With model planes and friendship, enthusiasts come by to touch the sky

PICTURE THIS

Picture This

Maryland through the eyes of Sun Photographers

September 26, 2005|By Greg Barrett

On a covered landfill yesterday in Baltimore County's Southwest Area Park, a hobby was a sport - or vice versa. If men will be boys, this is where they gather on weekends. And for the love of flying, they bring their sons and daughters, and a backup model airplane or two, in case someone crashes. The Southwest Area Park Modelers is a 26-year-old club with domain over a rugged hilltop where so phisticated model planes soar, dive and even compete in something called the Tijuana Taxi - a slalom race through orange cones laid out on the runway. Members of the club are school-age to retired, police and engineers, and at least one young girl, who attended yesterday with her father, a private pilot who took up the hobby when the price of plane rentals soared. "It got to where I couldn't afford to fly, but I still wanted to, so I started doing this instead," said Pete Mentch, standing with his daughter Nicole and their plane, the Aristo-Cat.

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