He also has a workshop at the back of his store for fixing model aircraft.