5 Things To Know- Gathering of the Giants 2017

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The skies above Northwest Cape Coral will be abuzz this weekend as the Cape Coral R/Seahawks hosts its annual Gathering of the Giants.

Gathering of the Giants is an annual event featuring dozens of radio controlled airplanes and helicopters soaring through the sky guided by some of the best pilots in the nation who entertain those in the crowd with their maneuvers, tricks, and skill.

Before heading out to the event, below are "5 Things To Know" about Gathering of the Giants 2017.


About Gathering of the Giants

Gathering of the Giants is simply a two-day congregation of amazing radio controlled flying devices making their way through the air with near perfect precision.

At any given time during the weekend, planes and helicopters can be seen zipping through the air at breakneck speeds performing flips, turns, and other maneuvers that are sure to amaze.

In its 23rd year, Gathering of the Giants has grown to become an annual destination for radio controlled airplane and other devices pilots, who travel from around the country to participate the event.

In addition, the event attracts radio controlled airplane enthusiasts and those curious about the hobby to the airstrip to sit in amazement as the pilots perform impressive aerial maneuvers.


Planes, helicopters participating in this year's event

This year, an estimated 50 radio controlled pilots are scheduled to participate in the event, bringing with them a vast array of airplanes and helicopters.

During the weekend, hundreds of thousands of dollars of radio controlled airplanes and helicopters will take to the air.

From vintage war planes to today's Lear Jets, an impressive collection of radio-controlled devices will take to the air during this year's Gathering of the Giants.

Once in the air, some devices travel to speeds over 100mph, other devices remain nearly idle in midair, mystifying those in attendance, "People are always amazed at what these pilots can do with the planes once they are up in the air," says R/Seahawks president Dick Maltby.

If watching the pilots perform their maneuvers weren't enough, this year's event will also feature a helicopter demonstration and a combat demonstration where planes will take to the air fighting it out attempting to cut off the tail of the opposing plane.


Meet the Pilots/Candy Drop

In addition to enjoying the air show, those in attendance will also have the opportunity to get out on the air strip and interact with the pilots and get an up-close look at all the devices participating in the event.

The interaction with the pilots is especially beneficial for those interested in getting into the radio controlled airplane hobby, learning it is much more than just buying a plane and taking it out for flight, "There is a lot that goes into flying these planes," says Maltby. "It takes a lot of practice and sometimes a lot of money to really perfect the art of flying."

Another highlight of the event, particularly the children in attendance is the annual Candy Drop.

Each day, an airplane loaded with candy will take to the sky and once positioned drops candy down on the field as children sprint to grab as much as they can.

Once again this year, Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki is scheduled to assist in piloting the candy drop plane.

The Candy Drop is scheduled to take place around 12:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday, immediately followed by the pilot meet and greet segment of the event.


One lucky person will win their own plane

At the conclusion of the event, one lucky attendee will take home their own radio controlled airplane.

This year, the club will be raffling off an 188 AG Cessna radio-controlled plane with a wingspan of 97 inches and length of over five feet. The plane equipped with a Moki Gas 30cc engine and other upgrades, "The plane we are raffling off would retail for about $1,800 with all the extra items. And, best of all, it comes ready to fly. All you have to do is put gas in it," says Maltby.


Other Info

The 2017 Gathering of the Giants will take place this Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12 at the R/Seahawks Air Park, located at 1030 NW 28th Street, Cape Coral. Hours for the event are 9:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday, and 9:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday.

While admission is free, the club is asking for a $5 donation for parking.

Money raised from the event goes to maintaining the air park. The club also donates some of the funds raised to such organizations as the Boy Scouts, Cape Coral Mayor's Scholarship Fund, the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library, and the club's initiative to provide turkeys to those in need during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

For more information about the 2017 Gathering of the Giants, visit www.rseahawks.org.