Jeff Howard has always loved remote-controlled toys. But at 49, the civil service worker and former Navy submariner has found only one that’s still exciting.
Mr. Howard was among some 40 enthusiasts flying scaled-down airplanes at the Shadetree Miniature Aircraft Association’s air show north of Glen St. Mary last weekend.
“I’ve had every high-dollar remote motor-controlled thing that has ever existed ... ,” Mr. Howard explained the morning of September 28. “But this is the only thing — because if it goes up, it has to come down — that’s kept my interest and didn’t get boring.”
The association hosted the three-day event at the privately-owned 35-acre field, drawing pilots from as far away as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, some arriving with RVs and campers.
Billed as the International Miniature Aircraft Association’s District V Fly-in and Bud McMillan Memorial, the show featured motorized and remote-controlled replicas of real aircraft, some decked-out with strip lighting for night flying the evening of September 28.
One of Mr. Howard’s planes, a Citabria, which he pointed out was “airbatic” spelled backwards, has a 103-inch wing span and 35 cubic centimeter engine. It was adorned with multi-colored lights along the body, wings and tail, plus a trio of small flashlights mounted to the under-carriage that serve as landing lights.
The plane was also equipped with a small hatch on the underbelly that releases illuminated figurines hanging from parachutes.
“At night, they look like stars falling down,” said Mr. Howard of St. Mary’s, GA.
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