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RC model aircraft field is a local best-kept secret (VIDEO)

R/C model planes at Schnobrich Field on South Red River Road (July 3, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

Schnobrich Field at 3004 South Red River Road is home to the Bell Air RC Flyers Club of radio-controlled (RC) model airplane enthusiasts. Club members can be seen flying their planes most any rain-free days at the field.

According to club members who were on-site today, it is important to realize RC aircraft by their definition does not include the quad-propeller drones that have become popular in recent years.

The model planes range from a couple to many feet in length and their engines run on gas, electricity or even nitromethane.

Many members have built their mostly single-propeller aircraft from scratch. “They see a picture of an aircraft that appeals to them, sometimes at a historical level, and start making the parts,” said one member. These planes can end up requiring hundreds of hours and several thousand dollars to complete.

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Others make use of kits that can be purchased and assembled starting at around $200.

The field was purchased in 1995 by Hoby (sic) Acres Association and is leased to the club of nearly 80 members.

Safety at the field is governed by standards set forth by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). For instance, barriers are in place to protect the pilots and the onlookers and there are strict protocols for take offs, landings and flights. To be allowed to fly at the field, pilots must belong to either the AMA (USA residents) or the Model Aeronautics Association Of Canada (Canada residents).

Training is available for new members and those who want to see if this is a hobby they want to pursue.

The club hosts several flying events, picnics and swap meets during the summer months. There is also pylon racing beginning at 5pm every 1st and 3rd Thursdays.

Coming up is the club’s 11th Annual “Warbirds Over Whatcom” event Saturday, July 22nd (9am to 5pm) and Sunday, July 23rd (9am to 3pm). This is a two-day AMA sanctioned event. Concessions will be sold (e.g. hot dogs) and the public is welcome.

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Directions to the field: From Slater Road take Haxton Way south for .75 mile. Turn right onto South Red River Road. The field will on the left after just under 1 mile.

VIDEO: A Bell Air RC Flyers club member starts his newly built biplane and takes it for a few loops around Schnobrich Field on South Red River Road (July 3, 2017). 

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