Taking Flight for Charity

Watch local model airplane pilots take flight for a great cause at the Paducah Aeromodelers Taking Flight for Charity event!

Phillip Rudd

15 years ago, Phillip Rudd combined his love for model airplanes with a way to give back to others locally. Phillip and his fellow members of the Paducah Aeromodelers hosted a charity fly-in to showcase their passion for model airplanes while giving back to their first beneficiary, a child who needed help covering his medical bills when he lost his leg.

The fly-in turned into an annual charity event hosted by the Paducah Aeromodelers and expanded to benefit a nonprofit organization each year. Last year, the Paducah Aeromodelers chose Lotus, formally known as Purchase Area Sexual Assault & Child Advocacy Center  as their annual charity fly-in beneficiary and they asked them to be their beneficiary for this year’s event.

“Lotus is so excited to be the selected nonprofit by the Paducah Aeromodelers Taking Flight for Charity event for the second year in a row. The event allows us to interact with more families and introduce them to our mission of supporting survivors, strengthening families and empowering communities. At Lotus, we have a vision of ending child abuse and sexual violence. Events like the annual fly-in help contribute to making our vision a reality,” said Natalie Broster, Community Impact Director at Lotus.

The fly-in invites the community to attend a unique opportunity to watch local pilots fly their model airplanes and showcase a wide range of entertaining tricks and stunts in an airshow. Between 25 and 35 pilots from several states will fly scale model airplanes, helicopters, drones and stunt models throughout the day.

“It’s unbelievable what people can do with a model airplane. Often times, people don’t realize what we do with our models and this is a great event for us to showcase our hobby while giving back to a local cause,” says Phillip Rudd, Event Coordinator and Contest Director for the Academy of Model Airplanes.

Model airplane pilots join the hobby for different reasons and at various times in life, but many pilots, like Phillip, sparked an interest in the hobby when they were kids. As they got older, they exchanged their toy airplanes for model airplanes and found it to be a lifelong hobby. One of the Paducah Aeromodelers members became involved with the hobby as a child and has been flying model airplanes for almost 70 years.

“The hobby is very challenging in many ways. It teaches perseverance, how to get along with others, how to ask and respond to questions, how to build and repair, how to use engineering skills and how to fly. People who have never seen pilots fly model airplanes don’t realize how much skill is involved,” says Phillip. “Once you learn to fly, you never forget. You can get rusty but you never forget. This is a lifelong hobby which develops skills that can be used for a lifetime.”

This year, the charity fly-in will take place on June 8th from 9 a.m. until sundown at the McCracken County Model Air Park. The event is free and open to the public as a way to raise awareness about the lifelong hobby of flying model airplanes while benefiting a worthy cause. To raise money for Lotus, food vendors donate food including grilled food, chips, soda and water available for a donation to Lots. A raffle is held with all proceeds given directly to Lotus.

For more information about the fly-in visit https://paducahaeromodelers.com/ or the Paducah Aeromodelers Facebook page.