Radio Control Association visits TMS

TMS fifth grade gifted students, teachers Susan Mitchell, Rita Sparks, and Nicole Naro, and ARCA members Jim Pappas, Jim Reining, Jonny Williams, Danny McDevitt, Red Robinson, Leslie Harrison and Larry Graves at TMS after students made their model airplanes. (Contributed)

TMS fifth grade gifted students, teachers Susan Mitchell, Rita Sparks, and Nicole Naro, and ARCA members Jim Pappas, Jim Reining, Jonny Williams, Danny McDevitt, Red Robinson, Leslie Harrison and Larry Graves at TMS after students made their model airplanes. (Contributed)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

The Alabaster Radio Control Association is a group of men who love to fly. These men, mostly retired, love the sport of aero modeling and remote control flying.

They spend hours designing, building, flying and repairing R/C airplanes, big, small and in between. They fly at the Alabaster flying field at Limestone Park off Highway 31 in Saginaw anytime when the wind is still and the air is clear.

ARCA is under the umbrella organization, Academy of Model Aeronautics, which is a “self-supporting non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation.”

Recently, several senior ARCA members – Jim Pappas, Jim Reining, Jonny Williams, Danny McDevitt, Red Robinson, Leslie Harrison and Larry Graves – met at Thompson Middle School with the gifted fifth grade class. Harrison previously taught third grade and was principal at TMS.

“Mr. Harrison gave me my job,” said gifted teacher Susan Mitchell. “I, along with the other gifted teachers, Rita Sparks and Nicole Naro, look forward to ARCA’s yearly visit. These extra events give the students confidence to enjoy learning and to pursue their interests.”

“Our objective was to enlighten the class about our hobby and hopefully raise interest in aero modeling and R/C flying,” said Reining. “AMA provided foam plates and instruction to the teachers on how to build a foam airplane. When we arrived at the school, our task was to impart to the students our knowledge of R/C Flying, the physics of flight, and the component parts of an airplane, etc.

“After a brief period of instruction, we assisted the kids in assembling their own rubber band airplanes. Once all of the airplanes were assembled, the class adjourned to the football field for a rubber band jamboree,” Reining added. “It was a sight to see. This event was done over a 3-day period and involved over 90 young boys and girls. This is one way we try to interest young people in aero modeling and give back to the community.”

Visitors are welcome to all ARCA events. For more info, see Alabasterrc.org.

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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