Local Medford model aviation club celebrates Model Aviation Day.

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Rogue Eagles RC club was out at the Rogue Valley Mall on Saturday to celebrate National Model Aviation day as well as promoting they charity airshow this month.

Two members of the club, Babe Caltabiano and John Gaines have been friends for more than 25 years. They met at racing competitions and are now apart of the same club in Medford.

“We used to go to a lot of different places and race,” Caltabiano said. “We used to race against each other and then we went as a team and we’d race other teams.”

Their frienship was built over the love of airplanes, but not without a little friendly competition.

“He didn’t quite go as fast as mine,” Gaines said.

Caltabiano laughs, “what was that?”

“I said yours didn’t go quite as fast as mine.”

“Yeah, but I still beat him.”

John has been a member of the Rogue Eagles RC club since 2002. He said his love for the hobby started when he was just a kid.

“My dad flew model airplanes so I probably got it from him,” Gaines said.

He soon learned that this hobby he loved so much came with a price.

“You don’t want to ask,” Caltabiano said.

“It depends, there’s three thousand dollars sitting right there,” Gaines said pointing to a motor he built for his next plane.

The planes also come with an expiration date. Gaines said one of his planes he built took him five years, but they often come crashing down once they’re flown.

“Grown men do cry,” Gaines said.

Although neither of them have shed a tear from the loss of an airplane, they said it’s definitely a sad feeling.

“Model aviation day has been going on a long time, radio control models have been in existence since 1937,” Larry Cogdell, public relations for the Rogue Eagles RC club says. “We are the Rogue Eagles RC club, we’re the largest and the oldest club in Oregon.

Their club has nearly 160 members and has been established for over 50 years.


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Blakely McHugh
Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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