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R/C plane show: Gathering of the Giants this weekend

By Staff | Mar 20, 2015

More than 70 pilots will gather at Seahawk Park this weekend to take part in the Gathering of the Giants 21st annual event showcasing remote control airplanes ranging from WWI models to modern day jets.

“It was something to show the people of Cape Coral what flying is like as long as you are standing on the ground and don’t have to sit on an airplane,” Dick Maltby, president of the Cape Coral R/Sea Hawks, said of why the event began. “It is remote control flying.”

This year, Gathering of the Giants, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22, at Seahawk Park, 1030 N.W. 28th St.

Pilots from such areas as Virginia, Alabama and all over Florida will make a stop in Cape Coral to fly their remote control helicopters, drones, electric planes, gas planes and turbine jet planes. All of the planes participating in the event must have at least an 80-inch wing span.

“Because that is how we call it Gathering of the Giants,” Maltby said. “When they take off you look up and you think is that a real plane because you can’t judge the size of the plane by standing on the ground.”

Last year, 73 pilots participated in the event. He said he expects the same number of pilots to participate this year.

“They love showing off for the crowd,” Maltby said of the pilots.

Some of the pilots love flying their jets three feet off the ground straight down the runway, he said, while others enjoy doing acrobatics.

“We normally have four airplanes in the air at one time,” he said.

At noon on both days the “candy bomber” will make an appearance for the youngsters. The plane drops 10 pounds of candy each day. Maltby said the kids wait for the plane to take off, while watching which way the wind will blow the candy. Once the candy is dropped, the kids are released to the fields grabbing candy, while the plane is landed safely out of the way.

Demonstrations will also be held around noon, allowing spectators to walk around and view the remote control planes while asking the pilots questions. Maltby said the helicopter pilots will also be putting on demonstrations.

Although admission is free, Maltby said they are asking for a donation of $5 for parking, which will be donated to the scouts, who are helping park the cars.

Food will also be for sale during the event. The variety includes Louisiana, Greek and Turkish food, as well as such favorites as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and ice cream.

The park includes two sets of bleachers and picnic tables for seating.

The two-day event typically attracts between 4,000 and 5,000 people.

Out of 2,360 clubs, Cape Coral R/Sea Hawks is the fourth largest in the country.

“We are in the top 10 in the country. We have over 300 members,” Maltby said of the club that started more than 25 years ago.

The City of Cape Coral provided Seahawk Park, which the club operates and keeps maintained.

“We have put in the runway and we do all the maintenance in it,” he said. “We provided the sheds and the seats. We provide everything.”

For more information, contact Maltby at (239) 789-8238.