HARVEST, Ala. (WHNT) – The North Alabama Radio Control Association (NARCA) is taking to the skies for the 13th annual Aerotow event in Harvest from Oct. 7-9.
The group is flying sailplanes. They are gliders attached by a long rope to a tow plane. The tow plane takes off, pulls the sailplane into the sky, the rope detaches, and the sailplane glides on air currents or thermals. The sailplane can continue to fly for minutes, sometimes even hours.
“This is actually a really fun thing to go do, chasing thermals, and you know, you’re getting up there,” said contest director Tim Batt. “It takes really good eyesight in order to see these airplanes because you’re looking for little motions as you’re bumping into the air.”
The sailplane pilots flying at this event are allowed to take their planes to a max altitude of 2000 feet.
“Once you start in on something like this and you catch your first thermal, that airplane keeps going up and up with no motor, mind you, it just keeps going up, and it’s up to you, where you want to get out,” Batt said.
NARCA pilots will be out flying sailplanes at their airfield in Harvest on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The airfield is located near the intersection of Harvest Road and Carroll Road. The event is free, open to spectators, family-friendly, and includes concessions.