PAOLA — Shielded from the sun beneath tents and awnings, float plane owners dotted the shoreline of Lake Miola on June 1 and 2 as they tweaked their remote-control airplanes until they were ready to fly.
Like pit crew members working on a NASCAR vehicle, the float plane operators were swift and efficient as they tested batteries, checked connections and made any necessary pre-flight modifications.
A threat of bad weather may have kept some people away from the 11th annual RC Float Fly on the northwest side of the lake, but Saturday, June 1, ended up being a perfect morning for flying.
The event is organized each year by the R/C Barnstormers Club that operates miniature aircraft at a field at Hillsdale Lake.
Barnstormers member Art Kittler was excited to take his Turbo Timber plane out on its first flight. The plane’s blue trim blended in with the sky as it took off from the water and zoomed upward.
John Caoile of the 49th Mid-America Jumbo Squadron out of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was flying a Tidewater plane with its high propeller, and Pat McGhee of the RC Barnstormers had one of the largest planes at the show with his monster Polaris that measured 8 feet long and 6 feet wide.
Marty and Janie Kocman traveled to the event all the way from Tennessee, where they are members of the Memphis Prop Busters. Marty was flying a Golden Oldie plane designed in the style of aircraft from the World War I era. There was even a pilot at the helm who Marty called “Captain Eddy.”
Barry Hymowitz of the Smithville DamBusters Radio Control Model Airplane Club performed some impressive aerial maneuvers with his bright yellow Seamaster plane, but he had to abort a couple of rough landing attempts before successfully navigating the plane smoothly back onto the surface of the lake.
“This is what happens when you only fly it a couple of times a year,” he joked.