Castle Giant Scale Fly-In 2017

OMG! Another one for the books. Castle 2017 “GOT ER DONE”. Boy, am I tired. This year was probably one of the best events yet. About 135 pilots, 300 RV’s and 500 aircraft sitting all over adding color to the field. So awesome to see you all.

Every year this event gets better and better. Not just a fly in anymore. It’s a social gathering. Reuniting friends and family through out the weekend. A very emotional get together. I call it my family reunion. Most people there see old friends and make new friends from the previous year. It is so cool.

This year was no exception. We had RC giants flying all day. U-control was reintroduced. How fun was that. Forrest Barton, Denny Baker, Casey Buggeln and myself were all spinning around having a ball. To a lot of folk it brought back very fond memories. This is where we all started. Remember the Cox PT19 with all the rubber bands. Forrest had a Clown and Denny had a Nobler. I have a Brodak F7f Tigercat that I am going to build for next year. We need more Ukies for next year. Too much fun.

The field opens up to everyone and anything that flies after 5pm. Then towards dusk the night flyers come out. We must have had 8 to 10 night flyers up. I built a Radian XL and loaded it down with a whole bunch of 12v LEDs. Talk about super nova and night blindness. Lots of fun. Mine provided landing lights for everyone to enjoy. Sorry Dave S. if it gave you a bit of night blindness.

So, Wednesday morn the Central California Model Flyers (CCMF) – the Host Club, members of the Turlock Radio Control Club (TRCC) and others helped set up the field. By 1:45pm all was ready. Started calling in the early large groups and by 3pm we had around 40 motorhomes parked. Worked out great. Thursday 7 am the gates opened up and the masses started pouring in. Flying started 12:30pm Thursday afternoon. Let the games begin.

Food vendors could not keep up with the demand over the weekend. Paul and Pat were busy at their ZAP booth which by the way earned the good housekeeping seal of approval from me. Very fancy. Just missing the carpet. Great job you 2. Special thanks from all of us for your support of this event.

David Roth was pumping out the t-shirts, coffee mugs and a whole bunch of other goodies for all to enjoy. David provided the shirts for the P47 Brotherhood this year. Thanks David.

We had Mexican cuisine, little doughnuts to die for, rootbeer floats. I myself sucked up a couple of them babies real quick. Homemade ice cream and Dad’s Old Root Beer. Could not resist.

EMS with all of his goodies. Our beloved T-shirt vendor Eddy was pumping out the shirts like crazy.

Steve and Lonnie from Hobby Club. So sorry you did not unload it all. Maybe next year?


Lots of treasures for sale out there over the weekend.

Our pilots meetings were as always full of surprises. They are getting harder and harder for me to do due to tributes to pilots that have passed away from the previous year. Something different this year was a bunch of warbird guys led by Monty Welch, did a tribute to the veterans that were attending by flying a bunch of warbirds around which turned out really cool. Thanks, guys. Saturday, we did our own tribute to our fallen friends with a dawn patrol at 5:45 am. Hey George, did you see us. That was for you buddy. Thanks so much Keith F for letting me bend the sticks on that Tigermoth. Jeff Stein of Going Vertical was there filming. He is working on the Castle 2017 event as I am writing this article. Going to be a fantastic video this year. So stay tuned for that DVD. Big Thanks to Jeff for his support. We are always ‘Going Vertical’ you know.

Something special happened this year on Saturday. Casey Buggeln was flying his grandpa’s big Telemaster. This is a plane that PaPa Lou built and flew many years ago. He gave it to Casey. Casey a very gifted RC pilot, brought it out to fly. Everything was going great during the flight. Then Casey yelled out, “I don’t have it, heads up”. That plane flew in a climbing circle for at least 15 minutes at show center for all to watch until it then disappeared into the cloud layer. Never to be seen again. So now PaPa Lou has got it back and is still flying. Pretty touching and what a great ending to this aircraft.

Casey Buggeln, recipient of the 2017 Youth Leadership Award from AMA

We have a celebrity in our family. Congratulations Casey. “That’s my boy”.

Large Model Aircraft that were inspected by Jose Macias and John Andrews were Mike Leggett’s humongous B26. Flew fantastically. Congrats Mike. Lynsel Miller’s big Hurricane. Congrats Lynsel. All flew very scale and very well. Frank Gagliardi’s B29 and B17 were showing their stuff in the air over Castle. Fantastic aircraft. Thanks Frankie. I hear for next year’s project is a JU57 for the WarBirds West guys. Once again to Frank and Jerry, THANKS! It was an honor flying the big silver B29. RIP, DON RICE.

