"You can make just about anything fly"

June 21, 1997


Staff Writer

HANCOCK, W.Va. - Did you ever see a stop sign fly?

Well, the visitors to the Potomac '97 Fly-In on Saturday did. They also saw an American flag take off and make a perfect "four-stripe'' landing.

All this excitement occurred during an hour-long exhibition by the Model Airs Radio Controlled Show Team from Chambersburg, Pa., who were part of the 20th annual Fly-In at the Potomac Airpark on the West Virginia side of the river at Hancock, Md.

Those unusual flying machines and more traditional radio- controlled models flew beautifully into the hazy summer skies and returned to land flawlessly.


"With enough power and skill, you can make just about anything fly,'' said Earl Witt of the Model Airs.

The exhibition proved that.

Sponsored by Hagerstown Chapter 36 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the two-day event drew Duncan Walters from his cabin at nearby Cacapon.

"I'm from McLean, Va., and I've been to air shows in Washington, D.C., before,'' Walters said. "This is my second year coming to the Fly-In here. They are different and much more enjoyable.''

That's the same reason Dean Truax, Jack Raun and Walter Green have stayed active in the group for many years.

"Our group is dedicated to promoting the opportunity to build one's own plane and fly it,'' Raun said.

There were nearly a dozen such planes on hand Saturday, many of which were taking youngsters, known as Young Eagles, on rides.

Some were flying in ultralights built from kits, while others were at the controls of antiques that had been lovingly restored, sometimes more than once.

Truax has rebuilt his antique plane three times ... once when he got it and twice after two Potomac River floods inundated the airfield and the hangars.

The president of the EAA organization, Raun said he has been involved in the local chapter for 10 years.

Green said the organization has a hangar at the Washington County Regional Airport and members get together every Wednesday to "play.''

"We work on our planes or we fly Young Eagles,'' Green said.

But the annual Fly-Ins are the highlights of the year for all the EAA members, their families and other enthusiastic armchair pilots.

And today, there will be a car and truck show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for people who like their fun on the ground.

"This is such a nice field here in Hancock, except when it floods,'' Green said.

U.S. Silica owns the field and allows the group to use it for the event, Green said.

Anyone interested in joining the EAA can contact Green at 424 Guilford Ave., Hagerstown. Dues are $20 a year.

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