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Model plane pilots take flight on Labor Day to benefit Make-a-Wish Nebraska

Posted at 6:43 PM, Sep 06, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Labor Day hundreds gathered at Standing Bear Lake park to take flight with model airplanes. Omahawks, a local radio control club held their 42nd annual air show Monday.

Members of the club and other local model plane groups join together and fly all different types of model planes throughout the day.

"We always kick off the show with the control line or the string. That was the primitive day controlled air craft where you’d strap it up and wouldn’t stop until the fuel was depleted and you’d go in a circle then you’d go to a couple radio channels, which had just a couple channels to be able to control it, and nowadays we have up to 20 channel aircrafts. We have full turbine engines jet aircraft," Luke Huges, President of Omahawks said.

Many of the participants have been flying model planes for decades.

"I started when I was in high school building models and when I got to, when airplanes became available in radios, I actually started building my own radios from planes and that was back in 1958 and I’ve been flying ever since. I’ve enjoyed it and it’s expanded unbelievably in technology and everything else, and I’ve moved all the way up to flying turbine jets now," said Dean Copeland, a member of the club and participant.

They say one thing they love about the hobby is that it spans generations. Many started with their dads or grandfathers and are now seeing younger generations take part in the air show.

"I’ve been flying for a long time, my dad got me into it when we were kids, and probably couldn’t afford it, so I was kind of lucky. And now I got my kids and grandkids are just learning right now," said Skip Brown, an Omahwaks member and air show participant.

The event supports the Make-a-Wish Foundation, with all proceeds from concessions and raffles benefitting the charity.

"42 years, we are the longest-running contributor to Make-a-Wish Nebraska. They’re happy to partner with us each year. We started contributing, picked them out and said 'let’s do it.' And every year we try to make it as big as we can as far as promoting the event, getting folks out here and spending a little money at the concession or raffle to go ahead and contribute to that cause. It’s a wonderful relationship," Hughes said.