Butler Aircraft Modeling Society Marks Anniversary With Model Planes Show

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Forty giant scale model planes will fly over the Sylvania Conservation Area in West Sunbury on Saturday.

The all-day event marks the 40th anniversary of the Butler Aircraft Modeling Society.

BAMS Vice President Dave Chisholm inherited his passion for flight from his grandfather, a Naval Reserve pilot, whose career ended when he buzzed the family house.

“Somebody in the upper echelon of the Navy was there,” Chisholm says. “He saw it. He asked… ‘how high were you?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, but when looked up, I saw trees.’ And that was the end of his career with the Navy!”

That daredevil spirit shows up in the radio control pilots, as well. Ed Ritsko, of Tennessee, propels his jet with a miniature jet engine. It once clocked 289 miles an hour.

The largest entry? Mac Hodges and crew drove up from Georgia with a radio controlled B-29 bomber.

“It is 120 pounds,” Hodges says. “It’s got a 20-foot wingspan. It’s got four 100 cc engines. They’re twin-cylinder gasoline engines that put about 10 horsepower each.”

It will join the other planes in the air on Saturday near 371 Mack Road in West Sunbury, Pa.

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