model airplane club
to hold annual fly-in at JPG
(September 2006) Theres a group of friendly
guys (and a few women) hanging out at Jefferson Proving Ground. Theyve
been around for decades, but you probably havent heard of them.
Theyd like to change that. The Madison Broken Wings Model Airplane
Club will welcome you with open arms.
by Michele Turner
member Bill Widmayer
built this plane from scratch.
In fact, they invite the public to join them for the largest
event they stage all year the ninth annual Amy Critchlow Memorial
Fly-In on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Jefferson Proving Ground. The fly-in
begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until dusk. This event is free to spectators
who are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
There will be a concession stand with a variety of food for sale. The
public is invited to try their hand at flying a remote-controlled airplane.
In addition to promoting the sport, this event raises money for the
club to keep up on maintenance of the field.
The fly-in is named in memory of Amy Critchlow, the teenaged daughter
of club members Ken and Joy Critchlow who died of leukemia.
The Madison Club has been in existence since the early 1970s. They currently
have 19 active members. Their flying site is at JPG on land owned by
He doesnt charge us anything, just lets us use it out of
the goodness of his heart, said club member Charlie Hatchel. This
allows them to keep their membership dues low at $25 for an individual
or $30 for a family.
The field is always open, but the club has two scheduled times each
week when they gather to fly their planes together 1 p.m. Sundays
and 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays.
Wednesdays are training night when the experienced flyers show newcomers
how to fly the planes. The training process involves hooking two radios
together so the trainer can take control with the flip of a switch if
the trainee is having trouble. That saves a lot of wings and motors,
said club president Charles McCormick.
McCormick also says this hobby is addictive.
With 47 model airplanes, he should know. Planes come in a variety of
shapes and sizes. Trainer planes top out at about 60 mph, while smaller
planes can go up to 130-140 mph. They run on a premixed fuel.
The planes can be purchased over the Internet, new or used. Thousands
can be found on eBay. They are also sold at hobby shops, including McCormicks
C&S Hobbies on Hwy. 421 not far from the Jefferson Proving Ground
You can buy a basic used plane ready to fly with radio and motor for
$300 to $400. There are also kits you may purchase and assemble. The
really industrious hobbyist can build one from scratch.
Bill Widmayer of Carrollton, Ky., has done just that. Widmayer has been
flying model planes for decades and has many stories to tell such
as the time he sliced his finger completely open while working on his
plane and just glued it back together himself.
Thats all a doctor would have done, quipped Widmayer.
The club encourages people to come out and try this sport. This
is a very sociable club and a good family thing, said McCormick.
It has become popular all around the country, these club members say.
Regionally, there are clubs in Scottsburg, Otisco, North Vernon and
Greensburg. Louisville has two big clubs with 300-400 members.
Most participants are members of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
AMA is the worlds largest sport aviation organization, representing
more than 170,000 members. One of its most important services is to
provide a number of different types of insurance to its members.
For more information on this event and the Madison
Broken Wings Model Airplane Club, call Charles McCormick at (812) 273-5891.
Back to September 2006