It was all highflying fun and games during the Ponoka R/C Flyers Club annual Fun Fly, which is held near the Moose Hall each year for pilots to show off their planes and skills to each other and the crowds that gather.
This year saw 15 pilots come out, as well as 30-35 spectators.
“Basically what we’re trying to do is a few things. The first thing is let people know we’re here,” said club member Dean Busat.
Another main reason for the club is to make the hobby safer for pilots and the general community. Busat says many of the members were independent pilots before they joined the club.
“One of the biggest reasons we’re trying to get people to fly here is because we’re part of a bigger organization with rules and insurance,” said Busat. “That just gives us all guidelines and rules to follow . . . from flying field to flying field.”
In the last year, membership for Ponoka’s club has doubled.
Children as young as six and seven fly as well as the community’s seniors. Busat says the hobby is a great catalyst for cross-generational interaction. “Everybody is getting along and interested in the same thing and working together for a common goal. It just brings together a great group of people.”
For pilots, the draw to the hobby is their shared love of aviation. “Actually being able to build something and then fly it is a thrill,” said Busat.
Busat says another perk of the flying R/C planes and helicopters is that it does not have to be expensive. With only a few hundred dollars someone can walk into a hobby shop and get everything needed for a flying experience.
He adds that new flyers or those thinking about taking up the hobby are welcome to join the club or come out and watch. “Another point of the Fun Fly is just get the Town of Ponoka and the people of the community out for a fun day.”