“It was a way to spend time with him, once I moved home,” said Lann, a member of the Northumberland RC Modelers. The local group of model airplane enthusiasts held its annual Fun Day on Saturday in Priestville, attracting about 25 participants.
His father Peter died about five years ago, but not before Ben Lann had re-discovered his passion for model airplane flying, which he used to do with his dad when he was growing up.
Club president Paul Sinnis said the Fun Day is one of “at least a dozen events” offered to RC modelers to attend once the warmer weather hits.
Sinnis said the aircraft he brought with him to Priestville on Saturday has an eight-foot wingspan, runs on a 61 cc gas engine with enough fuel to fly for about 15 minutes, and weighs close to six kilograms.
“This plane will go as high as I want it to go,” said Sinnis, who has been involved in the hobby for 10 years.
“But normally, we’d fly in the 300 to 500-foot range.”
Sinnis said the hobby has become easier “to get into” than it used to be. “You can buy these planes now almost assembled.”
He said if a plane ends up crashing, usually the owner can recover most of the parts – but not always.
“You can have a total loss if you have a bad crash, which can be a $2,000 loss.”
Lann said he wanted to give credit to the Municipality of Pictou County, which gave the Northumberland RC Modelers $6,000 to help restore the RC’s space in Priestville. Along with close to $4,000 contributed by the RC club – as well as sweat equity on the part of club members – they were able to put in new fencing, have a gravel parking lot built and a new shelter installed.