The Kingman RC Modelers…
The Kingman RC Modelers Club was chartered as AMA 969 on April 21, 1980 and incorporated on Jan 13, 1992 as Kingman Modelers Inc., an Arizona Non-Profit corporation. The officers of the club listed on the original AMA charter were President: Marlin De Voe Jr., Vice President: Wyatt Cornwall, Secretary: Brenda De Voe and Treasurer: Bruno Murphy (Note- the position of Safety Coordinator that’s required today to charter an AMA club didn’t come along until later).
Early members of the club also included Gordon Codding and Ken Bein, and had started out flying models at the Kingman Airport. But some of the full-scale guys weren’t too happy about it… and so the club moved their operations across the highway onto a local ranch (at the current location used by the Fun Flyers AMA club, an offshoot of the Modelers), which wasn’t too happy about it either…
So in the early 1990’s the club incorporated as a non-profit and with the help of club members leveled a wide open and unused area of land located out of the flight path at the south end of the Kingman Airport Industrial Park, it’s use being generously donated to the Modelers by the Kingman Airport Authority for their private RC flying activities. Due to the generosity of it’s members and the community, the club was also able to raise enough for the ramada, the fences, the locked gate and other infrastructure needed for the secure and safe used of the club’s new flying facility.
The club members spent several days getting the site ready for the club to use by running graders, rollers, bringing in water trucks, and using a LOT of shovels! The members built and painted the ramada, installed the fences, and then enjoyed flying at their new private flying site.
Even today the non-profit Kingman Modelers Inc still remains a tenant of the Park, alongside other (for profit) corporations such as American Woodmark, UPS and Cantex, providing a safe and private (club-only) RC flying facility more than 25 years later, and the only way to get a key is to be a member!
Various field improvements were made in the years after the site was established, but the largest push towards modernizing and improving the field has happened only in the past few years, spearheaded by multi-term Club President Rob Sawyer. And while this has lead to some rifts within the club, the improvements always seem to pass their club votes with impressive majorities, and once finished everyone seems to use and enjoy the upgrades regardless!
As a result, the club can now boast of having concrete flying pads and walkways in the pit area as well as at the control line circle, TWO outhouses, secure club storage, and in 2014 a wonderful aero-fabric runway surface was first laid down that was expanded over the next few years to cover most of the existing dirt runway and even the pit areas as well, allowing for cleaner and safer operations, the use of jet turbine models at the site, and more flying enjoyment by all! And it hasn’t stopped there…
While a good majority of the funding for these improvements came about from Club President Rob’s hard work and his deep connections to the community, making all of this happen (much as it was when the site was first established) is due to the hard work of club members pitching in to help and taking up shovels & rollers, among other things, and putting in great ideas as well as their own donations (such as Ben Poole’s acquisition of the storage container you see south of the ramada) and just plain old sweat equity!
We owe a debt of gratitude to both the past and the present club members who built our club with their hard work and dedication to the hobby, and especially to visionaries like the charter officers of AMA 969 who started it all, the club members from the early ’90s who donated both time and money to establishing a flying facility that eventually was able to grow into what it is today, and more recent club members such as Ben Poole and multi-term Club President Rob Sawyer who have helped move the club forward in leaps and bounds by driving that growth.
And we hope that future members will continue to pay it forward as past members always have.
Most club members generally prefer to fly in the mornings before the high desert winds kick up, and that’s when the site is the most active… But whenever the weather is nice, you might find someone flying almost anytime day or night!
Here’s a time lapse video of a typical morning at the club’s flying site:
NOTE- by this time the club had installed most of the concrete flying pads, but had not put the new runway down yet. Video provided by James Lummel (club webmaster), he’s the one flying the red and white low-wing foamy off the small spool in the center of the screen (real difficult to see against the overcast sky, almost lost it near the train tracks in this video!). Also of note were several of the flyers getting ready for a club fun-fly that included a race featuring Kadet trainer aircraft. The gentleman to the left that came in almost halfway thru, with the green and yellow Kadet Senior, is the Club President Rob Sawyer, who was also the first club member to get his jet waiver…