JOHNSTOWN - Helicopters screamed by, flew upside down and even crashed Saturday on a field near Knoblauch Road.
Radio-controlled helicopter aficionados from around the state gathered at the field to practice their craft and partake in friendly landing contests for the second annual Adirondack Model Helicopter Airshow hosted by the Lazy Eight Radio Control Club.
The group, who meets at the field every Sunday, showed off their skills too, and held competitions with locals and some friends from the northern end of the state.
A helicopter controlled by Jacob Shambo of
Watertown, Jefferson?County, flies upside down Saturday at the second annual Adirondack Model?Helicopter Airshow in the town of Johnstown.
The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini
Jacob Shambo of Watertown, Jefferson?County, who has been flying radio-controlled vehicles for 20 years, was one of the pilots. Shambo started flying radio-controlled airplanes when he was 11 and got into helicopters last year.
"Last summer was when I really started flying helicopters. There's really just so much more to it," Shambo said. "You have so many more dimensions and so many more ways you can move. I really like the flow of it."
Shambo, a field representative for SAB Goblin, - an Italian company that makes radio-controlled helicopters - showed his 3D flying skills, which involves flying the helicopter upside down and hovering it feet or even inches off the ground.
Rocco Conte, president of the Lazy Eight Radio Control Club, and the other members come out every weekend or travel to other clubs' sites to share their hobby.
"For me it's relaxation and comradery," he said. "The guys here are just fantastic. You're not going to find a better group of people."
Radio-controlled helicopters and airplanes are usually sold in kits, but for an extra challenge people can build their own from scratch. Fran Reed did just that.
Reed started the process by taking pictures of the WWII plane known as the Bamboo Bomber. He then drew his blueprints for the smaller model and constructed his first plane out of balsa, spruce and plywood. The entire process took two years to complete - one year for the drawings and another for the building process. He has since built three more and said flying his own creation is very rewarding.
"The [kits] almost ready to fly have taken over the hobby, but there are still quite a few like me who enjoy the building as much as the flying," Reed said. " First [I'm thinking] 'I hope it doesn't crash,' because of all the work that goes into it. But there's a lot of satisfaction."
Smaller model helicopters can range from $100 to $200, but Conte said he knows people who have put $10,000 to $15,000 into their model aircrafts.
Donations taken at the event will go to the Foundation at?St. Mary's Hospital in?Amsterdam to benefit patients of the cancer medicine center.