The International Miniature Aircraft Association (IMAA) and the Champlain Valley Flyers are once again hosting “Valley of the Giants” at the Westport Airfield this weekend, June 29- July 1. Event Director Clarence Owen brought the large model plane event back to Westport last year after a 10-year hiatus.
“We held the event last year and it was a great success,” says Owen. “We are now adding on an extra day. We had 45 pilots last year and are expecting about the same. There will be food and raffles in addition to all the model flight demonstrations. We are also going to be donating our part in the North Country SPCA.”
According to Owen the event name, Valley of the Giants, comes from the fact that the airshow is hosted in the Westport Champlain Valley and showcases large model planes. The event takes place from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. each day. To date there are participants from New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and Vermont.
Due to the high cost of each plane, spectators will not be allowed to fly. Owen encourages anyone interested in model planes to go to the Champlain Valley Flyers’ local field in Crown Point and inquire about the “buddy box.”
A buddy box enables novices to fly the plane with an instructor. Through a cable connecting two controllers, a more seasoned flyer is able to take the plane up and land it but still give the novice experience flying a model plane.
Owen says, “There will be plenty of excitement. These planes are big. Some of these aircrafts are 50% the size of its real counterpart. They are half scale, very expensive and will be used to demonstrate real flight patterns. The pilots will be doing 3D aerobatic stunts, loops and rolls. At noon some of the participants will even be doing WWII flight formations and demonstrations.”
“We charge $3 a carload. We think it’s a fair price. We have a groomed parking lot. If someone is handicapped or in need of assistance, we will have someone available to drive those spectators to the flight line,” Owen pauses. “ It’s most likely going to be me.”
Photo used with permission of Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Time™