Not all fliers in Lakeview need aviation fuel to fly. The Lakeview Airheads, for instance, fly small-scale remote-controlled airplanes for a hobby.
The so-called Airheads are a local group that recently grew large enough to start looking for more interested members.
Sam Fields, who functions as the leader of the club, said there are around seven active fliers around Lakeview. They try to meet at least once every weekend on days with good weather.
“This year has been really good,” said Fields. “The last year has been really active, and we’ve been starting to get more interest. We’d really like to get a hold of some land close to town to fly on, though.”
Currently, the group flies wherever they can, but could use a permanent area close to Lakeview that younger members could easily get to in order to join in the flying.
RC flying is a very family-oriented sport, with no particular age needed for participation.
“Planes can be difficult to control,” he commented, “When it’s coming at you, all the controls are reversed. Kids pick up on it really fast.”
Fields offered that a person could get into the sport and have a nice plane for about $350, saying that there are also planes specifically for beginners.
Those in the club are often willing to sell some of their planes, according to Fields, and between the members the club has plenty of planes for people to practice with before they purchase.
“The more people get interested, the better club we’ll have. When we get going we’ll have clubs from around the state. People from Ashland have come before,” he said.
Fields also commented that he’d probably sell a few of his own planes to newer members once they have the experience to handle them.
He mentioned a few other clubs around, one in Keno and one in Roseburg, and said that Medford and Bend have hobby stores from which people can buy planes and other necessary items.
“The major stuff we have to order online, but between our members we usually have enough to repair the planes,” stated Fields.
There are a few types of planes, operated by motors that depend on electric or gas motors, but Fields said the two are very comparable.
“There’s really good electric and really good gas planes,” he said.
“With gas you don’t have to charge or change batteries, but some electrics fly every bit as good as gas. Any starter is good.”
As far as getting invested in the hobby, Fields said that someone can spend as much or as little as they want.
He offered the idea that getting just the necessities at first and working from there might be the best way.
There is also at the possibility of finding deals on used RC planes, according to Fields.
He said members of the club have been into the hobby long enough to know general value of used planes being sold outside stores.
Once the club gets bigger, Fields speculated they might need to start charging membership dues.
Until then, membership is free. Fields commented they are working on getting a club plane that anyone can fly.
For more information, to join the club, or find out if the Airheads are flying on a particular weekend, call Fields at 541-417-2229.