GREAT FALLS — One small engine for man, one giant “take off” for mankind. A Great Falls-based club called Big Sky RC Modelers is home to RC enthusiasts from Cascade County, and on Saturday it hosted a field day for hobbyists across North Central Montana.
“We have members that are 8 years old up to 80 years old that fly planes and race cars,” said Dan Woods, acting president and 10-year club member.
The club works in conjunction with Hobby Time RC in Great Falls and celebrating 40 years at its Black Horse RC Raceway.
The club has fuel-powered RC cars and a multitude of low-flying aircraft.
Many of the club members have been toying with RC cars and aircraft for decades, including John Sandy who found his passion in the late 1960s.
“There was a guy at a park we went to in Phoenix. This guy had a World War II German Aircraft on line control, on strings and I just thought that was the coolest thing.”
A good day for these enthusiasts is if they leave the track without a dent or track on their models.
During the summer months, pilots and drivers meet to race two tracks, a standard oval shape and the other winding with turns and jumps. It turns into a social gathering open to the public with a snack shack offering donations to fund the property and build camaraderie between beginners and seasoned veterans.
“Flying is one thing… flying straight and a level is a whole different game,” explained Sandy. “Anybody new coming into the field, we recommend you try it and see if you like it before you spend a nickel.”
The club is working on building membership which for road racers dues are $100 which includes AMA insurance. Flyer’s dues are $85 and are required to pay an additional $85 in AMA dues. Road races will receive a discount on race entry fees and non-members will pay the full advertised price.
Members gain full access to the flying field and off-road track and access for members is open 24/7. Additionally, payment covers an entire family, if your child wants to participate it will require a $15 AMA membership. New youth membership is sitting at $40 per year and youth under 19 years of age wishing to pilot aircraft are responsible for $15 AMA registration.
For more information, click here to visit the club website.
Hobby Time RC is at 901 Eighth Avenue North; click here to visit the website.
On Saturday, July 15, 2023, Big Sky RC Modelers is hosting its Outdoor RC Summer Heat Dirt Racing event at its track: