Aeromodelers Club holds fun fly at Maalwyck Park

In Maalwyck Park in the Town of Scotia, tucked away off Route 5, is a field unlike any other in the Capital District.

The town mows the field as it does all the fields in the park that it owns. But that's just a rough cut. Much more exacting work is done by members of The Electric Powered Aeromodelers Club.

We leveled it, rolled it and raked it, club president John Hackert said. "It's like a golf course."

That makes for ideal conditions for electric-powered planes and helicopters.

On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6 and 7, the field will be the site of the club's annual fun fly. In fact, the event is so big that it will spill over to some other areas of the park.

"It's been growing. It's a really nice event," Hackert said.

Let's back up, though. Before there was ever a fun fly, there were just a bunch of people who liked to fly model airplanes that were powered by electricity rather than gas. There's a few reasons electric-powered planes are appealing: They're clean. They're quiet. They're more challenging than gasoline-powered planes.

There wasn't a club that catered to these hobbyists until about 10 years ago, when The Electric Powered Aeromodelers Club was born. Based in Scotia, it counts people from all over the Capital District among its 70 or so members. The club meets monthly, usually at the Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville. In warmer weather, meetings are sometimes held at Maalwyck Park at the club's field.

Members are often at the field even when there's not a meeting. Head over there on a sunny day and you're bound to find someone flying, Hackert said. People don't have to belong to the club to enjoy flying at the field, but they do have to follow a few rules. They should follow the flying guidelines of the Academy of Model Aeronautics. They should fly from designated locations or pilot stations. They should let other people know when they're taking off and landing. They should announce maiden flights so that everyone knows. They should keep a safe distance from other planes.

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