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Discovering The Fun Of RC Flying

Thirteen-year-old Ki‘ilani Vidinha is the only sponsored factory team pilot in Hawaii CODY VIDINHA PHOTO

Thirteen-year-old Ki‘ilani Vidinha is the only sponsored factory team pilot in Hawaii CODY VIDINHA PHOTO

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Time for another Valentine’s Day, but how can you celebrate in a fresh way?

Flowers, chocolate and a date night with your sweetheart is a tried-and-true tradition for adults. For keiki, adorable handmade cut-out hearts to share with classmates are a sweet treat.

You can’t go wrong with either of those options, and I would not recommend foregoing flowers and romance for a free air show, but if you’re looking for something out of the box to do this weekend, here’s something new to do as a family.

My children have always loved airplanes. Doesn’t matter the size or type, so I wanted to pass on details about a new event for plane enthusiasts.

The Aloha State RC Club is introducing the first (and hopefully annual) Paradise Fun Fly and RC Airshow.

“RC” stands for radio control.

You may have seen pilots flying their RC planes and helicopters before at Kawainui Marsh RC Airfield in Kailua. From this Friday to Sunday (Feb. 13-15), pilots and spectators are invited for some good old-fashioned family fun.

Organizers say it’s been a dream for a while, so they’re excited to finally get this event off the ground. According to the flier (pun not intended) shared at places like Hobbietat in Kaimuki (where I found it), all skill levels are welcome. It’s a free event for spectators, but all pilots must have current membership in the Academy of Model Aeronautics. There will be pro pilot demonstrations, half-time demos, a heli-autorotation contest, combat, night fly and even a limbo contest.

For families who have attended the “Biggest Little Airshow” at Ford Island, I’m told this will be a smaller version that will allow guests to fly for the first time with an experienced pilot on buddy box. The “buddy system” uses two radios connected together, one for the instructor, the other for the student pilot. A switch on the master radio allows the instructor to pass control of the aircraft to the student’s radio, and regain command if the student runs into trouble.

Word has spread in the RC community, so some enthusiasts are actually flying in for this event from the Mainland. It doesn’t hurt that they want to spend Valentine’s Day in paradise. That will certainly win brownie points with their sweethearts.

For more information about Paradise Fun Fly and RC Airshow, email 808rcevents@gmail.com.

Happy flying, and Happy Valentine’s Day!