Thursday, February 9, 2012

Model Aviation: Then and Now, an Interview with Capitol City Radio Control Club member, Oscar Tissue

Oscar Tissue with a free-flight 
model plane he built 1942

Clinton resident Oscar Tissue recalls many happy memories from his boyhood days and his first model airplanes.  Housed in Oscar’s workshop today are several glow fuel-powered models, a couple of electric planes and some of the latest and greatest computerized 2.4GHz radio equipment. – a far cry from the free-flight models (powered by rubber bands) of his youth.

 “The first radio control plane I ever saw was the DeBolt kit my buddy Wayne Sistrunk brought back from England after World War II.  I had taken my free flight sailplane kit with me when I was serving overseas in the US Army Air Corps. This RC plane Sistrunk had gotten over there, was something quite different.  It required a radio transmitter control box and a receiver inside the plane.  All it had was rudder control."

"We were inexperienced and didn’t have anyone to tell us what to do, but we were excited and couldn’t wait to try it out.   I didn’t realize that a wire hanging out of the plane was the antenna that enabled the transmitter to communicate with the receiver.  Right before we took the plane up for the third time, I had stepped on the wire and pulled it loose.  So when the plane took off, Wayne started moving the controls on the transmitter - but nothing happened.  That plane just ignored us, and it kept going, and going… and going.  We stood there, helpless to do anything about it.  It got so far away all we could see was a tiny dot.  And then it totally disappeared. We hadn’t thought to write our name and address on the plane. We went all over, trying to find that plane. But we never did.”  Laughing, “And that was my first experience with radio control.”  Smiling. “But it was not my last.”

Oscar Tissue with a trainer
plane donated to CCRCC by PlayPen

Tissue never lost his enthusiasm for building and flying RC model aircraft and he helped many people learn how to fly over the years.  “Flying RC aircraft is not as easy as it might look.  Anyone can learn how, but it requires practice.  It helps a great deal to work with an experienced pilot when you’re getting started. Nowadays we’ve got trainer models, buddy-box radio systems and those things are a big help when someone wants to learn to fly. ”
Glow fuel-powered RC plane flying over Hinkle Field

“Bob Hinkle was a great guy. He and some friends started a model airplane-flying club right after WWII.  It later came to be known as the Capitol City Radio Control Club (CCRCC).  Sistrunk and I used to live in Philadelphia MS and we would drive down to Jackson to attend their flying contests. Hinkle Field at Butts Park is named after Bob. We used to fly at several different places. But not too long after Janet and I moved to Clinton (in 1970), CCRCC got permission from the City of Jackson to use the field at Butts Park. And that’s been our primary place to fly ever since.”

CCRCC is an AMA charter club. AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) is a self-supporting, non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation activity. It is the official national body for model aviation in the United States and the chartering organization for more than 2,500 model aviation clubs across the US. AMA sanctions more than a thousand model competitions each year, and certifies official model flying records on a national and international level. AMA’s website:
Hinkle Field is located at the far end of 
Buddy Butts Park, 6180 N. McRaven Street.

If you are already into radio control aviation, or are interested in learning more about it, CCRCC would love to hear from you.  Club dues are $40 per year and are used to keep the flying field maintained and for club activities. Club-sponsored events each year include two fun-fly events and an IMAC flying competition held at Hinkle Field, as well as two Swap Meets held in the gymnasium at Alta Woods church.  The public is invited.
2011 Swap Meet

CCRCC’s first Swap Meet of 2012 is from 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday February 11   in the Gymnasium at Alta Woods United Methodist Church, 109 Alta Woods Blvd, Jackson MS 39204.  Admission:  $5 per family.  There will be free coffee, and refreshments for sale.  The Swap Meets are a great opportunity for beginners or anyone considering Radio Control as a hobby, to talk with experienced flyers of all skill levels.  

Tissue: “My advice to somebody new to radio control aircraft is, don’t go out and spend a bunch of money initially.  If you can join a club and use somebody’s trainer airplane, that’s your best bet.  Some people spend a lot of money and when they crash their plane, they get discouraged and quit. Take your time, learn your way around, and stick with it. It’s a wonderful hobby and a lot of fun.”

CCRCC’s Magnolia Classic Fly-In Event will be held at Hinkle Field on Saturday April 28.  Fly-ins feature lots of great flying, food, trophies, raffles and fun for the entire family.  Admission is free to the public.

For more information about CCRCC events, joining the club or learning how to fly, contact Charles Williams of Clinton who is CCRCC’s Newsletter Editor, 601-924-7176 or visit the club’s website at

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