PAOLA — Clutching a remote control and standing on the shores of Lake Miola, Art Kittler kept a close eye on his Turbo Timber float plane as it soared across the sky above the water.

With a quick adjustment to the controls, the plane flipped upside down and continued to cruise through the air. After performing a loop and a few other aerial acrobatics, the plane glided to a safe landing on the water.

It was just one of several impressive flights during the Darrell Watts Memorial Midwest Regional Float Fly on Saturday, June 4, at Lake Miola.

Kittler of Gardner is a member of the R/C Barnstormers Club that operates miniature aircraft at a field at Hillsdale Lake. The club, under the guidance of Pat McGhee, organizes the event each year. McGhee used to fly float planes with Darrell Watts, but Watts passed away in 2014, and the event is now named in his honor.

McGhee had one of the biggest remote-controlled planes at the event. His Polaris Sea Plane measures 8 feet long and 6 feet wide.

Charlie Swain of Shawnee flew an impressive Bravata, and Dan Richardson of the Smithville Dam Busters flew a Beaver V2.

Many of the planes were modeled after their real-life counterparts. Steve Spielbusch of Louisburg flew a replica of a real Canadair firefighting plane.

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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