Hinds Community College hosts annual radio-controlled fly-in - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Hinds Community College hosts annual radio-controlled fly-in

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
RAYMOND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A wide variety of jet aircraft land in Raymond. But no worry if the airport is big enough, as these planes are scale models. It's the annual Mississippi Afterburner Jet Rally. 

They look and sound like the real thing, but these birds are scale models, built by hobbyists from all over...

"About 80 pilots here from 20 states; from Alaska, California, Florida, New York and a bunch of them from around the surrounding states," said organizer Vernon Montgomery.

And they're in Raymond at John Bell Williams Airport for 3 days to share their passion for flying. The Mississippi Afterburner Jet Rally is in its 25th year and money raised from the event goes to scholarships for Hinds Community College's aviation program.

"Pilots been real generous," added Montgomery. "They know that all the money that goes to the students here; keeps some of them in the school."

Many of these hobbyists have flown the real thing, like Craig Gottshang who was both a military and commercial airline pilot for 25 years. He said it's actually more difficult flying these models.

"The model jets fly just the same as the real ones. The difference is, in a real airplane you're at the controls and you have instruments," said Gottshang, who is from Atlanta.

"Yes, they are pretty much identical to the full scale plane," said pilot Gregg Wright from Aurora, Illinois. "You know, they have all the same features the real airplane uses; run actual turbine engines that run jet-A fuel just like real airplanes do and all the functions and everything just like the full-scale airplane."

"It's not a competition. It's just a bunch of friends that get together to say hi to each other and have the same interest in common," said Montgomery.

"It's just a lot of fun. I love airplanes," said pilot Steven Ellzey. "I always have.It's a way to do a lot of flying with a reasonable budget."

"The other thing is you meet people from all over the world in the hobby," added Wright.

As part of the fly-in, awards will be given for Top Gun, Pilot's Choice, Best Military Aircraft pre-1960, Best Military Aircraft post-1960, Best Sport Jet and Best Sport Performance.

Tickets are 5-dollars per vehicle, food will be sold and the event is from 9am until 6pm, Thursday through Saturday.

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