By Travis Sloat
Gaines Smith said a lot of people hear the term “model airplane,” and assume it’s just a bunch of guys in a field playing with toys.
“These are not small planes,” Smith said. “In order to be in our event, they have to have at least an 80-inch wingspan. Some of them are even powered by miniature jet turbines.”
The Three Rivers Area Model Airplane Society’s (TRAMPS) 11th annual International Miniature Airplane Association Fly-In will take place today and Saturday at Hatbox Field.
Mike Wise, a participant in the event, said over the past 10 years, they’ve been very fortunate as far as weather was concerned, but this year it might play a factor.
“The advantage of a two-day event is that one day usually has better weather,” Wise said. “Both Friday and Saturday there is a chance of rain, and rain will be bad for us. These guys put a lot of time and money into their planes, some even $5 to $10,000.”
The planes at the event will be as numerous as the amount of money spent on them. There will be bi-planes, tri-planes, WWI and WWII bombers, and even a model Cessna with a 32-foot wingspan.
Attendees wishing to get a closer look at the planes will have to respect the safety lines in place, but Wise said there would be behind the scenes tours available.
“We’ll walk people through the planes on display and answer questions,” Wise said. “That will give folks an up close look at some of the detail and features of the planes.”
Admission and seating for the event is free, and there will be a concession stand available on both days.
Smith said the TRAMPS club is Muskogee-based, but consists of members from a much larger area.
“We’re a community based organization,” Smith said. “It’s guys having fun building these planes and flying them. If you’ve never been to a model airplane event, you’ll enjoy it.”
If you go
WHAT: Three Rivers Area Model Airplane Society’s 11th annual IMAA Fly-In.
WHEN: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. today and Saturday.
WHERE: Hatbox Field, Muskogee.
COST: Free admission and seating, concessions available.
INFO: Gaines Smith, (918) 478-8410 or Mark Wise, (918) 478-8297.