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Aerial acrobatics

by: CORY MIMMS - John Paul Takacs and his mother, Joan, who calls out his flight sequence.Grant Sharp’s farm will buzz with RC planes this weekend, during the annual aerobatic championship.

Pilots from all over the Northwest and Southwest come to fly. As of Thursday afternoon, 35 people had registered to compete, but Sharp expects more to show up. “It’s the largest aerobatic championship on the west coast,” he said. “There are really talented pilots here.”

The pilots fly “strictly choreographed routines,” which will be judged according to precision and execution. Sharp compared the rules to ice skating. “The cleaner the performance, the higher they score,” he said.

by: CORY MIMMS - The 'Franken-plane,' which was built from salvaged parts of two crashed planes.On Saturday, planes decorated with lights will carry the aerial ballet into the night, which will end with a fireworks show.

Twelve of the pilots will be chosen to enter a freestyle competition on Sunday. They will fly to music and be judged by six of the regular judges and six members of the audience. Fair food will be available all three days.

It’s not a cheap sport to get into. Many of the planes are 40 percent scale models of the real deal, and they can cost up to $20,000.

Sharp has been holding the event on his land for 14 years. “Some people grow tomatoes. I grow an airfield,” he said.

by: CORY MIMMS - John Paul Takacs, 15, and his extreme flight airframe, which he's 'going easy on,' as he's invested about $5,000 into it. Takacs has been flying gas planes for two years and competing for one.

Date and times

When: July 26-28. Flying starts at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. The light show on Saturday night will begin after dusk (around 9:30 p.m.).

Where: Grant Sharp's airfield, just east of Molalla. Directions here:

www.molrca.com/directions.htm

Price: $5 parking fee, and $2 admission.




Local Weather

Fair

90°F

Molalla

Fair

Humidity: 30%

Wind: 5 mph

  • 29 Jul 2014

    Sunny 89°F 59°F

  • 30 Jul 2014

    Sunny 88°F 59°F