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February 15, 2005 > Boring Holes in the Sky

Boring Holes in the Sky

Bayside R/C Club hosts Cub Pack 152

Although a cold front moved through the Tri-Cities on a recent Saturday morning, conditions for flying were good and the 400-foot runway paralleling Warm Springs Boulevard (a continuation of Osgood Road) near Grimmer in Fremont was busy with air traffic. Designers, mechanics and pilots mingled in the preparation area tinkering with their aircraft, both helicopter and fixed-wing. These craft, while small in some ways since they are designed for radio controlled (R/C) flight, are subjected to the same attention to detail and scrutiny as their larger cousins that carry passengers.

On this Saturday morning, the whine of engines was mixed with the excited voices of Cub Scouts of Pack 152 who were visiting the site, building their own gliders and offered the opportunity to "buddy" fly Bayside R.C. Club member airplanes.

Members of the Bayside R/C Club are primarily "sport" flyers using planes that are not representative of full scale aircraft while others are "scale" planes that replicate larger aircraft, both civilian and military, in almost every detail. The club is chartered by AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) and follows strict safety and inspection guidelines.

Helicopter pilots represent about 30 percent of the membership and include both sport and scale versions as well. The club has the largest contingent of helicopters in the Bay Area if not all of Northern California, said Bayside President Doug Field.

"Most modelers choose historic aircraft rather than modern. We actually have jet aircraft, although they are very complicated and expensive. The most popular subjects are the planes made anywhere from the '20s through World War II. Because this is a hobby, people get to do whatever they want; there is no good or bad," said Field. The Osgood location also sports a track for R/C cars, one of the few in the Bay Area.

Club Chief Field Marshal Lynn Curry loves the camaraderie between club members and the thrill of flying. For many club members, time spent building and/or flying represents "quality family time." To help the general public understand and experience the fun of flying, a "Family Fun Day" event is hosted by the club each summer. However, Lynn emphasized that there is no need to wait. Members are usually at the field every day and happy to share their enthusiasm for the hobby.

Visitors are always welcome and can even share controls while using a "Buddy Box" to fly and feel the thrill of the R/C experience. "Anyone is eligible to be involved. We have kids as young as eight-years-old who are flying planes by themselves. There are younger children that fly with the assistance of an instructor and people in their 70s," said Field.

This scout outing was arranged by Kim Mathis who visited the modelers with her husband Mark and son, Trevor on a "Family Fun Day" last summer. Her son is a member of Cub Pack 152 based in the Weibel area of Fremont and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He joined the club to use the track for his radio-controlled car and airspace for an R/C airplane that is currently being assembled. He thought an outing with fellow Scouts would be a great way to help the pack celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Cub Scouts. When Mrs. Mathis approached the Bayside R/C Club about a visit, they were very receptive and the Scouts, in turn, were very excited about visiting the airfield and flying planes.

Cubmaster John Williams and Pack Committee Chair Carl Chow watched the Scouts, ages five to 10, take turns at the controls under the guidance (and control) of experienced R/C pilots. "We try to do outings at least once a month," said Williams. Chow said that one of the main rules of Cub Scouting is, "if it's not fun, it's not done!

"If [Scouts] can get outside and touch and see and learn something, that's what we are trying to do," said Chow. This activity was highly anticipated by the Scouts and a big success. The pack is very busy with many activities including searching for hidden "caches" using GPS (geo-positioning satellite) coordinates teaching them how to follow instructions and work as a team, whether helping the community on Make A Difference Day or visiting with the mayor of Fremont to understand how government works.

The Bayside R/C Club has been at their present location for about nine years, welcomes guests and visitors at any time. The club is organized to give a safe and controlled environment for people to fly radio-controlled aircraft and, in this case, radio controlled cars within a metropolitan area, and still maintain safety and get along with our neighbors, said Chow. Residents do not have to be a Scout to come by for a closer look.

For more information about the Bayside R/C Club, call Doug Field or Lynn Curry at (408) 374-5518 or visit

For more information about Cub Scout Pack 152, call John Williams at (510) 226-1282 or Carl Chow at (510) 490-6538 or visit

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