WARWICK — The skies were cloudy on Saturday June 23, but the winds were calm and that was good news for flying.
That day the picturesque and usually quiet Warwick Municipal Airport and seaplane base was the scene of numerous take-offs and landings.
Visiting pilots demonstrated daredevil maneuvers including thrilling acrobatics, low level aileron rolls, towing and hovering while pointing straight up and hanging on the prop.
The aircraft involved included both land and seaplanes.
However, this was no ordinary air show. And Warwick Airport has not changed from its usual low-key and neighbor-friendly status.
It was actually a very quiet day at the airport, with all runways closed, and the pilots never even left the ground.
They were flying radio-controlled model aircraft under the safety rules established by the Academy of Model Aeronautics. And for them, it was another opportunity to put their land and sea aircraft through the paces at a full-scale airport and adjacent seaplane base.
This year’s event was again sponsored by the Bergen County Silent Fliers, which meant that none of the participating aircraft models were gas powered. All were battery-powered and all were almost noiseless.
The recent popularity of radio controlled electric aircraft models, which can now achieve a duration of flight comparable to their gas powered counterparts, is made possible by the advancement in battery technology.
Model aircraft pilots follow strict rules and restrictions and must be tested and qualified or supervised by someone who is.
Novice flyers, for example, are not permitted to fly solo until they have passed a flying proficiency test administered and signed off by two qualified instructors.
They can only fly with the assistance of a qualified club instructor.
The model airplanes and seaplanes remained well within the boundaries of the airport and generally flew below 400 feet. And the safety of the spectators was a priority.