, Holly Springs

, North Carolina

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-13 22:41:50
“ The link above is a PDF of my story that you can print. The text of my story is below. === RC Flying – A Lifetime of Enjoyment I have been a flyer of traditional model aircraft and a model aircraft hobbyist for over forty years. It was the summer of 1978, when I was 13, that I noticed a neighbor with a J-3 Cub (scale model) in his driveway. He was checking out the radio system installation and checking readiness for first flight that weekend. I was completely fascinated that by the fact that a person could remotely control this beautiful model and actually fly it like a real airplane. That neighbor became my mentor in a hobby that I have enjoyed ever since. I soloed with my first model in the summer of 1980. Back in that day, there wasn’t any GPS or flight controls, it was a skill that had to be learned and practiced to be successful. Success was taking off and landing without crashing a plane that you spent months constructing. This STEM hobby influenced my decision to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following college, I served as a commissioned officer in the US Navy as a nuclear propulsion officer on an aircraft carrier. Never straying far from my passion for aviation. During my years in college and the Navy, I maintained membership in several local model airplane clubs. I was always a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) because I believed in their mission and safety culture surrounding the hobby. Model aviation came with responsibility to safely fly so as to not interfere with manned aviation. Then as now, it is the safety culture of the AMA members that has been integral to traditional model aviation’s 80+ year track record of safe model flying. Traditional model aviation, managed within the programing of a CBO, can and should continue to operate with as few regulatory burdens as they have done throughout these many decades. I separated from the Navy in 1992 and relocated to North Carolina where I joined a local model airplane club, which flew on private land, well away from urban areas. I held various positions within the club and was active in promoting safe and responsible flying in my duties as a club instructor pilot and newsletter editor. I took a hiatus from the hobby to focus on raising my three daughters and in 2013 I decided to get back into an activity/hobby that brings me joy and relaxation. While socializing and flying with others at a park in my local community. Two of us decided to charter a club with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), organize around the AMA safety culture, and promote model aviation to our community as a worthwhile pastime. In the fall of 2015, the Holly Springs Skyhawks Radio Control Group was born ( We had five (5) members. Soon after, the local parks and recreation department approached us and asked if we would be willing to partner with them and offer radio controlled flying opportunities to the community. We incorporated as a non-profit entity and signed a written agreement with the Town of Holly Springs, NC. The partnership is flawless. The town has dedicated a section of a town park as an official traditional radio control aircraft flying site. Our club is the field steward, educating newcomers to our hobby about our safety culture and instructing them in proper etiquette in the air. Our club has grown to be a platform where we host community flying events, charity fundraisers, and have achieved national recognition for our efforts! Feel free to share this story to any and all who will listen at the FAA. Please reach out to me if you need any clarification or additional detail. I’m passionate about what we do in Holly Springs and proud of our club! Best regards, Douglas LeRoy President Holly Springs Skyhawks Radio Control Group Hear our story on the Parkflyer Podcast:”