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Public invited to fly, paintball model airplanes for a cause this weekend


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BONNEVILLE COUNTY – The Desert Eagles Model Airplane Flying Club has been teaching aviation enthusiasts how to build and fly their own model airplane for more than 20 years.

Now the club is looking to help out in a different way. They’ve organized a fundraiser that involves model airplanes and paintball guns.

Community members are invited to come and fly model airplanes during an open house this Saturday, June 23. The event will be held in a small open field off a gravel road just past Doug Andrus Trucking along New Sweden Road. For further directions click here.

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Pilots will be on-hand giving demonstrations. You can also take shots at the flying aircraft with a paintball gun. It costs $2 for 10 shots with a paintball gun.

“It’s not as easy as it sounds, but we do take a lot of hits,” Club Vice President Stu Eddins says.

Organizers invited to give it a try ahead of this weekend’s event.

This reporter didn’t manage to hit a plane, but our intern, Katie Eldredge, did.

Saturday’s event kicks off at 10 a.m. All the proceeds will benefit the Idaho Food Bank. There will also be a raffle for a $250 gift card to Hobby Town USA in Ammon.

The model airplane club meets once a month in a grassy field off exit 113 in Idaho Falls.

Steve Henderson, one of the group’s original members, tells flying model airplanes is a hobby that requires training, but can be a valuable experience for many different careers.

“There’s a lot of technology involved, a lot of working with your hands that helps you out with other things in life.”

Henderson first became interested in flying as a kid when his dad introduced him to model airplane building.

“He grew up in the era when everyone was fascinated with Charles Lindberg. Everyone built model airplanes back then. Once my brother and I were old enough to appreciate them, he built some little models for us,” Henderson says.

Henderson went on to get his pilot’s license and even owns his own plane.

“I’m not sure any of this would have happened without my dad teaching me how to build that first balsa wood glider.”

The Desert Eagle Model Airplane Club currently has about 75 members, but Henderson says they’re always looking to recruit more. To find out how to become a member, visit their website.

“I really enjoy the camaraderie, being around other people who are interested in a hobby,” Henderson says. “A lot of people fly model airplanes on their own and miss out on all that, but I think that’s the best part of the club.”