ARCADIA — Before the bans regarding coronavirus, this writer was privileged to visit the Charlotte Sport Modelers Society, or CSMS, the radio-controlled model airplane club of Charlotte County with a flying field in Arcadia.

For the members at this club, model aviation is not a hobby, it a passion. One member from New York state who comes to the Port Charlotte area each year to visit his mother, for instance, reports that he owns over 30 model planes. His annual drive to Florida always includes traveling with a minimum of 3-4 planes and some replacement parts. He enjoys this club and the expertise from its members, some former private or commercial pilots, while others are military veterans ... and others just liking the thrill of flight.

Whether a ready-to-fly, or RTF, model or made from a plan or kit, taking material from pieces to a completed product and then seeing that product take flight is a “real rush,” according to members.

The model may be a warplane from the first or second world wars, a sports model, a scale civilian, biplane, jet or multi-engine. The fuel may be a rubber band, electric, gas or glow. The material may include balsa wood, foam, fiberglass, fabric and paper.

Watching something you created take flight, doing loops, rolls and even stalls, is a great way to spend an early morning with CSMS friends in Arcadia.

“My wife is an artist and is painting with a local plien-air group today, or else she would be here with her planes. She loves it here,“ said flight instructor Eddie Mattingly, who provides instruction to newcomers. “We are here to help you get started and have fun.”

The club is at 9005 Kings Highway, Arcadia, across from the water treatment plant. For more information on how to join this club or more information about radio-controlled model airplanes, go to www.csms-rc.org.

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