55 Model Planes Rip Through Valley Sky - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

55 Model Planes Rip Through Valley Sky

55 Model Planes Rip Through Valley Sky

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MADERA, Calif. (KMPH) -

More than 50 model planes took to the sky Sunday at Madera airport for the 35th annual Golden State Stunt Championship.

Ripping through the air like a bullet; pilots confess flying the mini planes is both a tough skill and a work of art.

"It takes timing, coordination and a lot of practice" said Brian Massey, an avid flyer.

The event originally started out in California as hobby between two pilots.

But now, 35-years later, it is a prestigious sport recognized all over the world.

Taking part in the sport requires serious time, dedication and money.

The planes aren't bought in stores but rather made by each pilot.  

What starts out as piles of wood gets built to fly fast and steady enough to win.

"Essentially these are airplanes are controlled by two wires that the pilot holds. The pilot has control over going up or down and that's it. There are no radios to make it do anything else" added Massey.

It's an ability David Fitzgerald knows all too well.

Fitzgerald is a world champion and national winner many times over.

"It involves so many different disciplines. It involves airplanes, aerodynamics, engines, propellers, engineering, and painting" said Fitzgerald.

The skill set has also given Fitzgerald the tools toward his future.

"With this hobby and sport it led directly to my real life job. I am a pilot for united airlines. I started off with model airplanes and it gave me my career as well" confessed Fitzgerald.

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