Club History

SHORT HISTORY OF THE

TRI-AREA R/C FLYERS CLUB

By Pete Granger

 

In 1998 there was a small hobby shop in Port Hadlock that mostly catered to plastic models. While browsing there one day I found a sign-up list to form an R/C Club. I was a member of the Sequim Aeronaughts at the time, but the trek to Sequim was really getting old, so I signed up. Months passed, and finally an organization meeting was announced. We met in the Chimacum Community Center, and agreed to start an AMA Charter club. Wylie was elected president and Bill Anliker was secretary/treasurer. Charter members that are still on the roster are Anliker, Becker, Downs, Fitch, Granger, and Merrill.

Our early meetings were held in the county library until they decided to charge us room rent. Wylie, a crusty retired Army mess sergeant that had failed retirement, worked part time in the Port Hadlock hobby shop and was able to arrange for us to meet at the shop free. About this time an air minded local offered his cow pasture to us for a flying field—also free. In those days the club had almost no money, so free was essential. Someone came up with a large piece of belting from the pulp mill which we laid on top of the pasture grass. It did not take long for the cows to discover that this was a good place to poop. Takeoffs and landings soon got tricky!

The club intensified its field search and Frank Merrill found Roger Short, was looking for something to “improve his image”. Roger agreed that we might satisfy his need, we looked the spot over, and signed up. Wylie was able to borrow a riding mower and trailer, and we carved out our new field. We acquired our storage shed soon after, but continued to use old (but free) cable reels until the AMA published an article about starting stands. Wylie and I built the first 2 or 3 and they were an instant success.

The club held its first organized event in 2002 when we held our first Fun Fly. As CD I got to dream up the events and make the rules. Most of the events worked out really well and we had a blast. Our annual Fun Fly continues to be the only organized flying event we put on.

Wylie continued as president until the summer of 2004 when his cancer got so bad he was forced to resign. As sick as he was, he did not miss a meeting until he was bed ridden. The board named our field WYLIE FIELD in his honor and he was able to see the big prop that is now mounted on the storage shed before he died.

Each year we manage to improve our flying field a bit more and add more aviation oriented activity. Our club is still growing a bit even though we draw from a pretty limited population, and activity continues to be robust. In the early days meeting attendance numbers were frequently only 3 or 4 people as compared to the 15 or so that is typical of present meetings. Above all, our members are mostly participants and contributors to our club.

Text Box: Tri-Area RC Flyers

Come fly with us at Wylie Field

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