Pilot: Al Harse
I started to make models when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I used to see Harvard's, mustangs, the odd Spitfire a few Mosquito bombers coming from Dehaviland on their test flights before delivery, It was a time when I was smitten I guess . I started making models from 5 cent kits you had to carve from a block of pine, as balsa was a thing used in the war effort, and was not available till after the war. After the war, more models were available, but they were stick and tissue things , that sometimes even looked like planes when finished.
As I got into the teenage years, I started to fly U-control, and had my share of basket cases before I got the hang of it. After a few more years, I started building model cars, and got into the slot car craze. After getting married, I got out of the models till I saw a fellow in Hamilton Red Creek area flying a model and it came back to the same field where he took off from , and I was totally amazed. A few years later, I ( my wife,) allowed me to buy a single channel radio (super regen, no crystal), 1 click for right, 2 for left, and it was a lot of fun. One of the members of the Hamilton Flying Tigers bought a radio, 10 channel reed, which gave him up and down 2 channels, left and right, 2 more channels and so on, giving him five functions, 2 channels each. After another year, I invested in a Minex single channel Galloping Ghost radio , receiver and actuator. After that, and a few more radios,I wound up buying a CRC proportional radio made in Toronto by Ron Chapman and Len Clebinoff which I used into the mid seventies. In the mid to late 60's I was elected to pres of the Flying Tigers for a term, I think it is a club initiation.
When we moved to Corunna in 1971, I met up with Nick Weet, Wally Enders, Ziggy Telser, Willie Jenson, Helmet Herter, Dave Allen and a few others and we formed the Bluewater R/C Flyers, flying out of Camlacie. Early in the 70"s, I purchased my 2nd of three Schluter Helicopters that came into Canada, and that was my undoing. My reflexes were for conventional aircraft, and my mind did not compute for the helicopter, and so in 75, I gave up the hobby and went fishing for around 25 years. In late 99, I again got the urge, and built another model from the plans that I had kept, and bought a brand new 4 ch. Futaba radio and a TT 40 . After a bit of bugging I took the model out to the field to do some taxi test, and I got it going too fast, and the damn thing took off. Just like riding a bicycle, after flying for about 5 minutes, I was asked if Dan Smith wanted to land it for me and my bullheadedness showed up. I told him if I could take off, I could also land it. Which I did on the second pass, and it was a good one.
From that point on, the models have been getting bigger and more complex, but still a lot of fun to build and fly.
I guess the rest is sort of history, I now have still, about 10 models flying, and another 5 or so in the final stages of being flyable.