I wouldn’t exactly call myself a “beginner” when it comes to model airplanes. I began building flying models in 1958 at the age of 10. These were the old Comet and Guillow’s stick and tissue models designed for rubber power.

At the age of 13 my father gave me a Wen-Mac .049 F-7U Cutlass Control Line model for Christmas. This thing had a pusher prop setup and was equipped with a pull starter engine. My father and his friend managed to break it tying to demonstrate how to fly it.

A few months later, for my birthday, I received to buy a Wen-Mac .049 Aeromite. I learn to fly it after several crashes and reassemblies. It wouldn’t stunt, but that was Ok with me; it still flew. I used that engine to convert several stick and tissue models to Control Line.

While in the Navy, I went to Control Line models. The greatest experience I had was when I was stationed with the Marines at Kaneohe in Hawaii. The model airplane club, the Green Barons, had a flying field directly across the street from the barracks. Every Sunday we were out there flying.

When I retired from the Navy, in 1990, I tried my hand at R/C. The nearest club’s flying field about 22 miles away, but was a very nice facility. My first trainer, a Duraplane, flew like a brick! I actually added about 6” to each wing for more lift. With the help of a very skilled instructor I managed to learn to fly it. Even got it to loop.

I went on and built a Freedom 20 and did pretty well with it. My favorite was an Easy Stick that I had a Wankel .30 mounted to. That one flew like a dream.

In ’94 I had to give up flying because of my job. I was working nights with Tuesday/Wednesday off. I found that there wasn’t anyone out flying on those days. I thought about flying by myself, but that idea didn’t appeal to me and then one of the club members, out flying by himself, had an accident and was badly injured. I decided to suspend my flying until such time as I was in a better situation and sold off all my airplanes and equipment. That lasted until this year.

So I’ve been out of R/C flying for 22 years now and have retired from my second career. About 4 months ago I saw a couple of guys flying models in a park not far from my daughter’s house. I stopped by and was amazed with the trainer one of they guys had. It was an Apprentice 15s and that sparked a desire to get back into flying. My wife was very gracious and told me to go get an airplane.

I bought an Apprentice and found a club close to our home. Being summer, there were not too many flyers, but one of the other members stood by while I made an attempt to fly again. I found the Apprentice to be the right plane to get me back in the air. After a couple of months I’ve got the Apprentice in the agile mode and am learning to do some aerobatics.

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