The USRA guys were out turning and burning around the track making some great sounds and speed runs. Sends chills up and down my spine.

As always we fed the airplane gods a few this year. Thank god without incident. Wheeeewwwww bigtime. So sorry guys. We do not own them, we just fly them for awhile.

Speaking about burning. Lots of Jets this year holding to that 199.9mph mark. Ha Ha!!!!!!

Even had a gorgeous scale Helicopter doing its thing over the event.

Our fallen comrades were PAPA LOU, DON RICE, CHUCK HEBESTREIT, and KEN SAFER. Ken Safer passed on loading his truck and trailer getting ready to come to Castle this year. We paid tribute to them with Bonnie O’Brien singing AVE MARIA. Not a dry eye in the crowd. Fantastic moment. We will always remember them. RIP guys. At our age this is getting to be an every year occurrence. Sad, but that’s life and we will go on thinking about these guys. So, like I said, this is just not a flying event anymore. Lots of years and history and a whole bunch of memories.

Ok, so if it looks like a P47, fast as hell and makes a lot of noise, well I am talking about the P47 Brotherhood. I was indoctrinated into the P47 brotherhood this year. From last year, my wife got with Dave Sullivan and Lenny Jantz and procured a turnkey TF P47 then gave it to me for my birthday last year. WTF. Pretty, amazing. Thanks so much to my wonderful wife Merriam and my BFF’s Dave and Lenny for making this happen. Love you guys. Saturday’s pilot meeting Lenny got on the microphone and told the story for all to enjoy. Pretty cool.

Keith Fick led with his jet as a pace plane and the P47’s grouped up and went on to the attack mode. Let me tell you, we do it all at Castle. No holds bar. If you want one of these fire breathing motors contact Dave Sullivan. But then the brotherhood has to approve your flying skills. We are pretty tough too. It’s just not the airplane that does it.

Not a lot of 3D aircraft this year. But the ones out there were, pretty, awesome.

My brother Norman Poynter soloed his new and improved 1/5 scale Corsair this year. Sachs 5.8 with a big ole 3 blade Biela prop and straight pipe. Tim Taylor would be proud. Arrrgh Arrrgh. I am so proud and happy for you brother. Love ya.

Keith Roberts flew that beautiful P38 Lightning for us this weekend. Awesome job there Mr. Cirrus.

Jamie Fiffles had his big Corsair out with the Moki making smoke trails and that wonderful radial sound. Does not get much better than that guys. Beautiful aircraft. Thanks, Jamie.

Carl and his fluttering DR1 Triplane. You are the man.

Jerry did an amazing job flying the big C5A Galaxy. The last time I saw that aircraft fly was at the QSAA in Las Vegas with Billy Hempel. He was upside down about 10 feet off the deck and 2 engines died on the same wing. We talked and well, Outside snap to the dead engines and finishing off with a greaser landing. No problem. Time to change my undies. Eeewwww.

Lots of cool stuff this year. Thanks to all of you for doing that pilot stuff over the weekend. And for Pat and that big Nosen Aeronca or Citabria, I am saving my 26×10 wood props for you buddy.

Kelly Coulter was with us over the weekend taking all kinds of pics. She also wants to put together an album of AMA at Castle from 2007 till now. So if interested give her a shout and let her know. Thanks Kelly !

Our website for Castle Events is ‘’ and the Webmaster is Mike Matenkosky. On the bottom of the page you can check out the pics that Mike took. All suitable for framing. Great work Mike.

The weather this year was just perfect. Not too hot and a slight breeze mostly down the runway.

Rich H. our ATC manager at Castle was excited to see and watch us once again. Like he said, flying RC’s at Castle is a miracle.

Great event and planning for next year is already in the works. I just want to say thanks to all that made this event possible. CCMF, TRCC, my wife Merriam and Karen my sister and Ron my brother in law, Ed and Evie Martin, registration ladies and gents, my safety check guys, Al and Ron, chalk guys for parking, Scott Malta, Robert Broomfield, Clark and Debbie, Jose Macias, John Andrews, Mike with the sound system, Bonnie O’Brien our singer, our big legacy groups on Wednesday and mostly all of you that showed up to support us in this gathering. We do this for you guys. So, spread the word.


Thanks and see you all and more next year.

Rick Maida,