The Aero Guidance Society (AGS) of Endicott, New York, was formed in 1954 in to promote and advance the sport of building and flying RC aircraft. In the club’s 60 years, it has hosted numerous high-profile events. During the 2014 Labor Day weekend, the AGS hosted the Vintage RC Society’s (VR/CS) 25th Annual Spirit of Selinsgrove Reunion.
AGS club secretary and AMA Hall of Fame Member Bob Noll reported on the event.
“The Spirit of Selinsgrove Reunion is the longest-running VR/CS reunion, starting 25 years ago at the Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, airport. Twenty pilots attended this year and brought with them more than 45 vintage airplanes. VR/CS members fly aircraft planes that were designed for RC at least 35 years ago. The VR/CS Theme Plane for 2014 is any variation of the Ugly Stik and there were 12 Stiks at the reunion.
“The event started with a gathering on Friday evening at a restaurant in Owego, New York, and ended with a large banquet at the Treadway Inn, the headquarters hotel.”
Because this was the 25th reunion, a professional video that VRCS has endorsed is expected to be released this winter. Many thanks to all the members of the Golden Eagles, VRCS Chapter III, for helping with this major event, the host club AGS, and to Bob Noll for providing the event report.
September 11-14, 2014, marked the 15th annual Northeast Electric Aircraft Technology (NEAT) Fair in Downsville, New York. Event CD Tom Hunt generously provides time for district representatives to speak to pilots and present awards. This year the tables were slightly turned.
On Saturday, the NEAT Fair’s sponsoring club, the Silent Electric Fliers of Long Island (SEFLI), was presented with the AMA Award of Excellence, AMA’s highest club award. AMA Executive Vice President Gary Fitch and I presented the award. It was an honor to bestow it upon the club.
The culmination of the NEAT Fair awards ceremony was reserved for a man who has waited decades to receive his just honors. George Watson Sr. is a Tuskegee Airman and District II member of exceptional distinction. George served with the 96th and 523rd Service Groups and 332nd Fighter Group in Italy, Germany, England, Turkey, and Iran during World War II.
As a demonstration of his heroism and dedication, George did not report his injuries when his knees and ankles were wounded by shrapnel from bombs dropped in an air raid during WW II, for fear of being transferred out of his unit! He went on to see segregation end in the Air Force and he was the first African American to serve as recruiter for the Army and Air Force in Trenton, Lakewood, and Asbury Park, New Jersey. He retired after 26 years of service.
After military retirement, George carried on the Tuskegee Airmen legacy. He’s a published author and contributor to books and the movie Red Tails. He has mentored hundreds and given speeches at schools, military bases, and community events. He has received numerous awards including the National Tuskegee Airmen Lifetime Award and belatedly a Purple Heart on May 10, 2010, for his WW II injuries.
For his service as a Tuskegee Airman and as an Ambassador of Model Aviation, it was my pleasure to present George Watson Sr. the AMA District Service Award at the NEAT Fair.
Remember, it’s not about what we fly, it’s about the people and the friends we make.