ANDERSON – Face turned skyward, Ken Wilson’s eyes intently trace the path of airplane. From a distance, the plane looks tiny. As the plane approaches with the faint buzz of its engine, it’s still tiny.
Wilson’s hand clutches a control box, and his thumbs make deft movements to bring the radio-controlled model airplane plane in for a gentle landing on the grass strip.
That grass strip marks what was once Ace Airpark. Now, it’s home to the Anderson Aero Modelers, a group bonded by their love of flight, tinkering, building and hanging out together. What seems to draw each one of them into the group is their interest in flying radio-controlled airplanes, but what ends up keeping them in the club is the easy camaraderie.
“This is a good flying field. The guys here are very helpful, very friendly,” said Wilson, from the Fishers area. “I’ve been helped a lot by the other members.”
Wilson started flying RC in 1995.
“I build ’em and fly ’em.”
Wilson, like pretty much everyone else in the club, flies a variety of models both nitromethane fueled or driven by electric engines. “Scale models, trainers, aerobatic, 3D extreme aerobatic.”
Wilson is among the 51 members who regularly fly or hang out at the club’s spot. The Anderson Aero Modelers is a charter club of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the national RC aviation organization headquartered in Muncie.
The club flies “helicopters, airplanes, anything that flies,” according to AAM president Don Sanqunetti. The models can be built from scratch, which is likely to involve balsa wood, or often they are assembled from Almost Ready to Fly kits that might be made of foam, balsa or plastic. With an ARF, the builder must install servos and electronics, and mount the engine. RC pilots use a radio transmitter that "talks" to the components in the airplane.