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Model airplanes on display at local mall

Nearly three –dozen planes were displayed at the Pine Ridge Mall in Pocatello today. The Eastern Idaho Aeromodelers Club is displaying these model airplanes today in hopes to get today’s youth to drop their video game controllers and pick-up ones for flying these model planes instead.

Gary Jones has had an affinity for building and flying planes for more than three decades.

“It’s a challenge,” Jones said in regards to why he loves to fly his model planes. “You take off and do what you want to do with the plane in the air and then you bring it back and land it.”

But Jones said this is a dying hobby, especially among today’s younger generation.

“We are trying to get the youth to come out and start getting interested and get away from all of these little gadgets they are clicking with their fingers all of the time,” Jones said.

However, not all of today’s youth prefer video game controllers over what controls these model planes to fly. Many kids of all ages came out to enjoy the display today.

“I usually like going outside and mess around, play basketball and sports more than video games,” teenager Parker Young said during his trip to the mall with his friends. “I think this would be way more fun than just having a controller in your hand.”

For those who are interested in picking-up this hobby, some club members who have been flying for more than 40-years have a bit of advice for you.

“The only thing you have to remember is there are only two kinds of pilots: those who have crashed and those who are about to,” Utah-based club member John Lockwood said. “And I’m well-qualified in all of them.”

Jones also said the mere rise in fuel prices changed the hobby of flying these model planes as well. According to Jones, the cost to fill these planes is around $35 dollars per gallon, so many people are switching from fuel-operated planes to battery-operated.

“There is a reason for that,” Jones said. “One thing is there is no fuel to clean up afterward. You just charge a battery, put it in, and go fly.”

But that has not stopped Jones. Every day he heads out to the Pocatello airport and flies these planes he has built on his own from scratch.

Those who are interested in joining the club can contact Jones at: (298) 637-1018.

Follow Kaitlin on Twitter: @KaitlinLoukides

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