Model planes take to the sky at CAMS Air Show in Tustin

MODEL CITIZENS: Model plane pilots fly planes known as
MODEL CITIZENS: Model plane pilots fly planes known as “40 percenters,” which are designed to be 40 percent of the size of the plane they’re modeled after. (Herald Review photo/Whitney Gronski-Buffa)

TUSTIN — Pilots took to the skies above Tustin on Sept. 2 while keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground.

The Cadillac Area Modelers Society’s Air Show closed out a weekend of events at Tustin Daze, inviting Tustin residents to watch as modelers put their planes to the test at the CAMS Air Field.

Baldwin resident Lenn Todd learned to fly model planes earlier this year with the help of more experienced pilots who let him fly their planes with a “buddy box” system, which allows them to take over the controls if he gets in trouble.

Now he’s building his planes out of balsa wood and practicing on his own.

“You can go out and try your plane and, if you smash it up, you can fix it,” he said. “I’ve got a 37-year-old son sitting over there watching now who I had flying on my buddy box earlier. It’s a good thing for fathers and sons to do together.”

Model aviation is an attractive hobby for people interested in flying but not necessarily in investing in their own plane, said Lake Leelenau resident Steve Plamondon. He brought seven of his own model planes to the show.

“I’m a huge aviation buff,” he said. “This is great way to enjoy aviation and not have quite as much money tied up in it. Although, with some of these planes here, we might have close to as much money tied up in them.”