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War Birds Over Cape Coral set for Saturday

By Staff | Nov 7, 2019

The skies over Cape Coral Seahawk park will reflect what a solider may have seen if they looked up decades ago during war time, as a local club puts on its ode to veterans.

War Birds Over Cape Coral, the Cape Coral R/Seahawks Club’s annual event, takes flight this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., where attendees can watch military replica radio-controlled planes take to the air.

“It’s in honor of our veterans,” said Joe Fannon, R/Seahawks Flying Club president. “It’s a chance to look at history. Most of the planes are fashioned in the exact form they were originally made.”

The club has more than 300 members, all of whom have a passion for flying these RC airplanes, no matter the size or experience.

The Cape Coral R/Seahawks is an Academy of Model Aeronautics sanctioned club, and one of the largest of its kind in the country.

These aren’t your average model planes, as the size and attention to detail from pilots make watching an R/Seahawks show a spectacle.

This event is near and dear to many club member’s hearts, as numerous pilots have served in various branches of the military.

“It’s our Veteran’s Day tribute,” Fannon said.

Model planes set to loop, swoop and zoom through the air include replicas from World War I and World War II — American or otherwise. Bombers and fighters, Mustangs and B-17s, Tiger Moths and more will make their way down the 600-foot-long runway and into Southwest Florida skies.

Each veteran in attendance will be honored by the public address announcer for their service to this county.

“We’ll be recognizing all veterans on Saturday,” Fannon said. “That includes our pilots who fly their amazing replicas, as well as any veteran at Seahawk Park that day.”

The club’s most tenured member, Sid Harris, 96, is a veteran in his own right and piloted a B-17 in World War II.

“He (Harris) recalls kissing the ground when he landed his plane for the last time,” Fannon said. “He wasn’t even sure he’d make it back without running out of fuel in his plane.”

Fannon said his club is excited to display its talents and replicas for the community and to pay respects to those who played, and continue to play a role in keeping America safe and free.

“Everyone’s excited,” he said. “The military-style planes really garner interest from the community, and it’s a great way to honor those who served.

“We kind of owe it to our veterans in our club, as well, to show them how much we appreciate their sacrifices.”

The event is free to the public, though donations for the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library will be collected throughout the event.

Fannon said they club will make a $200 donation to the museum, on top of all collections received.

Lunch, which includes a hot dog, chips and a drink, will be available for $5.

Bleachers and picnic tables will be on site to observe the action, though bringing your own chair is also welcomed.

Fannon said with the event being on Saturday, it gives people a chance to come honor veterans before the holiday on Monday.

For more information about the Cape Coral R/Seahawks Club, visit www.rseahawks.org.

Seahawk Park is at 1030 NW 28th St.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj