Hangin’ in the sky with Cloud Climbers

| July 20, 2017

010COSHOCTON COUNTY – On any given Tuesday morning, about a mile off of Township Road 253 on a dusty gravel road, you can find a group of down-to-earth, good-natured guys doing what they love to do best – fly model airplanes. A friendly “Hello” and a handshake welcome you to this beautifully-landscaped hilltop where you can hear nothing except the quiet engines of the airplanes and a few laughs.

Back in 1971, a group of guys with a love of remote control model airplanes got together and decided to form a club centered on their favorite hobby: building and flying model airplanes. Thus, the Coshocton County Cloud Climbers was born and became a chartered club in 1972. Today, the club boasts 21 members ranging in age from young boys to 83 years old.

Although a lot of things have changed over the years, one thing has remained the same, the guys’ love of flying.

“One thing that’s changed is a lot of these little hobby shops where we used to buy model airplane kits have closed down, and that’s due to the Internet,” said Larry Muskimens, vice president of the club. “That’s really sad, but the good thing about the Internet is you can read reviews and kind of decide what to buy and what not to buy.”

Another change for the club is how technology has influenced the model airplane industry. To begin with, there are other remote control objects to fly, the most notable one being the drone. This is a favorite of the younger generations in the club. However, that’s not all that can be seen flying in the sky near Township Road 253. Helicopters, trainer planes made from Styrofoam and cardboard, combat planes with streamers, model jet planes, and others can be seeing high in the sky.

“It’s not only a learning experience, but half the fun is building it,” said Muskimens. “Then when you take it out and fly it, you realize what you’ve built.”

Technology has changed not only what is flown, but how it flies. Planes used to fly only by gas or diesel. Now, most are battery operated. The receivers have also evolved substantially. When the club first started, only one airplane could be flown by each receiver. Now, multiple airplanes can be flown using one receiver with a different signal or channel for each airplane.

Depending on what each RC enthusiast wants, receivers can come with up to 10 channels, although members of the club recommend beginners purchase a receiver with six channels. The more expensive receivers will give you stats of the airplane such as how high you’re flying, the speed of the plane, battery life, and much more.

Another change in technology are the first person goggles, the ability for someone on the ground to be able to see what the airplane or drone is seeing as it flies. It virtually puts you in the driver’s seat and you feel as if you’re flying right along with your plane.

As with everything else that flies, Coshocton County Cloud Climbers is controlled by the FAA and must abide by their rules. If commercial airlines are grounded, the club is prohibited from flying. They are also registered with the Academy of Modeling Aeronautics.

Under the AMA, the field where the club flies has to be set up a certain way with no electric poles or heavy traffic nearby. The current field located on Township Road 253 was donated by a member of the club. The previous field was used until 1999 when a new owner purchased the land and the club’s lease was not renewed.

One thing the club used to do is put on an air circus at Richard Downing Airport back in the 1980s. In 2015, they brought the air circus back and will have their third annual Fly for Fun event on Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Tri-County Airport in West Lafayette beginning at 9 a.m. Concessions and restrooms will be available. The public is invited to attend and see these airplanes and other RCs in action. This would be a great opportunity, especially if you are thinking of joining the club.

To join, members have a $30 annual fee, $15 for youth under 18, and you must have your own trainer airplane and a receiver. A six channel receiver is recommended. A ready-to-fly airplane or one constructed from a kit is not recommended for your first flight.

“Learning to fly one of these is another story,” said Dave Custer, historian of the club. “Depending on you as an individual and what your patience level is will determine if you can fly on your own or not. We recommend that any new flier come to us and we will show you what to do.”

The club meets the first Tuesday of every month May through October and other months at Jerry’s Family Restaurant in Coshocton. The club covers all aspects of RC including boats, cars, and drones. For more information, visit their Facebook page or contact Terry Tahyi, president, at 740-829-2642.

Members of the club include Bob DeWitt, Barry Wilson, Dave Neal, Dave Custer, Larry Muskimens, Dylin Pierce, Glen Jolibette II, Tim Shuck, Benny Shuck, Bob Lecraft, Roger Cain, Jim and Cory Moner, Jim Johnson, Jeff Thomas, Denny Varian, Ron Geese, Doug Hothem, Bill Phillabaum, Chester Phillabaum, Butch Smith, and Nick Tahyi. Officers are: President: Terry Tahyi; Vice President: Larry Muskimens; Historian: Dave Custer; Safety Officer: Dave Neal; Secretary/Treasurer since 1974, Grant Cullison.

Tags: ,

Category: Clubs & Organizations

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

Comments are closed.