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Airshow offers introduction to model aviation
Georgia Model Aviator John Mueller gets ready to fly his 1/3-scale World War I model during Saturday’s open house and air show event at the club’s Eagle’s Beak air strip in north Forsyth. - photo by Crystal Ledford

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Hundreds of spectators turned out for a free airshow and open house organized by the Georgia Model Aviators.

Held Saturday at the group’s airstrip on Forsyth County’s Eagle Beak property near the Cherokee County line, visitors had the opportunity to view dozens of meticulously constructed scale model airplanes both on the ground and in flight.

They could also enjoy flight simulations and a variety of concessions.

John Singer, president of the club that has about 300 members throughout the state, said he was pleased with Saturday’s event.

The public could attend for free, with donations accepted for the Independence Fund. The nonprofit provides all-terrain wheelchairs for U.S. military veterans wounded in the line of duty.

“A lot of folks have donated and that’s what this [event] is all about — to expose our hobby to people and to try to raise as much donation as we can for the Independence Fund,” Singer said.

Members of the club were happy to show off their creations, some of which were as large as one-third of the scale of an actual airplane.

John Mueller brought his model World War I fighter, called the Albatross. That’s not uncommon since Mueller said he has taken the model to airshows all over the country.

“I primarily go to a lot of World War I-only events, where all the planes are World War I planes. We call them Dawn Patrols,” he said.

Mueller said he and his fellow model aviators who create planes from a specific time period try to make them as historically accurate as possible.

“You try to keep the history alive,” he said. “Because kids nowadays don’t learn about all these wars. If it’s not Afghanistan or Iraq, they don’t know about it.”

Singer said education is a big part of the organization, which often goes into elementary schools to teach the basics of aviation.

In addition, the club’s space is open to some area high school rocketry groups and Georgia Tech’s aviation team, which competes in numerous events throughout the year.

“It’s really good to get these kids exposed to this hobby because it helps them with math and science,” Singer said. “We’ve got the Creekview High School rocketry team and Georgia Tech’s aviation team here today, so you never know where it will lead.”

For Mueller and other club members, the organization has led to strong bonds of friendship.

“We have a lot of fun doing it and I’ve met more friends than I can count in this hobby,” he said.