Sky Knights hope to invest young pilots in popular hobby

If you happen to be traveling down Orient Drive on a Tuesday night in the summer, you may see and hear the Sky Knights flying their planes and other aircraft for practice.

Sky Knights is a radio-control flying club with a flying field in Boring.

Club President Sam Bacon said he joined the Sky Knights about 47 years ago, back when you needed a radio license to fly the planes. Nowadays, all you need is a plane, a fully charged battery and some room to fly.

The club has 88 members. Last year, it had 102, the highest number of members it has received, Bacon said.

“There are a lot of longtime members,” he said. Two members have been with the Sky Knights since its beginning in the POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - RC planes can be bought in many different varieties. One of Bacons preferred planes, front, is a WWI modal made here in Sandy.

During the summer months, roughly May through October, the Sky Knights meet at the flying field on Orient Drive in Boring.

The nearly 5-acre space is equipped with a storage shed, covered areas, solar battery charging stations and a runway.

Bacon said the only downside to this nearly ideal space is its proximity to tree nurseries. He said if a particular plane has a malfunction, it might well end up in the top limbs of a tree.

Every Tuesday during the summer the club holds what members refer to as training nights. All members and visitors are welcome. Bacon said it is a chance to meet new or interested pilots to encourage and show them how it’s done. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Sky Knights flew their planes at the the 2014 Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, attracting attention from many youngsters.

Although Bacon says the Sky Knights do have some kids interested in what they’re doing, they are always hoping for more.

“When we get teenage kids coming out, that’s good for us,” Bacon said. “That’s what’s going to perpetuate the hobby.”

If you’re a beginner looking to pick out a plane, Bacon said, you should buy an airplane made for beginners. It should be somewhat cheap, easy to fly and easy to fix.

He said a good beginner plane runs about $100 to $300. A plane's wingspan can range from about 3 feet to nearly 8 feet.

Once you’ve become proficient in flying, you can move onto something you like that looks nice, said Bacon.

During the winter months, the club meets at Mountainview Christian Church in Gresham, which doesn’t really allow enough room for flying, he said. But as long as the weather’s nice, the members of the Sky Knights are free to fly their aircraft out in POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - The Sky Knights planes have a good range of distance. Pilots try to fly them far enough away that a malfunction doesnt end in injury.

Bacon said many members of the Sky Knights have 10-20 planes, sometimes in various stages of disrepair after crashes.

“Some guys have more than they can count,” Bacon said.

Bacon said he is personally into scale models of World War I planes, which can be bought from Proctor Enterprises, a model kit building business located right here in Sandy.

During the weekend of July 19-20, the Sky Knights held their 46th annual Northwest Seaplane Championships at Pine Hollow Lakeside Resort in Wamic.

The 23 pilots and nearly 50 other guests partook in a barbecue and the bestowing of trophies and other giveaways.

The tournament, which uses float planes that take off from the surface of the lake, used to take place at Roslyn Lake.

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