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FOUNTAIN VALLEY | Community News Focus

Air Show the Place for Model Piloting

August 03, 1996|DEBRA CANO

Gene Barton likes to show off his miniature Beechcraft D-18, modeled after an executive aircraft built in 1945.

He and two dozen other aficionados of handcrafted models will be on hand for the fifth annual remote-control air show Sunday in the hobby area at Mile Square Regional Park.

Event organizers say this could be the last air show at the county park if plans proceed for a golf course, ornamental garden and conference center in the area.

The free public event will feature high-caliber planes and expert "pilots," said George Kotichas, one of the founders of the event, which began in 1992.

"They're all top-notch fliers," Kotichas said. "The public is going to see some fantastic flying."

Last year, more than 8,000 spectators turned out to see the miniature aircraft, Kotichas said.

Barton, 47, of Garden Grove, has been building miniature aircraft since he was 14.

"I've always enjoyed building," said Barton, who will also fly his Skyraider, a replica of a military bomber used in the Vietnam and Korean wars. "I really like to go out and present my airplane and watch people enjoy it."

Barton's Beechcraft, made to scale, weighs 45 pounds, has two engines and a 9 1/2-foot wingspan. The plane sports a red, white and blue paint scheme copied from the one featured in the 1963 film "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World."

Participating pilots take their flying seriously, Kotichas said, with planes valued at as much as $10,000.

Sunday's event will feature miniature planes that zip through the sky at 200 mph, do combat-style maneuvers and make torpedo, parachute and simulated bomb drops. Pilots will also have them perform aerobatics, such as rolls, loops and spins.

The event, sponsored by the Scale Squadron of Southern California and the Orange Coast Radio Control Club, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking inside the park is $4.

Information: (714) 531-3785.

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