“Bandit, bandit, 12 o’clock high, coming on you,” will seem realistic when the dog fight is on at the Collier Model Aeronautics Club’s annual two-day show on Saturday and Feb. 21.
“Guys flying T-40s make it very exciting when they go into battle stage,” Club President Ray Fitzgerald said of the aerial battle that will occur at noon on both days. Each day the show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The show will be on the club’s new Fritchey Field. The field is located off U.S. 41, four miles east of Collier Boulevard. There will be a sign directing a turn onto Greenway Road, then left on Fritchey Road. The 26-acre site can be seen from the air by its X-shaped landing strip.
Fitzgerald and members Dave Browne and Matt Kinowski built the new airfield.
“The new airfield has made a big difference, probably gaining us 50 new members,” Fitzgerald said.
The club has 135 members, owning and flying planes with wing spans of six inches to 15 feet.
“We’ll have some one-third and half-scale planes that will have up to 18-foot wing spans,” Fitzgerald said.
The show is free to the public and the pilots. They do request a $3 donation for parking.
Fitzgerald expects participants from the East Coast and Central Florida to this contest-ready field.
On display, or in flight, showgoers could see a replica of the real plane flown by Patty Wagstaff, a well-know Florida Air Show pilot, a helicopter, A Russian fighter that looks like a Stealth Bomber and more.
There will be awards and people will get to choose the most popular plane that will win the People’s Choice Award.
“The fun part is not only watching the planes go through their paces, but talking with the owners,” Fitzgerald said.
He also hopes it will draw new members to the club. The initiation fee is $100, with a $200 annual membership charge for field upkeep. Ages range from 10 to 90, Fitzgerald said. Membership is free for persons under 18. Many of its members are from Marco Island, Naples and Fort Myers and as far away as Germany.
Cliff MacMorris, the club’s flight trainer for new pilots, will be on hand to answer any questions.
Refreshments will be on hand, along with hot dogs, hamburgs and kielbasa.
For a map of the location, and to get more information, go to the club’s Web site, cmac1.org, or call 352-2008.