MCLEAN (WEEK) — From planes to helicopters to jets, one local Central Illinois flying club got their wheels up for national model aviation day, a day to gather with others that enjoy flying aircraft and appreciate the hobby.
The Sentral (not Central) Illinois Radio Society, mainly known as SIRS, is a group of local pilots and flying enthusiasts.
Saturday, they took to the field to fly different types of radio controlled aircraft.
Around 20 people brought out their models and took them for a spin in the sunny skies.
SIRS member Jerry Worden said the planes are electric planes that run off of a small battery, and are modeled after real life airplanes.
“They’ll put a camera in the cockpit and you can wear goggles and you can actually see what a pilot would see inside that airplane,” Worden said. “It’s just fulfilling the dream of flight on a smaller scale.”
As a pilot himself, Worden said once you learn to fly a plane, you can also build a plane. He said he’s flown nearly a mile in the air and said the feeling is indescribable.
“It’s a stress release,” Worden said. “It’s just a beauty. You look down and see on a day like today you’d see all the rural landscape or in a stearman, you’d hear the radio engine. It’s just a whole different world up there. It’s peaceful. It’s enjoyable.”
18-year-old Jake Van Scoyoc, a senior at Normal West High School, is the club’s youngest member. He said he watched his older brother fly a trainer plane and was hooked instantly. While it’s a hobby for him now, he hopes to go to school for professional drone flying.
“Getting in the air, just the feeling of it is amazing,” Van Scoyoc said. “It’s just pure joy once you see your plane go up and then land successfully. It’s just amazing.”
The club offers free lessons for anyone looking to get involved. Individuals interested in learning how to take flight can reach out to SIRS on their Facebook page.