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August 19, 2009 > High-flying family fun

High-flying family fun

By Alyson Whitaker
Photos By Peter Kontorinis

Ever dreamed of learning to fly a plane, but thought it was out of reach? Think again!

The 7th annual Bayside R/C Family Fun Day is just around the corner. The event began as a way to introduce people to the hobby of remote controlled aircraft and has continued to grow each year. This is an opportunity for air enthusiasts of all ages and levels of expertise to witness the magic of flying - even experience it firsthand.

Flight instructors will be available all day to give individuals a chance to try their hand at flying an RC aircraft, by way of a "buddy box." The buddy box allows the inexperienced flyer to control the aircraft after take-off, while the instructor closely monitors the flight. The instructor can intervene if disaster looms too near, ensuring a safe flight. Sign-ups for a trainer flight will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Airplanes and helicopters will be flown all day, both instructional and professional. The remote controlled car track will be active as well, but only trained controllers will be driving. Spectators can sit back and enjoy the show.

The lunchtime entertainment will include stunt plane flights, helicopter aerobatics, and aerial combat. A paintball event will test attendees' aim and skill as they attempt to hit an indestructible aircraft in flight. A nominal fee will be charged for those wishing to give it a try.

Attendance at the event is free. The club hopes that food sales and raffles will generate enough revenue to cover the expense of the event. Raffle prizes include a trainer aircraft, plus a full year's membership to the club. Local sponsors include California Hobbies of San Jose and Hobby Town USA. Seating at the field is limited, so attendees are urged to bring their own folding chairs.

The club has been at its current site, owned by BART, for 20 years. Club members will be presenting BART with a plaque as a token of their gratitude and appreciation for the use of the field. The club will be forced to find a new flying field once BART extends its route from the Fremont station to the Warm Springs area, sometime in the next year or so. In the meantime, the search continues for a new site to call home. The club of 275 members is comprised of several parent/child teams and members of all ages.

Current club President, Peter Kontorinis, was first introduced to the hobby with his son at one of the early club Family Fun days. According to Kontorinis, "The hobby is addicting and fun. It is a great way for young kids to learn the physics of flight, how to build, maintain, and fly their aircraft. It teaches patience as they practice to become solo pilots, and interact with and learn from other fliers. Every kid member in our club is an 'A' student in their respective school."

Becoming a licensed pilot may be out of reach for most of us. But we can all experience the thrill of flying from the ground at this fun event!

For more information about Family Fun Day or for details on the Bayside RC Club, contact Club President, Peter Kontorinis, at (510) 304-3056 or You can also visit the Bayside RC Club website at

Family Fun Day
Saturday, August 22
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Bayside RC Club
45031 Warm Springs Boulevard, Fremont
Peter Kontorinis (510) 304-3056

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